Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Finding The Art In Photography

OK, it's no secret that I'm a technical geek when it comes to photography. I love to study all the how's and why's of the medium, and I shoot everything in manual because I like to have my hand in all the elements that make up the photo.

Lately though, I just haven't been getting the fulfillment from it that I once did. I think as I jump over more and more technical hurdles the truth of my goal with photography becomes clearer and clearer, that I want to take profound images. Something moving, something emotional, something thought provoking. Something art.

As much as my photos have gotten technically better in the last 6 moths or so, I think I'm just scratching the surface on discovering the art of photographing. I was building a business of child portrait photography, but I started to realize that what I was perfecting wasn't necessarily art, but more a craft. Some of the images I created of children I would consider art, but I think my focus was lost on it, and they were more a byproduct of the craft I was creating.

I've decided to branch out some more, discover my passion again, and not focus so much on one small part of photography. Part of this was my trip to Venice beach last week(which I still have a ton of images that I haven't processed). I needed to get away and shoot something different.

Another new outlet I have is my 52 weeks challenge on flickr. Basically I joined a group on flickr where the members submit a self portrait every week for an entire year. Could be kind of cheesy, I know, but I've taken advantage of the opportunity to try to and spark my artistic creativity. I decided each of the 52 portraits will reflect a part of my personality. The first couple were relatively tame, as some of my personalities are, but for the third I decided to dig deeper into my consciousness and portray a powerful raw image of humanity. As much as I deplore being in front of the camera, I was quite pleased with how it turned out.

17-40 F/4L @ 24mm F/9 1/200th.
External flash fired into a softbox to the right and away from the camera with a white reflector just out of the frame camera left. Black velvet material used as a background.

Anyways, the point of this is not to show off my skinny self or anything. More it's to encourage all the photogs out there to step outside your comfort zone. Challenge yourself and try something new. You never know what kind of image you'll produce.

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