Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Out of the Blue

I took this image a couple of years ago in Las Vegas. I really like it, but I know I could have made a better image. I got wrapped up in a boring job with no creativity and no real free time to work on my own projects. So I just went through the motions in planing the photograph.

Since that time, things have changed. New job. New town. New year. New opportunities. Renewed focus.

My main goal this year is to improve my photography on a variety of levels. To that end, I've been doing a lot of research into digital photography. I basically have to relearn everything I know about photography and how it applies to DSLRs. Understanding how the camera functions is really important to me, and all the math I've had to absorb has given me an Excedrin headache No. 10. However, I've really enjoyed that headache because I have a better understanding of what is involved in the whole process. I got the same headaches reading Ansell Adams' Practical Zone System.

Fortunately, the web offers a huge amount of very bad information and a few real gems when it comes to the latest photographic techniques.

There are a lot of blogs, websites and photo forums, that I've read in order to catch up to the current photographic techniques. One of my favorites is Trey Ratcliff's Stuck in Customs. I've read his site for a few weeks and I've tried to figure out what techniques he used to create the images.

His photographs are amazing, but not really the style I'm personally interested in developing. I can't quite place my finger on the path I want my photographic style to follow. I'm still feeling my way through the process. But, I've got a good grasp on the technology to begin work.

One of the things I'm going to have to develop is social networking skills. Honestly, I'm not a big fan of social "computer" networks or whatever they're called. I'd much rater talk to a person face to face.

But the Internet has changed the world. We now talk to people through computers. But, to me that's a good thing. It allows me to interact with people on a worldwide level. This is another skill I'm going to have to learn. The opportunity to have feedback and criticism from anywhere is an opportunity I'd have to be a complete moron to pass up.

Which brings me to the conclusion of this post. To get a handle on social networking I've joined Flickr.com. I uploaded a few photos from the past just to kind of fill out my account.

Today when I logged back in, I had a Flickr comment on the photo I posted in this entry from Trey Ratcliff. It's not really ironic, but I consider it a strange coincidence, that I've spent a lot of time studying his photography style and he somehow stumbles across one of my photographs.

That really pushed me to get out and shoot. It's odd that a simple comment like "Cool shot - I dig it!" can bolster a person's sense of motivation.


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