Sunday, April 28, 2013
Feel free to join up. It's $25 for the summer, or $35 will take you all the way to August 2014! Join here: www.meetup.com/meadowvale-photography/join
Look forward to seeing the new members!
Monday, August 13, 2012
And then Zack Zarias pulls out something similar and explains why this guy isn't awesome:
I'd say the themes are similar. There's nothing worse than photos that are ordinary. Blah. Properly exposed, busy, featureless, inexpressive meh. It's probably 99% of the photos that most people take most of the time. Every once in a while, a photographer will nail it, by luck or inspiration or alignment of the moon and the stars.
But instead you can drive the bus. The bus that takes you where you're going. You might get where you want to go if you're a passenger on the bus, but most likely you'll spend a lot of time being driven around and end up in the middle of nowhere. Drive or get off the bus.
The first post nailed me against the wall. I'll post photos after a wedding or some other event. I'll get a few likes and maybe the bride will make my pics their profile pic - but make no mistake. The professional wedding photographer wasn't beat. I might be first but that doesn't make my photos the best. He just hasn't shown up to the competition yet.
I regularly post portraits of my daughters, who in my humble yet biased opinion, are the cutest children this world has ever known. So its not hard to get likes, especially from family, and this doesn't really indicate my photos are good. They more or less indicate kids (most kids) are cute.
Another blog post here nailed another point.
If you hire models, they're pretty. And you can be lulled into thinking your photos are great because the models are photogenic. They model well (that's what they do after all) so they give you good looks/expressions without your direction. In the end you learn nothing (and pay lots). Learning to get great portraits from normal people is my aim. I'm tempted to get Peter Hurley's headshots for this reason.
I realize that's what I want to photograph. People. Possibly ugly people - but I'll make them look good. This is where I want to go. This is where I want to drive.
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Well... if nobody wanted to do it, then I had to. Leadership by acclamation.
I've given myself the title of Supreme Chancellor. I plan on providing titles to all new members, regardless of whether they agree with them or even like them. My club, my rules. I also plan on making everyone an organizer, to take off the pressure of having to do everything - which I believe was the doom of the last president's enthusiasm.
Dues are $35. The money goes to paying the fees I have to pay Meetup.com and any hall bookings and whatever equipment I need to recoup from the old president. Clearly he doesn't want to be burdened with it - and I'm not sure I'm a fan of it either. They're big, bulky, heavy, require solid light stands and they can't be ported around. I love portable lights.
But if I want to open that photography studio to take pictures of screaming kids - I've got all I need.
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
My first fashion show. My core belief is that everyone is weird. But you need to get to know someone to find out how. With fashion shows, their weirdness is right there on their sleeve.
Looking around, I realize this is "a scene" just like when I was salsa dancing, or swing dancing in Toronto. People do this as their life hobby. And some of them do their life hobby as their work. You can tell who they are. Even the girls handing out discounts and show guides have this look. They're living their dream in the modelling world. Even if they aren't a model or designer, they're a part of something, and industry they love.
I'm there as a spectator. I don't know or care about fashion. I'm participating like I would as a photographer at a cycling race or a Hindu colour festival. I'm a tourist. I stick out because I'm not unique. My clothes, standard uniform for a business casual bank, have no fashion sense or creativity attached.
Ignore me. I am normal.
I scan through my photos in Lightroom. They're not really pretty, my wife says. No, these are the people who were made fun of in high school. There are no cheerleaders or beauty pageant winners. But every model has a "look", that looks great from the front. From the side, not so much. Reality ruins perfection.
The fashion Show rages into the night. Me, I go home easily catching the 610 train. The universe of fashion is not mine, the vacation is over.
Saturday, March 3, 2012
Thursday, March 1, 2012
Saturday, June 4, 2011
My normal MO is to find a photography project that interests me, try it briefly, post a few shots and then never repeat that kind of project again. This list would include
- macro shoots of hotwheels toy cars
- star trails (too much light pollution in the city)
- sunsets (too early to wake up)
- model shoots that had little purpose or aim (I expected her to flake)
Being an artist of any kind, whether it be a painter, musician or photographer, requires a level skill and perfection for one subject before moving onto the next. There are varying degrees of effort required to move up a level. For instance, in photography with a little practice, a practitioner can move from "You really suck!" to "You got lucky a few times with these shots" and even to "spouse makes a photo you took as her Facebook profile picture." Buying more expensive equipment rarely affects your level of skill.
Taking it to the next level however also requires additional persistence, practice and patience. That's the level where people you know tell others you don't about your work. That's where unknown people follow you on Twitter or Flickr to see the latest photo you've created. After tens of thousands follow you, even if they are just a niche (like other photographers), you've taken it to the next step. You have moved beyond peer respect but into the realm of Artistic Authority. Media start to ask your opinions on trends in your field. You are asked to speak at conferences or sit in on panels or write brief comments in books written by others.
Moving into the final stage of mastery, your work has become so well known that you become a household name where you do something so well that normal, everyday folk can not only recognize your name when it comes up - but they can even recall your name when presented with your work. If someone were to ask for a list of famous photographers and your name falls into a list that includes Ansel Adams, Annie Leibovitz and Henri Cartier-Brosson, chances are you've moved into a realm of skill that few will ever surpass.
There are perfectly good reasons why I should never achieve that kind of fame or skill. But focusing on the ones that sound like cop-outs (X keeps me from pursuing better photography, where X could be my job, family, house, hobbies, friends or equipment) won't actually help me improve. And I certainly don't want paparazzi hanging outside my home hoping for a photograph (ah irony).
But striving to take it up a notch, to move to the next level, where random strangers retweet or comment on my photos - maybe I could get there. Like Steve Martin said to a question of his success: "Be undeniably good... I always say, “Be so good they can’t ignore you.” If somebody’s thinking, “How can I be really good?”, people are going to come to you."