Photo Day…again

IMG_9726frame2I really love going out and spending the day shoot photos. I love photography and actually get a lot of exercise doing it.

I’m setting here at my computer and my back and legs are killing me. I can’t let my sons know because they’d call me a wuss so I just have to suck it up and deal with it.

I did get a lot of good photographs. I don’t know about everyone else but if I shoot all day and only get a few great photos I’m happy. I use a program called ACDSee, mainly because that’s what I’ve used for the last 12 or 13 years and I’m just used to it for photo organization. I think Picasa and a few other would do just as good of a job but I don’t want to learn a new programs.

I’m almost embarrassed of my photos and I’m not sure why. I won’t post a lot of them on Flickr… which I love and highly recommend.

Maybe next weekend I can take a couple day motorcycle ride along with 2 days of photography. My favorite 2 hobbies all at once.

Special Moments in Life

Have you ever had that slit second special moment in life where you’d give anything to have recorded it on video or photo?

I think most of us have had many moments life that. When our baby says their first word, or takes their first step. My friend just happened to catch the moment he met his wife on video. We see photos and video now that 15 years ago we would have dreamt about. With the use of our cell phones that now have both camera and video every moment of our life can be recorded.

Is this a great thing or bad thing? How many times have things have been caught on video where you know the people wish were not?

With access to that video recorder typically in our hands or on our side a lot of special moments have been caught that would have typically been lost forever. Not really lost but only known to us in our memories. I still think of things from 40 years ago where I think dam I’d given anything to have had a camera or video camera back then.

We are living in a time where it has been documented more than any other time in history. I have 1 old photo of my great grandfather. Just one single image of him standing in a pair of overalls. My great grandchildren will know what I look like at different ages in my life, know how I sounded, and can see me walking, talking, and telling jokes. In many ways I truly envy them for that. But do I really? I look back at my grandfather and use my imagination to fill in all the blanks about him. In my eyes he is this larger than life and a great man! But had he been better documented with photos, and videos would I still look at him the same way? Or would I see him as he actually was, a mortal flawed man. Maybe I wouldn’t like him as a person. I may thing he’s an asshole or something.  I won’t be around to see what will happen but I pray my great great grandchildren look back and say, wow great great granddad was OK.


My Great Grandfather Morrison


Picture 33I think photography is my number 1 hobby. Photography lets you capture an image of something that will be around long after you have gone. It’s a moment in history that you have preserved. I sometimes think, will someone look at one of my photos and wonder what the subject was thinking or what the photographer was thinking when they took the photo?

I sometimes wonder what the subject was looking at? Are they looking at the photographer or a loved one off in the background. I wonder where they are at and who else was there when the photographer clicked the shutter.  Even in the old paintings I catch myself wondering about this. I guess because I look at some of mine and remember the story of the photo happening. In one photo as soon as I clicked the button a fight broke out. When I look at that photo  that is what I’m seeing… the moment before the fight. Others will look at the photo and thing, oh that’s a great family photo, “What a perfect family”.

Then I look at the odd photo that were staged. The ones where we are looking goofy or mad. The ones that we acted as if we were going to hit someone, or jump off something. Is people in our future going to look at those and be going WTF?

I think that is what draws me to photography. It’s the documenting of my family for generations to come. My great-great-great grand-kids will have thousands of photos to look at and try to know us. Unfortunately I’m not in most of the photos, I’m always on the other side of the camera.

In some of my family photos when I was growing up I’ll see a picture at 5 then another at 9. What happened in the 4 years in between? Or I think of an old car or motorcycle I owned but there is not 1 single photo of it ever happening.

Maybe I’m unique or odd but if I had to choose 1 hobby over all it would be photography.

This should have been posted Jan 3 but the website chose not to let me.

My 21 tips for Photography…

  1. You can’t please everyone!
  2. Learn Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO first. Stay on Manual. Shoot Raw. Shoot everyday. Study your results (including what shutter speed, ISO and aperture settings you used for your favorite shots).
  3. Practice until using the various settings becomes an automatic skill and then relax into the ‘art’ of photography. Lighting is your friend and your enemy, stay on its good side at all times.
  4. Composition is everything. Study the master painters (Monet, Renoir, Van Gogh, etc) for inspiration in composition. Start to see things as a painter
  5. Don’t be afraid of taking bad pictures. Have fun experimenting!
  6. Hit us over the head with your subject. Make it obvious what we are supposed to be seeing. Remove the clutter.
  7. Fill the frame, as space is always exaggerated in a photograph.
  8. Change your perspective – Get Low, Get High, and Shoot at Angles…what haven’t you seen before?
  9. A 50mm f/1.8 lens will change your life, Spend time with it. Remember instead of a zoom lens, get closer!
  10. Take your camera with you. Everywhere. “Almost” all the time.
  11. Just because the vintage effect looks “nice,” doesn’t mean you have to use it on Every – Single – Picture.
  12. Take a picture everyday, challenge yourself. Read your manual! Learn your camera settings and how to use them.
  13. They are not all keepers, and just as a hammer doesn’t build an amazing house a camera doesn’t take an amazing photo. They are tools, think outside the box.
  14. You can’t fix everything in Photoshop. Pay attention to the background.
  15. Do not show people the bad stuff. Shoot 300, Show 1.
  16. Shoot black and white for a month, and then Sepia for a month.
  17. When you see action, turn around. Meaning, watch the people who are watching an event happen.
  18. Find the light, but don’t be afraid of shadows.
  19. Tell a story when you press the shutter…A picture says a 1,000 words.
  20. Get inspiration from other photographers work but never copy. Make your photos a reflection of what’s in your heart.
  21. Anytime you feel that your equipment is inadequate, it just means you need to master the basics better. The master photographers from 50 – 100 years ago didn’t have anything as fancy as you are holding in your hands, so claiming inadequate equipment isn’t a good excuse. Work on your skills.