As the title suggest I had my second critique of the semester today, and wow did it go over much better. I got a lot of constructive criticism my first critique because I was trying to take pictures outside my comfort zone (even skill set for that matter) and it really showed. This time I went back to basics and tried to shoot some photos I was really comfortable with. I also spent more time on these photos and tried out some darkroom techniques I hadn’t before. Anyway I hope you enjoy, thanks for looking!
P.S. – I’m working on creating a new blog for my social media class. The purpose will be to help people with no photography experience take better photos. If I do it right it should be really easy and simple to understand. It’s not quite ready for launch yet but look forward to it coming soon!
It has been a while since I last posted, but I’m still here. I’ve been busy preparing to graduate in May but also I’ve sort of developed an addiction to flickr again. In any case I will try to post more often on my site but really it’s hard to know which site I will end up preferring.
My first photo critique for my second film class is tomorrow, so I thought I would share some of the photos I’ll be using. Hope you enjoy!
Regarding HDR photography that is. But that’s why I’m trying! I have a lot of respect for people who can create HDR works of art (check out Dave Hill’s work if you aren’t familiar with HDR photography). I was up early this morning to take some sunrise pictures and decided to bracket exposure a few so that I could try out this cool effect. I used the PS plugin to do this, so it’s not all me. Eventually I would like to learn to do it from scratch but for now the plugin is giving me a good idea of what I need to capture in order to make HDR work.
I was able to go home today for the first time since early June. It was so awesome to be back and see my family. The most exciting part of going home though is seeing my dogs freak out when they see me. It doesn’t matter if I’m gone for a week or several months, they always burst out of the living room like they thought I was never coming back. We have three inside and one who lives outside. Today I walked around our property and snapped some pictures, one of which was our outside dog, Samy, on the hunt. She may be old, but when she sees something she wants she’ll still go on the prowl.
…I was out taking pictures! Well, not entirely by choice. I couldn’t sleep last night because I had a wicked case of insomnia. As soon as my head hit the pillow my mind started racing. Anyway, when the sun came up I decided to make the most of it, so I packed my bag and biked over to Hermann Park. It’s truly amazing how differently we see the world depending on the lighting. I’ve walked that park several dozen times, yet during that first hour or so of sunlight everything appears magical, like a dream almost. Things you wouldn’t normally notice suddenly stand out, and things that might not have looked good at any other time of day are transformed by the light into extraordinary objects. I made friends with a couple of squirrels and some pigeons that I terrorized for a short time in order to get these photos. I hope you like them, and thanks for looking.
I went on a photo-ride today with a friend of mine to what we thought was going to be a flea market in a park. Instead, we found a bunch of people under tents and not much action. This is always kind of frustrating for me because I go into places with shots in my mind and I have an idea of what kind of things I’m looking for. When I get to a location and don’t find what I expected it really throws a wrench in my plans. Luckily my friend knew of a Taoist temple not far from where we were. This place was beautiful and really reminded me of the joy of not constraining my photography. While I certainly think planning is a good thing, there are times when planning can limit your creativity and it’s better to just go in with an open mind and look for new ideas and inspiration. I definitely want to go back to this temple and look for things I didn’t see this time around, as well as discover more places like this around Houston. I have always wanted to travel and take pictures of the world but it wasn’t until a few years ago the thought occurred to me that there is so much culture right in my back yard, I just have to find it. I’m planning a trip to Chinatown in a few weeks with my Mandarin class and I cannot wait to come back with tons of pictures. Thanks for looking!
All in all, I have somewhere in the ballpark of 300GB worth of pictures backed-up on two separate drives. The larger of the two (which also backs up my computer) stays put on my desk. The smaller one is my travel drive that I use to edit on the go or take to shoots to dump cards. I have photos that I took when I was in high school all the way to photos I took today. Unfortunately, many of the photos I took when I first became interested in photography are gone or lost due to poor file keeping. It wasn’t until I finally coughed up enough money in college and invested in a DSLR that I started keeping tighter tabs on my photos. That process took a lot of fine tuning though and eventually boiled down to creating a folder with the date and brief description of the shoot. I dump my card(s) into the folder and that’s it, I don’t delete any of my photos, even the bad ones. There’s a couple of reasons for this:
(1) My eye has gotten better. Photos that I previously thought were not salvageable (see above) have turned out to be pretty great photos, in my opinion, once I was able to manipulate them a little. Which leads to reason two.
(2) My PS skills have gotten better. I’ve taken classes on PS now and spent countless hours experimenting and playing around in the program, so now I can fix issues that previously made photos unusable. But third, and most importantly…
(3) I can learn from my mistakes. I can go back and look at out of focus and under/over exposed photos and figure out where I went wrong based on the metadata. This can sometimes be done in the field right after a shot is taken, but I have many folders full of failed projects that never saw the web because I couldn’t quite figure out how to capture what I wanted at the time. Now that I have a little more experience I can look back and see that my lighting was off, or my shutter speed was too slow, etc.
All this is to say that at the end of the day drives are cheap in comparison to what you can gain from keeping all your photos. Go out and take as many (good) pictures as you possibly can and keep them all, even the bad ones! There’s so much more to be learned from our mistakes than from our triumphs.