Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Back from Ireland

Sheep on Inishbofin Island

So it's been a bit quiet here on the blog, part of the reason is that I've been out of the country. Between the trip, and prep for the trip, and now recovery from the trip, I've been a little busy!

So about the trip... I was in Ireland for two and a half weeks. We traveled much of the country and saw many amazing things. Such a beautiful landscape, and depending on where you were, it could change drastically from the landscapes seen elsewhere in the country. I'm still working away at going through my photographs from the trip, and here's a sneak peak of one that I'm fond of.

This was taken right after we arrived on Inishbofin Island(on the west coast of Ireland) via ferry. The weather was extremely windy, and the sea very rough(there were waves above the roof of the ferry!) and I did find it a bit terrifying. However, when we docked I saw this out the window of the ferry. I was in a hurry to get on land and take the photograph before either the sheep moved out of sight, or the sliver of sunlight on the grass disappeared!

I will be posting more from Ireland as I make my way through the photographs. I hope you all are doing well, and that your Summer(for the those in the northern hemisphere) is going well.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Working on Painting - Namib Desert

18x24 Oil painting

So I mentioned earlier this year that I was going to be painting this year. I've actually made a few that I kind of like now, including the one above. (ignore the shadow at the middle top of the painting - it was being cast by the easel). 

So what do you think? Anybody else out there working in multiple mediums?  Do you think it helps or hurts to work in other mediums than photography?

Monday, February 23, 2015

Plans for 2015

So it's almost two full months in 2015, and it's about time I start working towards my goals for the year. Last year was a rough one for me with things going on in my personal life. I didn't get my goals accomplished. I suffered from a dis-interest in photography for much of the year, and even thought about giving it up. It was still my best year yet in photography sales, but I didn't do much photography. Two very short trips, to Ely, MN, and the North Shore of Lake Superior were all.

Since I was actually thinking of giving up photography, I spent some time thinking about what was important to me. Sometimes, especially if we sell our art, the pressure can start to be a bit much. You feel like you always have to be at a certain level, and if you aren't at that level - self-doubt can kick in. Especially, if you are already having a tough time.

To make things easier on myself, I decided to scale back some. This year I want to focus on writing some. Here at my blog, and hopefully, I'll be writing some guest articles. I've got one in the works, and will let you all know when it's published. I'm also looking for other opportunities if you know of them!

I'm also planning to finally finish some of the photography e-books I've been working on. I've been asked before to teach photography, and in my quest to make things easier on myself I will be doing that through books rather then workshops or classes at this point.

My biggest goal of 2015 will be to bring back fun to my photography. With the pressure of selling my work, and wanting to create something meaningful, sometimes I forget to have fun with it. A little secret - I tend to be weirdly competitive and have high expectations of myself - which sometime takes the fun out of things. So in that effort I got a lensbaby camera for Christmas that is a lot of fun to use, and hoping that when the weather warms up a bit, I'll be out using it.

I do have travel plans this year, and am extremely excited about them. Of course, the photographs will make it here to the blog.

So here's hoping for a great 2015! Do you have plans this year?  Improving, or simplifying? Or both?

2014 in Review

So 2014 was a slow year for me. I only went on two short trips for photography. Lake Superior and Ely, MN(strangely enough I haven't posted any photos from Ely on here yet). I was able to take a few photographs that I'm happy with, but not as many a I would on a normal year.

I did have a couple gallery shows, a group show in Soho, and and a solo show in Fargo. I signed up with stock agency, OFFSet.

So at least I did a couple things to review! How about you? How was your year?

Friday, February 6, 2015

What's your photography style? - Shooting Style

Have you ever seen someone with super expensive gear, long lenses and heavy duty tripods who holds down the shutter and seems(to me at least) to be trying to figure out how many frames their camera can take in a second? Now if they happen to be photographing a cheetah at full speed or a bird in flight that totally makes sense. But what if it's a landscape or a still life? I really sometimes wonder what they are doing? If you know, please explain it to me!

I have heard that shooting in bursts can help with camera shake. For example you take three frames, and the one in the middle is supposed to have less shake then the first one and last one. I personally don't really subscribe to this.

First, if you're using a tripod and are that worried about camera shake, then you should consider using a remote rather then your finger to fire the shutter, anyway. Or if you are hand-holding your camera, one would assume you're probably using 1/60th or faster shutter speeds and if your hands shake that much that you need burst mode to compensate, then use faster shutter speeds or use a tripod. I've done slower hand-held then 1/60th, but you do need very good technique and burst will not help, as the movement of the mirror will probably cause as much shake as the force of your finger on the button. Especially, if you aren't using a nice gentle squeeze but are jabbing at the button!

I don't know, maybe I'm in the minority here, but I hate having to go through lots of photographs at the end of a shoot, and I really hate going through photographs that are too similar! I can't imagine if I used burst every time I clicked the shutter! I probably would never go through my photographs and post process them! I actually usually have my camera set to single frame anyway, just for this reason. I know megabytes are cheap(or whatever the phrase is to justify taking many photos) but time is not.

I've never really compared my frames per day to another photographer, and I don't know what's normal, but I like to think that my shots per keeper are relatively low. Of course it always depends on the place, time and subject. If it's something I'm super excited about or a place I've never been before, I am likely to take a lot more frames then I would if I went some place that I've photographed before. For example, on my trip to Namibia in 2010 I got to photograph their desert horses. I was so excited that I took an obscene amount of photographs. The amount of photographs I published from that day are pretty low, though.

So while I would recommend making each photograph, considered, well-composed, and thought out, I know that's not always easy, and not something I always do. Sometimes, some of my favorite photographs from an outing will be what I call a "grab shot" something I took in passing, didn't overly think through it, and didn't "work the subject". If I had been worried about wasting film/megabytes then I wouldn't have the photograph.

Example of a "grab shot"

So what do you do? Are you a "pray and spray" photographer? Keep taking photos hoping something turns out? Or do you have to plan every single shot? Or do you fall somewhere in the middle like myself?