It is my belief that true photographers see the world in a different way. After so many years of taking photographs I now realize that most of my waking moments are spent attempting to compose and frame different scenes I come across every day, not necessarily with my camera and lens but my vision. Dick Garvey taught us how to look for the light but also for the absence of light – in everyday scenes.
While technical skills are necessary, this is only the first step. A good photographer has a vision, a way of interpreting the details of his/her surroundings, and being able to convey this through photography to others who enjoy art. Of all the “tools” in the photographers handbag, I think the most important one is composition. What to leave in? What to crop out? Simple, uncluttered images are the best – drawing the viewers eye to only the most important details.
Post Processing: I believe in post processing only to the extent that it brings an image up to its full potential. I want it to reflect what I saw through the lens and what inspired me to click the shutter. However, I think it is essential for all photographers to use post processing tools to enhance their images. I use Lightroom for the most part, switching to Photoshop when necessary.
I shoot with a DLSR Nikon D7100 and a variety of lenses for most of my work and I only shoot in RAW. My go-to camera (the one that is always with me) is a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX-1000. Although this is a point-and-shoot (can’t change lenses) it is none-the-less an amazing camera with a built-in zoom lens that ranges from 25-400mm.
I do all my own printing, matting and framing. There are two reasons for this – one, it is less expensive to do so, and two, I am extremely particular about the quality of my work so I want to have complete control over the entire process. So many times I have seen great images that have been matted and framed poorly which detracts from the image. I typically use white or off-white matts and either metal or wood frames which I order on-line from American Frame Company. Again, simple is better. You want the viewers eye to go just to the image, not to the matt or frame.
Sometimes people ask me “What is the best photo you have ever taken?” My reply is always the same. “It is the one I am going to take tomorrow.” We as photographers are always striving to do our best, learning from our experiences and yes, making mistakes along the way (you can do that with digital). When I look back at some of the images I took many years ago, I say to myself “Really, I thought that was good?”
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