Face to Ground

Yesterday I finally found myself with a camera. I also found myself with face flat on the cold grass. The sun was starting to set, and it felt a little appropriate to just lay on the level of the grass. The days, weeks, and months have been rollings by. Exciting opportunities, challenges, and everything else in between has been coming so fast since August. That small moment to humble myself with the grass showed me that it at least makes a much better view when looking up to the sun.

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Day 129: Green Tide

Surprise: I just got a new camera and here’s my first test shot! Its a Nikon J1, something I had my eye on for a while…and well, lets say I’ve been avoiding getting it because it would be a huge blow to my photographer-ego. And it is. Kind of.

First, it seems almost like a downgrade to go from an dslr camera (though my Nikon d3000 wasn’t ever a top-of-the-market camera) to smaller camera (but truthfully a Nikon J1 is “technically a dslr”!). But wow, this little baby is wonderfully portable and shoots photos excellently.

I’m trying to get the hang out of the manual options, but really, the automatic options are just much better. Like…much better than my previous camera.

Which now I must admit gets me worried. I’m worried about taking better photos with a new camera. Why? Well….this is proof that good photos come from a good camera, and not the person behind the camera, right? Us photographers will argue vehemently against that statement, but now i’m starting to have doubts. I’m seriously not doing anything -this camera is doing it all and its doing a fantastic job of it. It’s probably going to steal MY job. Yeesh, what’s the point of being a photographer when the camera is better than you?

Ok besides this personal crisis, I have to say I’m still quite excited about this camera. The best part of it all? Video. Yes. Keep on the look out for my 365 video project (Those words will be regretted badly).

If getting a new camera makes this much of an improvement....then i'm worried. What does that say about the photographer? Hmm....

If getting a new camera makes this much of an improvement….Then i’m worried. 

Love Story

Between me and my camera, that is.

Haha, did I get your hopes up for something more interesting? But i’ll spare you the emotional gaga. Basically I’ve rekindled my love of photography. And realized whether I get a good photo or a bad photo, it doesn’t matter. It’s all about the process of discovery. Just feeling the light and allowing it to wash over you. Allowing yourself to see things you never would have without the lens.

Just about the creativity. Let it flow. Don’t keep a plan. And don’t keep expectations. So there you go. I’m in a happy relationship with my camera. Just don’t go showing me any new fancy lenses or newer models to change my mind just yet…

windowshadow

Star Charts & Spider Webs

I don’t usually post any of my digital work, but since I made this project from the photos I took in my 20-20-20 project (Day 09: Dreamer), I thought I should post on here. I’m really proud with how it turned out, but even more so with how I am able to use the photos taken in my own personal projects.

I won’t go into all the details, but I created this digital project because I wanted to compare star charts to a spiders web. Even though the universe and celestial sky is incomprehensibly vast, as human beings we use our natural curiosity to understand it to the best we can. Similarly I found a similar phenomena in the spider’s web; the spider also creates and maps out its own ‘universe’.

Ok, my little artist statement thus summarized, here are the two works:

 

Day 10: Short Sighted

When you only see a fraction of something, just the smallest detail, then your imagination can run wild. When you only see a little bit, a sample, your perception is short sighted. You see what you want to see, make up stories, create what you want.

This photo was an edge of a wooden stair case. But it could be anything. I can make it anything: from a railway line to a tunnel to a road to a man’s extremely long and badly-need-of-lotion-ed arm. And that’s the magic of photography. Changing perceptions.

So don’t keep yourself short sighted. See everything in as many different perspectives as you can. We only see what we want. Isn’t that amazing? We can see the whole world as we want, and that’s what it’ll be. It’s not delusional, it’s just a shift in perception. Keeping your options and your vision broad, always.

x

Day 09: Dreamer

My thoughts are an unspun spider’s web; my dreams are a tangled web constantly being spun anew.

Today’s photos were a surprise: I’ve taken photos of spider webs before, but this one was being spun right before my eyes. The spider itself didn’t notice it was having a photo shoot because it was at work making its web all morning. I used a really shallow focus (about f2 stop) and was able to capture the amazing bokeh happening in the background. These photos became less about the spider web and more about the dreamy atmosphere being created…being spun.

Day 08: Monumentality

The best part of wedding photography is photographing the wedding rings. Ok, not really, but it’s the only part I’m good at. It’s finally the time I can get those darned-good macro shots. Because the rest of wedding photography is actually much, much harder than it seems. This is the second time i’ve ever done it (see my earlier blog post about my first experience here: https://gingerberries.wordpress.com/2011/05/29/wedding-photography-wisdom/).

And once again, it was humbling. It makes me realize the vast difference between an (albeit talented) amateur and a real professional. Weddings are unpredictable. Right when the vows are being said, the rings exchanged, the bride coming down the isle…any of these important moments can be lost in a second if you aren’t paying attention. If you aren’t in the right place at the right time. If you aren’t facing the right angle or using the right lighting.

This was an informal, small and intimate wedding, so the pressure wasn’t super high. But still, if i’m taking part in my friend’s ceremony as a photographer, I still have high expectations for myself. And when I can’t meet those expectations, it’s easy to be discouraged. But really, more than that it’s a learning experience. It’s the reality of what it means when you say you’re a professional and how much people depend on you to have good shots.

In the end, it’s not about me and my photos. It’s about supporting the bride, groom, and their families. And it’s a very humbling position to be in. Your ‘artistic ego’ has no say in things. It’s just about you and the services you provide.

I don’t think my photos turned out necessarily bad (though on here i’m just showing the ring photos, not any portraits or ceremony shots), it was just a reality check that even though I may be hired as a photographer, I still consider myself an aspiring photographer…someone still just learning.

And really, even when I’m a professional one day, I always want to ‘still be learning’.

Smallest of rings are represent the largest monumentality of things