Photography is difficult at noon on a sunny day.
Even with the right filters, there’s just too much light to catch on your canvas.
Kodak T-Max 400, Clayton F76+ 1+9.
Photography is complicated.
Tonight: Action shooting with on-camera hotshoe flash (my only option for various reasons). To capture the shot I had in my mind (which I didn’t), I needed to consider perspective, how that perspective is altered or distorted by focal length and proximity to the subject, how to get correct exposure using a non-compatible TTL flash, how to get correct focus, and how not to get landed on. I succeeded in precisely two of these areas.
The moral of the story is, every time you think it’s down to a reflex, there’s one more thing you aren’t thinking of. Especially if you’re me. And especially if it’s dark out.
Pentax digital, some sort of Nikon-intended Quantaray strobe that isn’t worth the effort it took to acquire for free.
Photography is increasingly equipment-intensive.
I could get better quality (less noise/grain) out of this with a brand new full frame camera body! I could better than that with digital medium format! If I wait until next year for the newest and greatest and shiniest, it’ll be best of all!
The funny thing about next year is that it’s always twelve months away.
Pentax digital SLR system, which is neither the newest nor the shiniest.
Photography is what you make it.
Continuing in the vein of “non-serious” photography, I was reading late the other night and decided I had an interesting point of view. What followed was close to fifteen minutes of holding my camera over my head with one hand and desperately hoping to get the composition I wanted, not to mention exposure and focus (for the record, this is one of the relatively few situations where autofocus is an enormous help). Sure enough, when I uploaded them the next day, one was good enough, and here it is. I will consider that fifteen minutes of sacrificed sleep on Wednesday night a labor of love (but not for art, because this one is non-serious).
Photography is decontextualization.
A photograph is a still image torn from its larger context. This moment occurred over the summer, and though what I was doing at the time is completely different from what I’m doing now, I can still associate with the image and the moment.
Pentax digital body with vintage SMC M lens.
Photography should be fun.
Sometimes it’s about high art. Sometimes it’s about progressing your art. Sometimes it’s not about art. Unless you have an exceptionally damaged personality, chances are at some point you’re going to burn out on something that isn’t fun. Enjoy your photography and have a good time out there.
Photography is juxtapositional.
Everything has two sides. This is the contrapositive of yesterday’s image in many ways. I think of it as the other side of October, which is probably my favorite time of year here. Maybe it has something to do with the juxtaposition.
If you hate this, click the right half to go back to yesterday’s. If you hated that, this might work better for you. If you hate both, at least be charitable.
As promised, this is another from the Sunday shooting. There might be something to be said for black and white digital (maybe), but I still wish I’d had a 35mm body and some T-Max 100. Oh well. The instant gratification and ease of post-processing make a compelling case, though something about it still feels cheap to me.
Pentax digital system, which has some really nice Limited primes. Really. In fact, I could use one or two. Are you listening, Pentax? Please?
Photography is seasonal.
Heading out to a trailhead on my mountain bike a few days ago, I saw this cluster of trees that were simply incredible. I shot an entire roll of film that day (I had the presence of mind to load some of the “borrowed” Fuji 400 color film I had in the fridge into my K1000 before I left), but since I don’t particularly like that film, have no idea as to the metering accuracy or light integrity of the camera, and tend to make horrible mistakes with film that I don’t pick up until days or weeks later when I see the results, I dragged the digital rig over tonight for the second “golden hour” (the hours following sunrise and preceding sunset) of the day.
I tried a few things with this shoot, and many of them didn’t work out. A few more, however, may make their way onto this site sooner or later. I find that more often than not, I go out with a specific shot or series of shots in mind, and come home with something completely different. It’s hard to say whether this is because I don’t yet have the skills to execute what my mind “sees,” because my mind doesn’t yet “see” photographs in a realistic manner, or because I get distracted by better things. As with almost anything, it is probably some combination of the three.
Film makes things interesting because there is no “this isn’t working” moment. Without the power to doubt myself, I tend to either hit hard or miss completely. For me, film isn’t just a different medium, it’s a different approach all together. The negatives should be done mid-week, and I’m curious.
The Pentax digital system has some extremely good lenses, espeically primes. I need some of these.
Photography is personal.
Good photographs distill the essence of something into an instant. Be it a person, an animal, a car, or a building, the photographs that stick in the memory tell us something about the subject rather than just being a still image of it.
I think this image perfectly captures the attitude of the subject. I guess, to be fair, it’s tough to know whether I’m fairly representing her or not, but I think I’m pretty credible. I am, after all, on the Internet.
Agfa APX 400, Clayton F76+, one of my first self-developed rolls.