Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Escape & Recovery

Wow. A sunset. Without power lines.

Been out of the "real" photo-taking circulation for about 2 months. Couple of things kinda messed me up. Made do with miscellaneous "junk" shots nearby.

Today was the first time I felt comfortable getting out. Not my best work, but it was just so freakin' nice to just stand there and watch.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Vision, Color, or the lack thereof

Between the copyright/fair use hullabaloo, photographer's block (like writers block), the endless stream of blog posts and articles, I have been pondering what my vision is, or if I even have one.

Vision, for me, is what's in my head. I am aware that there usually something in mind when looking through the viewfinder, to the point that the vision in the head colors what I am seeing through that viewfinder. Which can be bad; there is prejudice there, which can prevent the whimsical, the moment, from happening for me. Too controlling, maybe. Serendipity is my sometimes savior; expensive way to get artsy, though. Absolutely, just capturing the scene in the viewfinder, however, is not what I do, or desire. Photo-journalist, I am not. Even in grade school, I had a decided slant towards the abstract; it's one of my more vivid memories from the art academy.

How I developed my vision? I'm pretty sure it was from looking at the work of my betters, predecessors, friends, along with my own personal views and feelings. Possibly matches my food preferences; big, bold flavors, not much on pretty. Although, I can be influenced/coerced by pretty :)

I know that I visualize as I read. Which is usually science fiction or fantasy. Plausibility gets in the way of me enjoying other genres. The farther from possible reality as we know it, the better. Then the images that form in my head are rather fanciful, both bright and brooding.

Another thing possibly coloring my vision or perception is my desire for privacy. I know, I'm writing a blog, and I post on the World Wide Whatevers; what's privacy? I guess I, as a person, desire some control over what I reveal about myself, and what I keep behind closed doors. As such, I tend to respect the rights of others to do the same. Makes things like street photography a bit difficult. Again, faceless portraiture, I can do. Don't seem to have a problem with that.

So, execution of my vision. That's where the reading, researching, discussions come into play. But in the end, I really need to get out and shoot. Apply all this stuff, find out what works for me, and what doesn't, but may work in the future. Don't really know anything until I try. In the trying, I have come to the following interim conclusions; things change, after all.
  • Product shots. It's about control and repeatability. It's about seeing light, when there is none yet. This, I can do, but gets boring very quickly. Don't have the mindset to do this for a long time. Maybe to incorporate it as a part of a package
  • Landscapes. Seems to be what I do, it's the "comfort zone." Being able to just enjoy the view is the big benefit. But that needs to be stretched; different places, different perspectives, different focus.

  • I have pretty much determined that I am not a portrait person. Which is interesting, as you have a willing subject in front of you, asking to be made beautiful. Maybe that's the problem, can I make them beautiful, objectively, without judgement? Don't know. Character flaw on my part. Recently tagged along on a shoot, piggy-backing some setups, hopefully without getting in the way. While doing some post-processing, I caught myself "seeing" forms that weren't there. Revealing.

    I can do stuff with people in the scene, but seem to have issues with a person as the subject. And even then, the people need to be faceless, unidentifiable. Not having kids may have something to do with it, lacking that carrot to desire to capture people as the subject. Maybe I have to twist that thought, and look at it as an emotion, with people as the vehicle, so the focus is on the "doing," not the person. That might work. Something to work on.
Work in progress. Definitely.

(It's my personal web log. I should be allowed to blather, right?)