I went over to capture some images of my brother cutting Sudex last night. I had a busy weekend complete with a wedding (work) and a birthday party for small children (friends and family). I spent the weekend working on edits and staying indoors out of the miserable heat. But given the opportunity to go to the farm and go shooting I'll almost always choose that as a preferred activity.
Photographers are obsessive about images. We are our own worst enemies, we are our harshest critics, we are destructive to one another. We chase after gear as the solution to our own imperfections. We are competitive with one another, we snub one another and then proceed to pay the "good photographers" to teach us secrets. We chase after forums, and workshops, gear, and ultimately knowledge. It is a strange world.
This is my brother Steve out working on this hot, miserable day.
I have a few photographer friends who I'm very comfortable with. We banter on Facebook messaging and are very open about our techniques and how and what we shoot with and why. We are not out to steal each others' business or clientele (and seriously? I'm tired of not having weekends if you want my business, boy have at it). Tonight I learned about "clean processing," or cleaning up a shot. Which I guess is more or less my style. I do like the crushed black look but that's a personal preference for richness of color.
If you notice throughout this post my greens vary. My friend and I are having serious discussions about greens in photography- how to get dark, rich greens as opposed to neon greens. We all know that newbie photographer whose neon greens will make you go blind and their super blue sky is so unreal you know they just must be drinking a bottle of wine when they slide the saturation slider all the way to the right. But there is a fine balance between accepting nature as it is and making it our idealized version in photography. A perfect photo for me five years ago is totally different than one now.
I made it out just in time for golden hour (my preferred shooting time). Would I be too much of a diva to refuse to continue to shoot indoor events? Probably. I have plenty of weddings on the books this fall - which means this fall will be exhausting. But, the more I do this I realize that when you're just starting you really aren't "taking business away from someone else" - in fact I don't think most people "see" the way experienced photographers do.
I also realize that some people are natural business people. I'm really a terrible business person for doing something I love. Why do I care if someone shares my image? I don't. I don't often look for people who violate my copyright. Why? It's the freaking internet. You heard me. It's the internet. I do image searches often, I rip memes from google image search when I want to make a sarcastic reply to someone. I find humor online. I avoid too much sentimentality. But, I do not get upset over people using the web to share information. I also am very aware that when I take photo of someone that they feel ownership of that photo, no matter how I feel. If you see a photo of yourself do you not feel that photo belongs to you because it IS you? Exactly. Put yourself in your clients shoes.
I do not edit using any crap some so called awesome photographer sells me off the web. I don't edit using presets for the most part. If I can't adjust the photo or save a composition really nothing can save it.
I also don't understand people who invest in portrait studios and props and all of that business building nonsense before they invest in the equipment. I guess those are the people who think photography is simple. It is not. Photography is deceptively simple. Any of us can get a good shot at any given time with our cell phone camera (which is way better than my first digital camera that I had in 2001).
I shoot. I shoot A LOT; not daily but generally every other day. I don't have to be paid to go shooting. I am not begging for portraiture work now, because I want to go back to what I love about photography, the solitude. I go find my own opportunity. I find my own things to shoot, the exploring aspect of photography is just as much fun as shooting. I love shooting the obscure, the monotonous, my boring life.
I don't get landscape photographers obsession with sharpness as much as I don't totally buy the obsession with bokeh. Bokeh for a great portrait, because when we watch television we are sold on our solitary subject or actor who gains the sole attention of the camera. But the HDR super sharp landscapes don't show the softness of the land. I guess I fall into the impressionist school of thought on landscape photography. I love the colors and the softness of the land.
I still love a nice sunset, but I am not in a competition with myself to capture the "best" sunset photo anymore. I am challenged by the darkness and feel like I have a lot of room to work within the night.
It is still enjoyable, it's a release and it is how I enjoy spending my spare time. My unstructured, spontaneous spare time.