I just updated the Bi-Weekly Photo Update with five new photos … some you may have seen before but there are some you certainly haven’t (none have been on the blog). The sunsets continue to be my muse as you can see … something about the light that really gets me going. Anyway, take a look and enjoy and I plan to stay more current now … hopefully 😛
That’s right, I actually did the second update this week … Sweet! This is a photo from the Long Island Railroad (LIRR) as the sun set just the other side of the Hicksville Train Station platform from my train car. I think it’s pretty neat, but I’m sure you’ll let me know.
I know I slacked off there for a while but I’ve updated with another photo … this is the result of messing around with a long exposure at night with a few bright lights (I moved the camera not the street lights). Hope you enjoy it … it’s a little more abstract than most of my work.
Professional photographers are a weird bunch of people. We choose a profession with few guarantees, an expectation of money running hot and cold, certain sectors where our lives are at risk (check out this page for the number of journalists [photojournalists included] who have died in wars since WWI), and a general understanding that our lives are pretty much never going to be simple.
When I went to the International Center of Photography they had an orientation period in the beginning of our program. The very first day we were there all the students in the Photojournalism Program and the General Studies Program were seated and the heads of the program and a few staff from the school talked to us about photography and what to expect during the next year. When the head of the General Studies got up there the first thing he said to us was, “If you can imagine yourself doing anything else for a living other than photography, go do it. Leave right now and go do it because your life would be a whole lot easier.” He went on to describe how photographers are photographers because they can’t do anything else. Not physically, but emotionally and intellectually. We have a drive inside us that doesn’t let us do anything else. We HAVE to take pictures and document the world. Our creative drive won’t allow us to step aside and put down the camera just because it would make our lives easier.
While it may seem that becoming a photographer would be such an easy life, just taking pretty pictures for a living, the reality of a tough market, stiff competition, and a world where no one seems to want to give you a shot unless you’ve already proved yourself (the irony of the photo world still gets me) makes the romanticized glamor of the photo world melt away real fast. This drive all photographers have is hard to explain. It’s an all encompassing lifestyle. Everywhere I go I am constantly seeing how the light is playing off of the backgrounds or how it is falling on the faces of whomever I am talking to. I am essentially perpetually taking pictures either with a camera or with my minds eye, taking note of what I see so I can recreate it in the future for a photograph.
So yeah, we’re a weird bunch … we live our careers, our lives are defined by our work because our work comes from our very essence. It doesn’t matter what we are photographing, be it an expose on street children, covering a war, doing a portrait for a national magazine, or just taking photos of our friends, we put our hearts and souls into each image. We give everything into what we do and we wouldn’t … make that couldn’t want it any other way.
That’s right! Due to a distinct increase in traffic when I add new photos I have decided to update my Picture of the Week (now being called the Bi-Weekly Photo Update) TWICE a week. I will probably update it at the beginning and end of the week as possible. Hopefully this will be cool.
The photo I just added is a shot of the sunsetting over Brooklyn, NY. The steeple is St. Stanislaus Kostka Church in Greenpoint. The photo kind of gives me an old world feel, like it’s from Eastern Europe or something … but that might just be me. Anyway, hope you enjoy.
A lot of people ask me why I take so many photos when I shoot. They kind of assume that when you want a photograph you just take one image. While this turns out some times, often it takes a great deal of observation and experimentation to discover the best photograph for a given situation. It becomes a matter of inches moved and slight angle changes to make a beautiful image. The first impulse when taking a photo of a subject is to take it from the point at which you first observe it and call it a day, but often we aren’t lucky enough to have started at the ideal spot. It takes diligence and careful observation to figure out when the composition and lines work most effectively together. For example:
I was in Roanoke, VA recently and came across one of those wood fences like you see at ranches. I thought it looked cool and decided to take a photo. The first one I took was, as I said is often the impulse, from where I first decided to take a picture of the fence. This is how it turned out:
It’s a pretty ‘Ehhh” photo like that. The cars in the background take away from the overall composition and the post loses all context and is lost in the confusing image really. So I moved 6 inches and changed the angle that I was shooting it from and came up with this image:
A far nicer image, the blurred background works well with the image and the focus is more directed at the interesting knotting of the post. Changing the background from the pavement and cars to the rest of the fence and the green foliage simplifies it and allows the image to grow from the focus of the image (the post).
A matter of 6 inches and a few degrees change of angle and the image becomes completely different and (I dare say) much better. So keep shooting and don’t stop until you’re sure you have the shot you want.
Hey All, I’ve updated the Picture of the Week page at the top of the blog with another photo this week. This is a shot I took in Roanoke, VA recently of a streetlight and communication tower at the top of Mill Mountain by this enormous neon star they have over looking the valley. It’s another of my long exposure night shots for anyone who is a fan of those. Enjoy!