sunny

Respect

I was thinking a bit about my motivation for loving photography as much as I do and I had the realization that photography is very much part of me now. Not necessarily part of who I am, as in I always have a camera with me so its part of my life, it’s grown beyond that. After all these years of shooting I feel the act of making photographs has somehow grafted onto my emotional core as a means to communicate things that words and memories alone can not always dictate well enough.

Some look at photography as a technical achievement, and it is. It is fully dependent on technology and it’s easy to get mixed up in thinking that technology and technique is all there is to it, but of course this is far from the truth.

Captivating images come from beyond a mechanical knowledge of how to make a great image. Photo hobbyist geeks can wax poetic about the finer points of lens design or the importance of sensor sizes, but creating something beautiful with a camera involves much more than the technology created to capture it which pales in the light of the emotional connotations of the process. The creation of a timeless photograph comes from somewhere deeper than the part of your brain that simply remembers how something works. It’s not like rebuilding an engine, programing an alarm clock, or filling out paperwork.

Capturing beautiful images involves making a connection between your emotions and your technical knowledge of the craft and, like everything in life, you must find a balance in this space in order to truly appreciate photography and use it to its full potential. For me at least, the emotional side of photography all boils down to respect. I feel understanding this is vital to becoming a better photographer. In having a respect for the subject I am able to find an emotional connection to what I am shooting. When I can later look at an image and feel the emotion I felt while shooting it I feel I am off to a good start. When I share an image with others and they seem to share that same level of respect for the subject, then I feel I have accomplished something great.

Many people these days, aided by the comforts and cheap victories that post processing and digital manipulation can give, seem to think that photography is an easy profession to get into and on the surface, maybe it is. But calling yourself a photographer should contain a certain pride that shows through in your work. I feel it’s one of the secrets of becoming a great photographer. The respect you have for your subject shows within your composition and approach. It shows through your choice of medium and how you choose to present it. Weather you see it or not, your emotional connection to the subject and motivation shows through plain as day in your work. Every snapshot you take as a photographer should be like writing a page in a diary then publishing your secrets for others to see.

This is why some months may go by where I won’t shoot much of anything at all. Because my emotional state is not focused on my photographic work and I am too distracted to focus and give respect to the things I feel I want to shoot. It’s a natural ebb and flow and sometimes I think it’s important to give my creative side a break.

At any rate, this is just one of those things people don’t often discuss on message boards or in how to books and articles. We can worry about what filter presets we may or may not have or what gear we may or may not own all day long but without inspiration, respect, and an honest curiosity for what we shoot, the results will always feel mechanical, dull, and uninspired.

I realize I have touched on the subject a few times in the past as well and will most likely continue to explore it in the future. It’s hard to ignore when you start looking closer into the motivations behind what and why we shoot. So the next time you are out there with your camera take a moment to consider what drew you to capture what it is you found and if nothing at all comes to mind it would be wise to ask yourself why that is.

Daybreak desktops

Daybreak

Many mornings are met with a begrudging attitude, sleep weighs heavy on your eyes and the last thing you want to do is get out of bed and face another day. Then there are the mornings that for whatever reason you wake feeling truly refreshed and ready make the best of the time you have before the sun once again inevitably sets. This image, for me, reflects some kind of hope, even if in a subtle way, represented in the simple act of taking time for a good cup of coffee.

Recently I have been so busy with work that I can’t help but feel separated from my creative self more than I like to be and I would love to see that change in the future, hints the reason for my optimism. I figure I’ll take all I can get. So, till next time! Enjoy the new image and try to do something today that you will remember a year or ten from now.

Home is where desktops

Home Is Where

For some of us, home is a place. Sometimes it may be a specific building, or maybe an entire city. For some of us, however, home could be represented by being held in someones arms. It is a concept as open to interpretation as love and while it has its firm definition as the physical place where you live there is plenty of room for creative interpretation. In my case, home is not so much a place as it is a feeling. So while on the surface you could say the image above is of my new home lit in the warm late afternoon sun but I can’t help but feel something, or I should say, someone is missing that would make me feel truly at home. I have been slowly settling in with new furniture and flourishes but I still can’t wait for her to come and fill this void.

Sentimentality aside, lucky for me my new apartment has a nice afternoon light that casts a peaceful glow in the bedroom and office. Plenty of windows is something I was specifically looking for and I was happy to come across this space. What you see here really was the color of the room at the time. The white balance is set at a fairly neutral space and there was little to no post work. Just the beautiful afternoon and a steady hand at work here.

I will tell you a trick I always rely on when shooting at slow shutter speeds without a tripod (such as this 1/15 f/1.4 exposure). Take a couple of deep breaths, relax, prop your elbows against your chest to form a semi sturdy platform with your hands for the camera, and balance yourself as best as you can using a wall or crouching works best for obvious reasons. Then take one last deep breath, breathe out slowly and focus on the stillness of not only yourself but everything around you, as if the world itself is moving in slow motion. In that stillness before breathing back in, trip the shutter. I don’t always have the steadiest hands in the world but this often works for me. At any rate, enjoy the new image and I will see you next time.

For now 1 desktops

For Now

First thing is first, this is not a Retina MacBook size file. I have been working behind the scenes when I find time to make changes to the site needed to make the new jumbo size images work. Progress is pointing to a fall release for updates here on 50ft and again thanks for your patience. That out of the way, this image is was shot from the window of the international airport in Seoul. The foggy morning made for soft colors and a nice heavy vignetting.

As you will see below I have two shots for this set and both are included in the zip file. The second one is my personal favorite of the two, I noticed the air traffic controller guy down there on the ground and waited for the nose of the plane to enter into view to complete the story. There is a kind of loneliness to the image that I like. I liked the contrast of the huge plane full of people versus the single employee there directing it inward. The iPad and iPhone crops are a bit lonelier still as the plane does not make an appearance.

I will continue to post new desktops again because I know many of you have been itching for some new ones and as soon as I am ready to flip the switch I will make more available in the higher resolutions so stay tuned for details on that as I am able. Thanks for stopping by and enjoy!

For now 2 desktops

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fiftyfootshadows.net

fiftyfootshadows@gmail.com