10 Rules of Photography*

  1. Take your camera everywhere
  2. Use it any time- day or night
  3. Photography is not a life interference but a part of your life
  4. Shoot from the hip
  5. Approach as close as possible
  6. Don’t think
  7. Be fast
  8. You don’t have to see the image right away- keep shooting
  9. It is supposed to be fun. Enjoy.
  10. Throw out the rules!

IA Writer vs. Ulysses

So one of my favorite writing apps, Ulysses, is up for the annual subscription renewal. At $50 a year, it is one of the pricier apps and I am not keen to renew as a result. Yes, it organizes my novel writing workflow better than anything else. But is this enough?

Compare that to IA Writer- similar features and a one-time purchase. It does lack the organization tools but can I find a work around or a new workflow?

I’ll test this for a week, in fact, I am writing in IA Writer and publishing from the app to this website now.

 

Ulysses vs IA Writer- can you tell which one is better?
Yeah, yeah

Street Photography

This pandemic is really taking a toll on my desire to walk downtown and capture people in street photography. So, I’ll just write and share images and remind myself of some basics when I finally do get back out there and face the public.

  1. Get out. Find those outdoor public areas that have people out enjoying life.
  2. Every human is beautiful and photographers make interesting anthropologists, documenting human nature.
  3. There will always be something of interest. Look for it. Work the scene.
  4. Experimentation breeds creativity
  5. Take a smaller camera or mobile device. DSLRs get heavy after awhile.
  6. Experiment in jpeg format, keepers get the RAW treatment.
  7. Color or black and white? Find an aethestic and own it. I like both color and B&W. BW for me has to be high contrast, deep shadows. Color can be muted with moody contrasts to match the backdrop.
  8. Street photography can be risky and your experiences my vary.
  9. The risks can be worth the reward.
  10. Street photography is usually best going alone but a photo walk with friends can be more fun. Find a partner.

See these images and more on my photography website:

EXIF

Now included in my website is the ability to read the EXIF meta data written on to every image. Just in case you were a photo geek like me. I find it useful to see other’s EXIF data to see what works and then maybe even duplicate it.

Conversations Are Books. Build A Library

“How does one keep an imagination fresh in a world that works double-time to suck it away? … I think that the answer is, one must live a curious life. One must have stacks and stacks and stacks of books on the inside of their bodies. And those books don’t have to be the things that you’ve read. I mean, that’s good, too, but those books could be the conversations that you’ve had with your friends that are unlike the conversations you were having last week.”

  • Jason Reynolds

25 Photography Tips I Forgot

After re-acquiring Nadia, the Nikon D90 this weekend, I was getting nostalgic of the images made in the past and reminding myself of ideas, tips, tricks and techniques that helped guide me through the years. These reminders are things that I wished I knew back then and can be applied at any time.

  1. Film photography one day, digital next day.
  2. Try more black and white. Perfect for almost every image.
  3. A prime lens is the best lens you can take with you.
  4. There is always something to shoot. Even if it is the same old thing. Try different angles and lighting.
  5. The iPad is an amazing post processing digital lab.
  6. Rotate your cameras for different shooting sessions. Use a different lens. Change it up.
  7. Drop social media. Who cares what they think?
  8. Enjoy the benefits of exercise, fun and photography. With trail hikes, or city streets stop and snap.
  9. Bad photos are better than no photos.
  10. Is this image good enough to print and hang in your room? No? Keep going.
  11. Street photography is best when the streets are active or not in a small town.
  12. Keep shooting, striving.
  13. Invest in photo software that fits your workflow, not the other way around.
  14. Maintain your website with a blend of your past favorites as well as your modern images. Share thoughts behind each image.
  15. Ask yourself why you shoot. Editorial? Documenting life? Memories?
  16. Photo walks are fun. Do this often.
  17. Photo road trips are worth it. Do this often.
  18. Going on on the photography road trip is a very productive practice.
  19. Go back to the basics with film photography. It makes us better digital photographers.
  20. Revisit older work with new eyes. Learn from it.
  21. Keep striving for that perfect image. You’ll never find it but, if you do, sell your camera and walk away.
  22. Stop wondering about other’s opinions.
  23. Master the art of composition.
  24. Stop buying gear, use what you have, master it.

Finally: 
Organize and archive your images now. Don’t wait until you have thirty years worth of images that have been stored on multiple drives, duplicated four times on each drive, uploaded to various cloud accounts, shared on social media. Save yourself the frustration and get it all together now. Organize on one massive hard drive and then back it up to a second hard drive too.

Go Your Own Way

Photographers are an isolated lot and we desire to do things our own way, for our own edification. Naysayers will tell you that everything that can be captured in a photograph has already been done so why bother? Well I don’t subscribe to that. Going my own way has always been the goal and there will always be new, creative perspectives to be discovered.

We’ve allowed ourselves to forgo curiosity and exploring in favor of a skewed view of what it means to be self-taught. Let’s be honest, watching tutorial videos on YouTube, or imitating other’s work from social media platforms does not make you self-taught.

We’ve been programmed to squash our creativity by algorithms, “Likes”, and followers and have lost our ability to think for ourselves. Take the risk and explore or lose the chance. It’s time to disconnect ourselves from the algorithms, delete Instagram and innovate. We photographers are independent so why do we rely on superficial kudos from strangers?

Isolating myself from all of that has been helpful to me. The time it takes for me to develop an image I am proud of is better spent than time spent throwing something up on someone else’s platform. The best remedy for improving ourselves is investing more time creating for ourselves than consuming from others.

A straight line may be the shortest distance between two points, but it is by no means the most interesting.

I say try a different route. Go your own way, start a blog and add your personal thoughts along with your art. During down days, revisit your older work and revise, recycle into something new.

Think less of other’s thoughts and think more of our own.

A long time ago in a place far away

So Much To See

“This is one corner… of one country, in one continent, on one planet that’s a corner of a galaxy that’s a corner of a universe that is forever growing and shrinking and creating and destroying and never remaining the same for a single millisecond. And there is so much, so much to see.”

Doctor Who

Foghorn

So there I was, in a meeting while working from home and this rooster decided to jump up on the window sill with a loud cluck. This isn’t something I see everyday even though the rooster and chickens live in a community garden across the street.

Nadia

I first acquired the Nikon D90 DSLR camera when it was released back in 2009 as a replacement for my beloved Nikon D200. The 90 was the first DSLR to feature HD video with amazing results. Nikon got it right from the start. However, that camera was short lived because after shooting a concert that night, I failed to zip up the camera bag completely. Metal and glass disagree with gravity and concrete.

Flash forward twelve years later and after a brief dive into Canon, I have acquired another D90 and it seems like I have never left it. I picked it right up and immediately fell in love. I added an all-in-one Nikkor 18-105mm lens that can capture macro, portraits as well as landscapes. I cannot wait to take her out to see what she can do.

Nikon D90 with the 18-105mm lens

Change My Mind

To change my own mind. I try to create a new vocabulary or terrain for myself, so that I open out — I always think of the Dutch claiming land from the sea — or open up something that would have been closed to me before. That’s the point and the pleasure of it. I continuously scrutinize my own thinking. I write something and think, How do I know that that’s true? If I wrote what I thought I knew from the outset, then I wouldn’t be learning anything new.”

Marilynne Robinson

When asked why she writes: “To change my own mind” is an excellent way to analyze and then describe something.