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Archive for February, 2013

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Nikon D300 50mm f2.8 1/5000 ISO 200

My husband doesn’t like to let go of things. He likes to hold onto them, just in case. I hate clutter. This has been the root of many fights between my husband and I. I have found that when there is too much stuff around I just don’t know what to do with myself. I become overwhelmed and so I do nothing. This of course leads to the house getting exponentially messier, and my motivation is inversely related to the amount of mess/clutter around the house.

In this digital world it is easy to take as many photographs as you want. After all, the only cost out of pocket after you’ve purchased your camera is hard drive space, and that’s nothing in comparison to the cost of film. I have taken 11,112 photos since I procured my D300 in May, 2009. I am sure that I am not alone. I’m sure that many of you have taken at least that many if not more. But what do you do with them? Have you printed any of them? Do you even look at them anymore?

Tonight I realized that I print almost none of my photos, and I don’t even look at most of them. Every month or so I choose a recent album out of Aperture as my screen saver. My son loves seeing the photos of himself doing things from just a few weeks ago come up on the screen. But old photos from a few months ago (yes, I called photos from a few months ago old) I never look at. I realized that if I wasn’t looking at photos from a few months ago, I certainly wasn’t looking at photos from a year ago, or even older. So I figured I should do just that.

In 2009 I took 3722 photos; in 2010, 2854 photos; in 2011, 2875 photos. Now in 2012, I only snapped my shutter 870 times, just a third as many as in 2010 and 2011, but that was the year I was pregnant, and as I’ve mentioned it was a horrible pregnancy and I could hardly look after my 5 year old son, so picking up my camera was definitely out of the question. But I digress. Having taken about 3000 photos a year, it was just to many to sit down at look at, especially since many of those photos were not good. Sure, I removed the ones that were completely out of focus, but if they held any emotional meaning to me I kept them. Not only were there so many photos that it was over whelming, there were many, many duplicates.

Why am I holding on to all these photos? Sure, storage space is cheap and easy to come by, but is something really of any value when it’s stored away? In my house I keep a tight rein on how much stuff is stored in our basement. I do this for two reasons: the first is that space is limited, and the second is that when you hold on to too many things nothing is of value because you can’t find any of them. I can’t believe I hadn’t transferred this thinking into the storage of my photos.

So it’s time for me to cull the photos so that they can have value again, and stop hoarding them.

Note: The photo at the top of this post is one of the first photos I took with my Nikon D300.

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The power of the S curve

Many years ago, before I even discovered my own passion for photography, I saw a nude photograph in a coffee shop that I has stayed with me. I often think about that photograph. The image was very different from any nude I had ever seen before. The image was clearly an art piece and done tastfully. The reason this image has stuck with me for so many years in a way that literally no other photography I have seen before, or since, is because this woman had a huge ugly scar that covered over half the length of her torso. The scar was jagged, thick and basically ugly. However the photographer managed to light this woman in such a way that her scar became the focus of the photograph. Not only was it the focus, but the photographer managed to make the scar a true thing of beauty. At the time I had no idea how you could do this, which of course is the talent of a true artist.

I now know that the image was light from the side the enhance the texture of the scar so it stood out. I know that the use of low key lighting added to the drama and intensity of the image. I know that the choice to take the image in black and white allowed the tone of the the scar to draw your eye in a way that a colour photograph never would. Finally, just today I figured out how the photographer transformed the scar from ugly to beautiful. It was very simple really, and yet for some reason it never made sense until today. The scar was an s-curve. I have read over and over about the s-curve, I have even photographed images using an s-curve to create a mood of serenity. However for some reason even though I knew that a woman always looks better when photographed in a way that enhances her own s-curvey body, I never truly realized how it could be used to transform something that is ugly and horrifying into a thing of  beauty.

I wish I could share the image with you, but I have no idea who the photographer was. If I did know, I would tract them down to try and purchase the piece for myself.

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It has been almost 2 years since my last post. I’m sorry for neglecting you for so long. However, rather than dwell on the negative, let’s focus on the positve. Optic Bard is back up and running. I will try my hardest to post with regularity. Part of the reason that I haven’t posted in so long is because a year ago, quite unexpectedly I became pregnant. The pregnancy was very difficult on me, and I never really felt well enough to pick up my camera, and even when I did the images I was capturing didn’t inspire me in anyway. But that is behind me, and I’m ready to start up again.

G

Nikon D300 105mm f4 1/320 ISO 400
Window light

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