Entries in philosophy (46)
This is what it would take for me to be able to travel internationally now, a private jet, as I would not travel anywhere without Kiki and commercial air travel is far too dangerous and risky for a dog. That is ok though, there is plenty of North America yet to be seen that can all easily be reached by car, which is my much preferred method of travel anyway. Still, there is no doubt a private jet has a certain allure. You can go anywhere in the world anytime on your own schedule. On the other hand, it would also seem to be the greatest negative impact an individual can make on the environment in a single act.
Photographs I like to look at make me feel something. They can also make me think of something, either something I see in the photo itself or that gets triggered in my mind from looking at the photo. One does not need to travel far nor wide to make images that can provoke thought and feeling. It does not even need to be a new place. I have been in North Straub Park with my camera hundreds of times over the course of teaching 300+ photography lessons in downtown St. Petersburg, yet I could still make an image of the park that I liked and wanted to share. I recommend going out this weekend and looking more carefully at a place you commonly go and see if you cannot make an image for yourself that makes you think and feel.
I have written before about how photographing clouds is always good. To end this week I wanted to share this cloud gateway image to fuel your imagination for what may lay beyond the clouds. This is how I often think myself. No matter how stormy the surroundings may be, there remains at least a small portion that is bright and hopeful. As long as that small part still exists, so does hope, and therefore so does life.
Earlier today I came up with an idea for a new photography tip series entitled, "Having a Photography Philosophy," as there are intangible things that going into photography beyond mastering exposure and even composition. One of my personal photography philosophies has always been, even from the very start of getting more seriously into photography, was to first and foremost make photographs for myself. It also may surprise you that I even carry this philosophy into shoots I do for clients. The way I see it, clients have browsed my portfolios. Therefore, they must like what they have seen to have hired me. Thus, if I make shots that appeal to me, as I have always done in the past, then the photos I make for the client now will appeal to them as well. Of course not every shoot allows for such creative freedom, but when I make portraits for clients or photograph cars for clients, I make shots I think look cool. I want the final shots to also be ones I like. This philosophy balanced with client input I believe creates very successful final images.
In my personal shooting I entirely shoot for myself first and foremost. I go out to make shots that I like. If someone else happens to like them, that is great, but not necessarily important to me. After all, if you do not even like the photos you are making, how can you ever expect anyone else to like them either?
The photo in this post is one of my all-time personal favorites. If I could only choose one photo to remind me of what my life was like in Tokyo, it would probably be this one. I walked by this very spot almost every day, and like the man pictured, never ceased to stop and stare at all the action, all the craziness, all the life before me. It was also one of the very first, if not the first shot I ever took with my Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D lens that I bought in Bic Camera just to frame left. So as you can see, this photo cannot possibly have the same amount of meaning to anyone else, which is why it is important to make photographs for yourself.
Sometimes I like to make photos that offer an impression or a feeling or a dream, rather than producing as realistic a representation of a subject as possible. The above shot features a metal gate half-opened leading to an open air hallway through a building. I thought if I focused on the gate using my 50mm lens at a large aperture, the bokeh that composition and settings would produce would make for a very abstract "light at the end of the tunnel" kind of shot. If I had made this shot look as it did to my eyes, it would have been pretty boring. Instead, using a few simple photography shooting skills, a more interesting shot was produced that will make any viewer stop and wonder what is in the light at the end of this tunnel?