While I’m waiting for the crowdfunding campaign for my darkroom timer project to reach its completion (7 days to go), I’ve been busy with a few other projects. One of them you’ll find here in this article: an LED conversion to my friend‘s Durst Laborator 1200 enlarger.
Have you ever found yourself looking at your children’s toys and thought to yourself man that would look great in an image? Well I have, I do and I love creating images this way, trying to create a realistic/surreal image which tells a story from using nothing more than a piece of plastic.
In this article, I look at what LEDs actually are, how they started out and where they sit in the world of photography now. Many photographers have switched over to using LEDs, but do they have a place in your kit and why aren’t we all using them?
To avoid making this one article ginormous, I aim to separate it out into three parts. Part 1will be the pros and cons of LEDs, part 2 will be testing a variety of coloured LED bulbs in our strobes and part 3 will cover using them on a model shoot including advice and lighting diagrams.
At quite an early age I can remember being a very visual person. I would love to look through magazines, books and television. I would sit with my grandmother and watch old black and white movies. The funny thing is that as much as I enjoyed looking at visually pleasing images I was and still am a terrible sketch artist/ painter. There wasn’t a camera around for me to use. The only camera around was a Polaroid camera that my mom had, and I wasn’t allowed to touch.
The biggest and most common mistake I see in photographers in all genres is that they aren’t honest with themselves. They love the idea of being a photographer , the romantic side of it all, sounds cool, right? They hate the work part, the hustle, the grind, the guts of what it takes to run any successful small business.
They just want to do the fun part of taking pictures, spending their afternoons hanging out in coffee shops and shooting only things they are interested in and talking smack. You have the right to do this but you aren’t going to make a sustainable living doing things this way. There should be a name for those photographers, let me think, more on that later.
As a general type, portrait photos are often disliked by the subject themselves. From the early formative years of grade school on into the advanced years of adulthood, the uneasy feeling for the dislike of your own picture is universal. Yet it is not for vanity sake, or to spare the shock of another from seeing self-assumed horrors. Assuming you are neither a narcissist or a beauty queen with flawless perfection, you may be like the rest of the human race. There is real science behind the reason why you may not like your own photograph.
You’ve come a long way, baby
Once upon a time, the biggest problem with camera phones was the camera itself. One of the world’s first camera phone, the J-SH04 was released in 2000. Boy did we come a long way, right? It could should tiny 0.11 megapixels images. It went up from there. The camera is a big deal in any phone nowadays, Apple has it’s “Shot on iPhone” campaign and bunch of other brands do the same, some even partnering up with Leica to give their phone a legs up above the competition.
I received a letter from Costco that the location I frequent for my 8lbs of ground beef and jumbo bottle of vodka is closing their photo department.
Because in spite of more pictures being taken now than in any time in the history of photography, people are simply not printing their snapshots and, because of this rapid decline in printing volume, it makes no financial sense to keep the photo department open.
And after reading this letter, I have one thing to say:
People…WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?
As a street photographer, I accept that I have a bias towards the kind of work and criticisms I prefer to seek out as an audience to the work of others – although there are examples of landscape or portraiture that I do enjoy it is street photography and photojournalism that take up the majority of my interest.
I know that photographers and the photography community, in general, is a passionate one and that there is no shortage of critiques available for any work or opinion that creators choose to share. However despite knowing that there is criticism in every area of the art I still feel that some of the criticisms leveled against street photography as a genre as well as specific examples of street photographs are harsher than any I’ve seen in, for example, landscape, or portraiture.