Tips, Tricks & Techniques OR Roadblocks?

Read on….

I read a great post by Daniel Milnor (A blog I read regularly: SMOGRANCH) today and it got me reminiscing a bit.

Specifically I was thinking about my switch to digital back in 2005 and how I immediately was enamored by “All that I could do with the images” after the fact. I was so focused on THIS aspect, that I was never worried about ‘The Moment’ or ‘The Subject’. I just couldn’t wait to shoot and then sit in front of my computer for hours on end, trying every Tip, Trick and Technique I could get my hands on. (hence the sarcasm in the photo above)

These Tips, Tricks and Techniques came in all shapes in sizes. Online text tutorials (video tutorial were a rarity then), photoshop action packs and verbal explanations from other wanna be’s like me. It was fun! It was all I could think about… Then it hit me. Why am I doing all of this? Is this really what it is all about? I started to think about all of the photographs that inspired me and drew me to this craft. Most all of those images were simply captured beautifully in the camera and process/printed using a selection of films and papers.

Now calling these Tips, Tricks and Techniques ROADBLOCKS, may be harsh, because had I not experimented I would not have made the discoveries I have. I just want to caution you to take a step back and think before you make an image about Effects, rather than Content.

This changed everything for me. I started really diving into exposure and how these geniuses that I admired ‘Did what they did’. It wasn’t rocket science after all. I could read and learn (and still do today!), but if I was not Practicing, I would never get it. So I did. I made so many crappy photos (and still do today!) so I could finally ‘Arrive.’ Well I am happy to say that I am STILL waiting to ‘Arrive’. This photography craft is a journey my friends.

Once I started making better exposures, I then really started to learn about my subjects and anticipating moments. This is what makes the journey a pleasure to be on. Learning, practicing, shooting, failing, succeeding, rinsing, repeating over and over again…

Today I can tell you that I see no end in sight to my journey as a photographer. I will still try new things including, lenses, actions, plug-ins, you name it. I am sure I will fail a lot and have some wins to boot. In the end though, I believe the wins will go back to that click of the shutter that make an image really sing.

Starting off with a diamond and providing the polish it needs to make it sparkle.

Comments 1

  1. David,

    Thanks for the link. I have to agree. I think the experimental is a critical part of the equation. It’s like having tequila for the first time, and then realizing, “You know, probably shouldn’t do THAT again.” Same with imagery. I just went to a show in Santa Fe, Allard/Mauskopf. Every single image was “straight” and every single image was…….WOW. I stood in the gallery with two other people, in moments of silence and then us looking at each other and shaking our heads.

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