Posts Tagged ‘Self Critiquing’

Things to Remember

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I got to set-up the strobes more often. It just helps out so much sometimes. (I’m not saying it’s a good photo, it is a business portrait after all, just that it would be so much worse without the additional lighting.)


Because I Can, V

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Still feeling this one out. Not sure if it says much of anything or not. Hmmm…


Damn that guy in the background

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Why? Why? Why?

It’s so close to what I previsualized for the event, so close to what I wanted, now I have to figure out how to crop it to make the guy in back less intrusive.

Damn it, damn it, damn it, so damn close.

(If you have any crop advice, feel free to let me know, I’ve got 24 hours.)


No School Like the Old School

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I believe in looking back only as much as it teaches about the present and the future. What’s done is done, money spent is gone, what investment can I make in the future?

So hence you’ll rarely, read probably never, see images older than these, unless you are at my house rifling through boxes, which either means I’m sleeping with you or I’m dead. So, excluding those two, these are about as old as you’ll ever see. (And the only reason you’re seeing these is because I had to do some copy work as a favor for a friend, so since it was set-up I figured I’d shot these at the same time.)


These two images are part of a series of six or seven images, the others I need to find, they’re in a tube somewhere, of self-portraits. I seem to be a lot of self-portraits lately, so this is a kind of compare and contrast. These images are from when I was 20, in college at U Iowa (Go Hawkeyes!) and very depressed.

I was done, I was cooked, it was time to leave the oven. Believe it or not, I didn’t party enough, I was working too hard and just spiraled down and down. Sucked at the time, looking back at the images now, worth it though. These have been some of my favorite images of mine for years.

I look forward to making better images than these, as challenging at it will be to accomplish.


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On a completely different note, Seagrove tea, Wow. Just wonderful, a tint of orange I think, but whatever, it’s delicious. My whole body just relaxes drinking this stuff. And the smell while you’re brewing it, yummy. I love yummy.

I feel good.


I Am My Own Student, Or How I Schooled Myself

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So many a moon ago (I’m going to start measuring my life in moon cycles, just for giggles) I taught a digital photo 101 course at a local community college. Working with the students was a really good time, as most everyone who has worked with students will attest too.


I would get my students going, a few weeks worth of shooting, then I would force them into a month of black & white only imagery. I did this in part because I grew up on good ole’ black & white Tri-X, and later many other black & white emulsions.

I thought it was educational to learn in black & white. It simplifies an image to a more graphic construction. My students always hated it for the first 2 weeks or so, then a few, not all, but some, would fall in love with it. They also became noticeably better shooters during this time. In part because they were starting to hit the steep part of the learning curve, but also because many used color as crutch. The color in an image was used to create the image without as much composition. When they went to black & white it really forced them to compose, to think more about it. (It took me a few semesters to figure this out, and why this was happening.)


I have been digital for about 6 or 7 years now. Rarely have I shot film since the switch. I have a few times, but probably not even 30 rolls. (30 rolls = 1 weekend) I have also had to start thinking about everything as possibly making page 1, or another color page, so I have to think in color for that. On top of that, I don’t adjust my own images for print (a decision I see as increasingly bad and hope to get changed this year) so I don’t see what my images look like in black & white, at any point.

Then, a few weeks back, I got an infra-red camera. This is essentially a black & white only camera. So now when I shoot with that camera I look at the LCD and see not color, but black & white. I forgot how much I like, no, love, black and white. I forgot how it affects my thinking.

So guess what I figured out in this process? I’ve started using color as a crutch, just like my students did at the start of their semester. Isn’t it always about going back to the basics? Luckily, happily, and in way that is providing me with great joy, I found a way to deal with this, or at least have a little fun. (Remember when having fun used to be getting drunk? Now it’s in creating a little different. And I’m happier this way too.)

I can set my cameras to capture images, from the get go, in black & white. This means when I review images, I see, black & white, shades of gray, when I’m trying to decide how to change an image. This seems to be helping me simplify, and work more directly, compose better, my images. (Yeah, these images aren’t anywhere near my normal subject matter. On the other hand, life is slow right now, and when I want to relax I go take scenics photos, because really, what did you expect me to do? Not take photos, and call that relaxing? Hah!)

“But what about your need for color imagery,” you may ask? For the shooters amongst you, I do only raw captures, all the time. For everybody else, the files my camera make contain all the color info, it’s just the preview image and default, but changeable, conversions settings that are black & white.

So I can think black & white, and my designers can have whatever they need, and we can all change our minds later. Everybody wins, which is the best thing around, with “Josh Wins!” being a very close second.


Random Little Thought II

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These are from Wednesday evening, a charming, and odd (odd is such a good word to me) little group, Aloft Aerial Dance.

The blue image is more technically accurate to the scene, but I just like the red one. She is more a more natural color, and I like the red. The red wasn’t really there, it was actually a normal/whitish colored light, but when you adjust the blue lights to look white, the other light goes red, way red. I like the red, but I’m not completely comfortable with it.

It also changes the mood, a lot. She’s an angel here, in the red image, she looks like an angel, kind of, but descending from the red light district. (no offense intended)

In the red one the grid is less strong, prominent, also, and I just don’t like the grid, I want the grid gone, gone, gone. Ah well.

I’m also quite happy she didn’t fall. It would have hurt like all hell for her, I’m sure, I’m also quite sure she knows how not to fall, but it also would’ve killed me as she probably would’ve landed on me. As ways to go, not the worst, but I still got a couple more years of stalling in hear. Just one of those things you think about after something is hanging a few stories above you by a cloth.

Anyhow, back to photo choices…which way to go….

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Also, I’ve decided, for about the third time, to add a new recurring theme…What I think about while “driving” on the Ike. (Yeah, this is going to be just over the top ridiculous, and I know it.)

Half of my job description is “sit in traffic” so I use this as contemplation time, usually about my life, it’s direction, things that need to change, etc.

Currently I’m wondering about the breadth of experience vs. the depth of experience. I think I have a great breadth of experience, but is that depriving me of, or is something depriving me of, a depth of experience, or am I just spending too much time sitting in traffic and contemplating bs. And what would define a “depth of experience”?