I believe we all now and then are envious of others’ photography — their skills, the conditions they experienced, the epic locations they visit, the accolades they receive and so on. We can either let this emotion make our lives miserable or we can channel it into something positive where we strive to improve our own skills and develop our talent. In other words, we turn envy into inspiration and motivation. May the tremendously gifted photographers featured in this article inspire you just like they inspire me. Each of the photographers has written a few words about themselves.
Photographs are as much about what is not included as the subjects in frame. Being aware of the things I avoid is as helpful to me as the things I gravitate towards when it comes to composing an image. Adding or removing elements through composition is one of the most significant parts of adding/removing/changing the context of an image. Including or choosing not to include certain things can alter a story in very serious ways, so it is always important to have ownership over those choices.
To shoot medium format has been a yearlong dream, but I have to admit I didn’t know it would be such a mind blowing experience. The Pentax 645Z (51,4 mega pixels) arrived on the market in 2014 and was the first camera to ever exceed 100 points in the DxOMark sensor test. For some unknown reason the score and review wasn’t published before 2017. There is plenty of info to be found on the internet concerning the camera specs so I won’t cover that in much detail. What is of greater interest to me and hopefully the reader is the medium format experience.
On December 20th, 2018, a winter storm in the City of White Rock, British Columbia, Canada made for some dramatic photos and resulted in the helicopter rescue of one man.
The event started out as a photo walk with my adult daughter. Waves were crashing against the shoreline as we walked along the promenade which is a pathway usually busy with walkers. The wind was blowing in strong gusts and picking up water with it.
A few days ago I submitted a photo to the new DIYPhotography facebook group, I am very happy to share how it was taken. Feel free to join our community and submit your best shots.
Lately, I have been playing with color gels quite a bit. While this is something I enjoy, I felt I was falling into a repetitive pattern. I started looking for a way to grow above the technique and use colors to tell a story.
Like many good things, my chance arrived part via collaborating and part via accident. My partner in crime was Yael.di . She is an amazing cosplayer. She is also a kick-ass hula hoop dancer, but I digress. One of her customs caught my attention. It is a one-of-a-kind full-body mirror outfit (check it out here). I thought that this outfit, combined with smoke and colors would tell a good mystery story. Smoke and mirrors, you know. Here is how we did it, or actually did not.
After many years of doing photography as an amateur, I came to a few simple and rather trivial realizations.
1. Focusing on the flaws of your camera is just an excuse to buy new hardware. Re-reading reviews of your current camera is the best remedy for that. The awesome features that made you buy the camera and overlook its shortcomings are still there.
2. Practically any current DSLR and mirrorless camera from Sony, Olympus, Canon, and Nikon is more than good enough if you are an amateur or enthusiast. That has been true for a while.
3. Reading the manual that comes with your camera is not a bad idea at all.
I can’t help but notice all those articles proclaiming mistakes we should try to avoid in order to become a better photographer. Admittedly, I have issues with such an approach. First of all: I hate the word “should”. Basically we “should” nothing. Secondly, there is not much learning in avoiding mistakes — we learn best from our mistakes and the more bittersweet they are the more carved into our memory they become. So here are some mistakes I genuinely recommend you to commit. I cannot promise they will make you a better photographer but the likelihood of you making those mistakes again will hopefully be reduced.
It was in August 2013 that I by accident stumbled upon the red cabin and its surrounding lake. I assume the location has been photographed before my first attempts at capturing its inherent beauty and charm. Owing to the fact that the lake is a drinking water reservoir for a whole community I am very reluctant to disclose its exact location — also in the hope of protecting it from Instagram trophy hunters.
I’ve written about this project in the past, as I originally made the rain machine and shot with it in 2012, however we’ve now done it in video form! Hopefully it shows a little more detail about the construction and how I shot with it. I made this just for fun really, it rains enough here in the UK that you really don’t need a rain maker, but this allowed me the control of putting studio lights outside without getting electrocuted!
This is going to be a long one…
Photogrammetry is my hobby for the last couple of years. My first try was a small wooden Piggy from four or five years ago. That was done with a mobile phone (Nexus 4) without any knowledge of proper lighting, manual control of the camera, balancing photos, etc. The scanned result was pretty bad, but I learned a lot from it. After that, I bought a Canon EOS700D with kit lens and started to learn more about the proper way to take photos, how to correct them and how to work on the scanned geometry. Results got a lot better with the proper equipment