Saturday, November 5, 2011

My thoughts on my photography

I've noticed something lately, and it is bugging me quite a bit. If you read my profile, you see the way I approach photography. I like to get one or two good pictures instead of dozens and then sort through them looking for a gem.

At least that is how I took pictures in the past. Maybe it was because I was taking pictures with film, and film cost money to process and develop. In addition, I didn't see your results immediately so consequently I tried to make most every shot count.

I have a print on my wall of a picture I took one evening. It was an experimental composition and is the only picture I took of the subject. I didn't know how it would turn out so I didn't waste a lot of time on it. I set the tripod down, set up the shot, took the picture, and forgot about it until the film was developed. I wasn't terribly impressed with the 4x6, though a friend was. She asked for an enlarged copy. When it was done, I realized how much I liked the picture and had one blown up for myself.

In the past little bit, I've noticed a change in the way I'm taking pictures. When I went up to the U.P. at the end of September, I shot over 300 pictures. Three hundred pictures over a three day weekend. When I spent a week out west at the Grand Canyon, I shot about half that.

Another factor is the camera I use. I'm very familiar with how my FE2 works. Although rusty, I can still change the settings on the camera to get the image I see in my mind. The digital camera I use is a point and shoot. There is no way to control shutter or 'film' speed. I know you don't need a fancy, expensive camera to take quality pictures. What I'm lacking is the control I want. Photography isn't complicated, but I grew up doing more than 'point and shoot.'

I've also stopped using a tripod. Maybe because it looks silly to use one with the small digital camera I use, but using a tripod helps slow me down, which in turn helps me with composing my shot.

I've noticed my composition has gotten bad. I take shots that are poorly framed or in which the horizon isn't level. And I do this because I can simply delete the image and take another shot if I don't like the results. There is no accountability to myself to take a quality image.

And it really bugs me that I've started doing this. Anyone can take a hundred photographs and pull out a few that are good, which is what I feel that I've been doing lately.

I'd like a digital SLR camera. The camera body I want is about $1800 and I'd still need a lens. Given that I expect that there are going to be some big changes coming in the next year, I don't see it happening anytime soon.

So going forward, I'm going to slow down when I'm out taking pictures. I'm going to try to take fewer pictures. And I'm going to start using my tripod again.

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