Sunday, March 27, 2011

Bad Weather Makes for Good... and Bad... Times for photography

I keep having people ask me; "What Camera do you use, your pictures are beautiful!"... My Daughter, as she was starting her photography business, got the same reactions to her photographs...

There is a misconception that Beautiful art.. is dependent on reeeeealllly expensive hardware...

It just ain't so folks! ... Good or better hardware can make some things easier... but... the Art has to be there in the first place... and THAT... only comes from the heart and the spirit... of the Artist.

It's kind of sad to see good people run out and spend a small fortune... at least it is to me... on Top of the line cameras... but when they click the shutter... they've got the same old run of the mill pictures...

Pictures... NOT photographs...

Two things are in play here... the first is, the mechanical Composition of the picture, and the second... is that part... I'm in danger of getting all Spiritual Vortex... foo foo here :) ... but... the second is the Spirit... the Artist captures in their picture... that renders it into a Photograph... Understand?

So... my advice to someone who wants to improve their photography... is to study up on composition... BEFORE... you spend any more money on Hardware... and... then... with those principles of composition in mind... spend some time... just seeing what you are looking at.... What is it, that keeps pulling your eye back... How can you capture THAT view... using the proper principles of good composition?

It's my opinion... something I'm still working at :) ... that good photography is a lot like life in general... Most of what surrounds us is noise, and dirt, and meanness. The clamor of it drowns out  the good... if ya let it. You have to focus your attention... on those sometimes small little Good Bits, in life and photography... and, as much as you can... exclude the "Clamor and Confusion" from your thoughts... and lens...

 It's kind of like the teamster that bridles up his wagon horse... and has blinders on the bridle... so that horse has his vision focused on what he's doing...

To capture a good picture (good life?)... often the "Whole Picture" is just too much. It's overpowering... so you have to narrow your focus to what the eye and the mind can carry... but... don't get too narrow a focus either... you have to have all the parts to make a complete picture...

Is all my rambling confusing enough for you? :) Get a book or two on composition... start working at it... and the ideas will grow on you... and... if you let it... the work of capturing good photography can spill over into Other... pursuits... and maybe shine those up too?

Yesterday, the current storm dropped rain all day. Never quit... all day... until pretty late. Everything was fogged or clouded in... so we just did some chores... and walked the dogs in the rain... Late, almost six pm... the clouds broke a bit... and we were able to get out a little wider...

Not as spectacular as the night before... but... again, if you focus down a little tighter... looking for those Jewels in the confusion of rain and clouds... they're there...



I walk, or drive along... looking up and seeing nothing but dark clouds and rain... but, every once in a while... the clouds lift, or split enough to let a small little vision appear for a few seconds... if you're ready to capture it...


*Zion Diamonds in the Mist*

Usually it's a lot smaller view than the whole horizon... and that's fine... diamonds are tiny... but people been goin' gaga over 'em for centuries...

*Zion Waterfall*

One thing I've always had a great difficulty photographing well, are water falls. They seem so beautiful when you're standing there lookin' at 'em... but when you get home... my pictures just fall flat... I've decided that's because I try too much, to capture the water alone... too narrow a focus... but standing there, on the mountain... That waterfall is seen in all the shining glory of the mountain.

So... I'm working at keeping the waterfalls in their proper Context... with as much of the Mountain captured as I can... The rains have water pouring out of every crack and crevice... waterfalls where there weren't any the day before... pretty awesome...


So... Don't worry about your "Cheap" camera... my photographs, come from a Nikon P80 and a lil' pocket S8000... something around 1/2 ans 1/2... Whatever success I have in producing Photographs... and not just pictures... I give credit for to those that taught me to compose a picture properly... and... then to search out the Spirit... in what I'm photographing...

Which means... hang on... This is where it gets Good Vibrations foo foo again :) you have to find the Spirit... inside yourself... and have the cajones... to expose it to the world!

Do that... and your pictures (and more?) will become, Photographs.

Clickin' Shutters in Zion
Brian

Return to the main site of goin' RV Boondocking or Visit my Sister website Motorcycle Touring on Freedom Road

5 comments:

Evielynne said...

I took this article to heart and read it twice. Looked up the info on your camera and wow your right about not having "NOT to break the bank" to make such beautiful art. My camera is small little thing and I am now shopping for your brand of camera (in which I was getting a new one anyhow) and your article just saved me $400+ gosh thank you so very much and I am going to pratice and taking more time thinking before clicking..

Evielynne

Don said...

GREAT, absolutely excellent advice. My camera is a Canon SX210 IS - I've just got to have a big zoom and got to have the image stabilization. Those things are my 'must haves'; other people certainly need other things.

The other important advice is to take photos; take lots! Look around with a photographer's eye and you'll get there.

Thanks for your excellent site.

Glenda Laine said...

Awesome photos, Brian. You captured the spirit beautifully. And, the very best of advice too. I agree with everything you said, including the part about being disappointed when a photo didn't turn out better. I was taught that a photograph is supposed to tell a story, express a feeling, or a thought. That's the 'spirit' that makes a photograph come alive & 'touch' someone else. Sounds sort of easy but isn't usually. It helps me to quietly listen for what a scene has to share before snapping the shutter. Keep 'em coming.

~~ Glenda ~~
www.CasitaEscapes.blogspot.com

judysquiltsandthings said...

Another point I learned from my college photography professor was "know thy camera".

Gaelyn said...

These photos are all gems, don't let that go to your head though good advice.

Always nice to see waterfalls where there usually aren't. Hope the Virgin don't rise.