I’ve tried to formulate it in my head and cannot put exactly to words why I love so much taking photos. And now I decided I dont really have to have it in words. It’s what energizes me. And so much has been rekindled just since January on taking on the challenge of the 366 photos project, where now 40 different people, around the world, have taken up D’Arcy’s lead in posting one picture a day to flickr.
I know only a handful of them, I have met Simon in Brisbane, who has access to some interesting mechanical locales, and got to meet Jen at NorthernVoice who moves between humourous shots (getting pulled over for speeding) to lovely scenes, Dean with his wild sense of humor and dog chewed photos. But what about RightAntler, who not only takes a photo a day, but always gets a photo of a crow? Or Chealion who experiments and documents uses of bounced flash? This is so rich an experience just being in the pool.
Who are these 40? Why are they a “group” that formed without any prodding, direction, it just happened?
That I don’t know.
But after seeing D’Arcy’s new generous effort to share his methods as a series of screencasts I am thinking about the many varied ways to approach doing photos. I am really sorry I missed the Live D’ArcyCast on EdTechPosse and loved the bits I caught in the recording.
D’Arcy has such great stuff to share with his range of knowledge of lenses and being an Aperture Super Dude. His post on lenses is just brilliant.
So I am not disagreeing or countering what he does, but just trying to shed light that there are many, many ways to do photography, and they need not be copying others, more so, one has to find a method that works for them, but ought to still look beyond that to push themself.
So while D’Arcy is masterfully swapping lenses and deftly dancing in Aperture, I gotta tell you I go pretty darn simple. While I own a Canon Digital Rebel XT, its in the closet. I am waiting for the time I can buy a fast fixed lens, but now a lawyer is getting more than my spare change. In time I will have that. I don’ t like lugging equipment, so I am shooting all on my Canon PowerShot SD800 IS. And while I have an older copy of Aperture but never really dove into deeply, I am still doing my post work in iPhoto. Yeah, its simple, and sometimes I do have to go to PhotoShop to do more sophisticated edits, I’d say 90% or more or right in iPhoto.
See, I am almost a point and clicker. I’d like to make a point that you don’t need necessarily to have fancy, expensive gear (I’d like to try that as an option sometime, though!)… that there is plenty of things to do by focusing as much on composition, cropping, light, etc. I did the whole 35mm SLR thing 20 years ago, did the darkroom srint, shot full on manual for years, yet now I am more interested in just composing interesting images.
The point is not to copy anyones approach or that one is any better, but to absorb them, remix them with your own, and find a style that works for you.
But actually, I am just more interested in exploring composition, cropping while shooting, macro shots, unusually angel shots than dicking with f/stops. I consider myself having 2 cameras- there’s the real one that captures the image, but a second one in iPhoto as I process, crop, maybe rotate. Dull or poorly exposed images are munged through filters, etc.
For the 366 photos project I have pretty much shot and posted several shots every day, often struggling to pick one, or suddenly remembering at 5pm that I forgot to do anything. Quick! Look outside, is there enough light? Crap! Okay, what screen shot can a slide into the deck?
And actually about the last 15 or so in my set have come from on or neat my estate of 1.3 acres? With an intense work schedule, including a 3 day online conference we ran, I’ve been almost cabin-fever locked inside. My breaks have been daily walks to the mailbox (1/4 mile away) or end of the day opportunities to poke around the back 40. So this has been another interesting challenge- I know every inch of my property, so how can I look at it again to find something new, worth photographing?
I’ve had some happy accidents, like getting down on the ground and trying severe upward angles, picking out a small detail (and more focus by post-photo cropping), just getting luck with noticing interesting light, playing with reflections, stitching a panorama, and getting lucky with action shots.
I am not proclaiming expertise here, but the very premise that D’Arcy made when he described hos effort last year, that this habit makes one first expand their style and form as a photographer, but also causes you to look at the world a little differently, looking over the familiar to try and find something new.
The 366 photos project is without a doubt almost my favorite thing going on right now. And we’ve only gotten a little past the one third point!
And yes, I am aiming to get the fast lens for the Digital Rebel… someday!