Saturday, September 17, 2016

Photography: Coming Full-Circle

I have been photographing for many years. From the first 110 camera I got as a Christmas present to the medium format camera I shot in-house portraits for a local business after college. Photography has always been a quick vehicle for capturing what inspires me.

The first 35mm SLR I worked with was a Pentax K1000, completely manual, I even had two bodies to facilitate multiple lenses. I would disappear for hours in the country to capture anything from snakes, nature scenes to sunsets.

I learned on Kodachrome 64 and 25 speed film. There was not a lot of room for error with slide film so I learned quickly how to expose sunsets to use the full saturation of the red leaning Kodachrome before it was replaced by C6, a more blue balanced film.

Nature is usually the subject but I'm completely open and recently that scope has grown. My first big project was a set of sunrises for an Electronics company. I had found success. Unfortunately I also lost my eye and for the next few years I thought of how to sell the photo instead of shooting instinctively.

I learned how you can overwhelm yourself in a place like Glacier National park, how altitude sickness can be dangerous to your equipment and how trying to mix a photo trip with a family trip can often end with negative results.

In recent years I have found the ease and immediate rewards of going digital. Suddenly instead of selling photography, I started using photos as a way to tell stories. To describe things in nature, still life and people that can be expanded upon in my writing. I found my niche.

The only problem with working with automatic cameras is too often you start relying on the camera. I feel I've become more interested in composition and color, losing some of the photographic principles that turn a snapshot into a work of art.

I have a photographer friend who has made me start questioning f-stop, shutter speed and ISO-it's like coming full circle, truly taking back control of the camera. Using all pieces of the camera and exploring techniques I hadn't previously thought of.

Another aspect of my recent photography is night scenes which I have always painted but now with my new found inspiration and direction, I am enjoying long exposure night scenes and the use of layering. I am excited to see where this new inspiration will take me and excited to see the new work
that is on the horizon.

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