UGLY Pictures

Yes, there actually is such a thing as ugly pictures. I’ve been trying to explain this to my husband who thinks that my pictures are great. Being the loving, wonderful person that he is, he even wants to frame some of them and hang them on the wall. I cringe at the thought, but I know that he doesn’t know any better (poor guy).

Reading and studying photography the way that I have, has had a positive effect on my ‘vision’. I have learned to ‘See’. ‘Sight’ is an amazing thing. I can only liken it to a child’s first steps. It’s the expression that the child has on his/her face when the realize that they are mobile. It’s that mobility that makes them feel accomplished and that makes them want to run. Have you ever noticed that after a child takes his/her first steps that they immediately start to run even before mastering walking?

So I’ve decided to continue my ‘walk’ until I learn to ‘envision’. Envisioning is what I equate to running. Envisioning means that I will be able to predict my motions and have the foresight to plot my course. I will know the F-Stop, Shutter, Speed and Aperture to predict the end result or at least have a general idea of my photograph.

It’s funny how this all comes together. When learning photography, most of us point and shoot, and then hope for the best. I am getting ever closer to pointing and shooting, and planning for a positive outcome. I may not always get ‘the best’, but I at least I have a plan.

LMTHA – Leave Me The Hell Alone!

What’s public and what’s considered private these days? That’s the debate, and I am referring to Street Photography. There are many thoughts on public privacy. The idea of it is actually an oxymoron. Can there really be public privacy? Street Photography in some circles is considered and art. I call it a reason for me to smack you. Walking down the street does not make it open season on my face.

Why do people insist on debating the issue? Many people question the ethics of Street Photography, others question the morality. Keep in mind that ethics has more to do with the law and morality with one’s personal thoughts of right versus wrong.

Why is it so difficult for some to understand that I want to be able to have a meal in a public place and not be photographed? Why do I loose the right to ‘quiet enjoyment’ because someone has a camera?

I’m bringing this up based on an experience I had today. A guy took a picture of me and thought he could just walk off. Well, I confronted him. I asked him why he had taken my picture and he responded that I was “Hot.” Not a good enough answer. I told him that if he didn’t delete the photo that I would force him to have me arrested for destruction of property and assault. Hell, as the only girl in a family of seven, I think I know a little bit about how to brawl. Yes, it was just that damn serious of an issue for me.

Birds of a feather….

I have so many questions, and so few resources. Where do I go when I have questions? Ok, I know what you’re going to say, I can read some books or check a few websites, right? That doesn’t work all the time and I need to bounce questions off a live person. I’m quickly learning that photographers are like schools of fish. Goldfish stick with goldfish and the piranha stick with the piranha (or eat the goldfish). To clarify, photographers love associating with other photographers of the same skill level or level of understanding. I can’t say I blame them, (it’s just easier that way I guess). Naturally, I have a problem with this because I’m a little fish wanting to learn from the big fish. Quite honestly, I have nothing to learn from my fellow little fish and I’m kind of swimming around aimlessly.

Someone posted on a thread on flickr that they took a picture using a ND Grad. My first thought? What the heck is that and do I need to purchase one? Why would I want one? Why wouldn’t I want one?

The other thing that I’m finding is that many photographers view themselves as artists. Now that’s a completely different conversation! Artsy folks are, well… different. They only understand themselves and other self-proclaimed artists. Me? I’m just a chick with a camera looking for a good time.

Motivation

I need some motivation. I want to take some pictures of something, but simply do not know what I want to photograph. I’ve already taken a gazillion pictures of my daughter, and it seems she simply cannot get enough of the camera. If I walk near my camera bag she wants me to take a picture. I’m happy that she’s excited, but it gets a little stale. Well, wait a minute……… perhaps I should reconsider. Think of all the comedic material I’ll have to show her husband and my grandchildren when the time comes.

My boys aren’t that interested in having their pictures taken. They simply ignore me and chalk it up as “Mom’s being annoying again.” Oh well, they’re boys. Sadly, their friends feel the same.

I’m learning how to trespass without getting shot. When people see me on their property with my cool, fancy camera… it seems that they are less likely to shoot. This is unless, of course, I’m ‘working’ and they are angry about their foreclosure proceedings. Those are the days when photography is not so good.

I’ve got to get motivated. Perhaps tomorrow I will find some online photography challenges and assignments in which to participate. I need something to help me learn more.

Camera: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

I don’t do drugs and have never tried them (seriously). I don’t smoke and have never smoked. I don’t even like smokers and think that they all reek. I drink socially. Technically communion is isn’t drinking, but I confess that I have wine every Sunday when the Priest offers it to me… so shoot me already. De vez en cuando I like to hablar espanol. I try to hablar en espanol con mi daughter cada dia y espero que she understands. Ok, I”m confusing you. It’s not a type-O you’re reading. I did that on purpose. I figured my good friend Tony Rabina would be reading.

So back to the topic at hand……Camera OCD. I can’t shake my obsession with my camera. Seriously, I wake up reading camera websites first thing in the morning and last thing at night. I’ve even taken my camera into the bedroom, but we won’t discuss that part of my obsession. I’m not sure why I feel as though I can become a great photographer through osmosis, but I won’t stop trying ;-).

So the new D5000 is upon us. My first thought was, “Heck, my camera is not even a year old and they’ve already come up with something else.” Oh well. I’ve read about it and I’m not moved.

I’m still enjoying photography books, but there’s nothing like getting the answers to questions that I didn’t think to answer. The internet is awesome.

Every day I ‘get it’ a little more

Yesterday, I ventured out to take pictures of a home that my clients are considering. Yes, I have a real job. I’m a Realtor. It was quite an experience. I learned quite a bit during my outing. The first thing i learned, is that Satan himself created the on-board flash. I mean just as I thought that I was taking some marvelous photos, I got them home and realized that I could see the shadow of the on-board flash. Perhaps I could have ‘PhotoShopped’ the shadows away, but that, of course, would have required me to learn PhotoShop and edit 144 pictures. Nah, it was easier to go back to the house and retake the photos.

Once I got back to the house, I really took my time. For the record, I was smart enough to realize that my Sigma 10-20 ultra-wide was the obvious choice for taking photographs of the interior of a home. It allowed me to capture an entire room/space. I also brought my SB-600 flash, but quickly realized, that increasing the ISO proved to be just what the doctor ordered. The home was well lit with both natural light and recessed lighting. Perhaps I maybe incorrect in my thought process, but I think that the SB-600 would have blown highlights.

My clients were pretty impressed with my photos. I was not as happy. The more photos I take the more I can tell the difference between a good photo and a lousy photo.

Making an effort, by taking a chance….

I frequent the website ProDSLR. The site was started by this dude named Gary. Gary started the website after he was booted from another site. I like Gary’s site. It isn’t saturated with folks that think that their opinion is the only one that matters. No one there is ‘so pro’ that they can’t share ideas and help out those of us new to the photograpy world. IF I like a photograph posted by another member, I’m free to say that I like it. IF I don’t like a photograph, I can say that, too.

When I first purchased my camera, my first stop was to ‘DPR’. Initially I liked the site, but was really desperate to learn something, anything about my camera. I’d hang out in DPR’s Beginner’s Forum for hours searching for information. Most of what I saw was pages of What camera should I purchase or What camera do you think is best for me type questions repeated to infinity. I made the mistake of asking why the exact same question was repeated VERBATIM over and over again. Well, they nailed me to a cross, poured gasoline on me and then set me on fire. Had I said one more word, they would have eaten my children. Oh well.

There are a lot of camera forums out there. I’m grateful for all of the information that they provide, but I sure as hell can do without all of the attitudes. Everyone thinks that he or she is a pro. Well, the concensus on the definition of being a ‘pro’ is that you take pictures for a fee. Yep. That’s all. Nothing about composition, or level of understanding. A friend wanted to pay me to take pictures of her son in his little league outfit. Would I be considered a ‘pro’ if I had taken the money? It would totally suck for the planet if MY level of understanding made me a ‘pro’ all because I earned $5.oo taking a picture.