November 17, 2005

A few photographs for thought

Sometimes I plan on just adding some photographs. I am sorry if some of my photographs don't have any names. I have so many unnamed photographs that I am always looking for new ideas for names. Anyways, I will try to go back and name some as I go along. I do plan on sometimes just posting photographs with out writing in the journal.

Eye of Loneliness - sk2003

Pumpkin Grin - sk2001


November 15, 2005

The Photographer's most powerful tool!

This next portion is dedicated to my favorite part of photography. With out it, nothing would be able to exist except maybe a few cockroaches. I am talking about light and lighting. A photographer has a power means of expression with this constant source of energy. Whether you are using the sun, natural light, a flash, studio lighting, environmental lighting (ambient accent lighting from a near by source,) or even a flashlight; lighting and photography can change the way you view life as we see it everyday.

The photographer should always be aware of any light source they use, the fact of the matter is light can make or break your conceived view of whatever subject is being photographed. Whether it is intentional lighting that may cause shadows to the illumination of a florescent light or the sun peaking across your subject from a distance.

I recently discovered a new way to look at a night photography using streetlights or any other source of light that allows me to hold my shutter open and record a great balance of light with the subject. Now that doesn’t seem very new, but when you take Mother Nature for example and all the wind to move the object rather than the source of light, the results are beautiful. Again, if this isn’t new to you, it’s still new to me and helps mold the way I use light with my subjects. There are a couple of photographs that I will post that will show a few examples of this technique that I used and the results that I received.

Lighting is an extremely powerful way of setting the tone and the mood for any type of photograph. If you know how to control lighting into the camera, there are plenty of different ways that your photograph can really affect people and their perspective of everyday objects that surround them. We see lighting in plenty of forms every day. Different temperatures of light that can radically change the tone of the environment, moods of your subject, and the all around feeling of that captured moment. Photographs can truly be deeper than everyday because of the ability of the audience to go back and read into the moment, the moment that the shutter opened, closed, and recorded the image.

Temperature of the lighting is extremely important to the photographer and the viewer. Again, it can indicate a feeling of coldness in the air, the warmth of a beach, a tense feeling in a board room, a relaxed feeling while lying in bed, or even can leave an emotionless feeling if you take the temperature away.

I look forward in learning more about lighting and the affects it has on all of us. To truly wield the power of lighting is to know your camera settings, your lenses, the source of lighting around you, and the environment of your subject. Once you have mastered this, you now have the ability to control the extremely important mood to what others would just deem….. a photograph.

Windy Night- sk2005

Burning Passion of Fall (series print #1)-sk2005

Burning Passion of Fall (series print #2) -sk2005

The County Fair (series print #1) -sk2005

The County Fair (series print #4) -sk2005

Riding the light (series print #23) - sk2005

"Charolette" - sk2004

November 8, 2005

Amateur and Professionals

I found this inspiring quote on:

Article appearing in "Amateur Photographer", 27 March 1885:

"The amateur is, presumably, a man of more cultivated education and greater leisure than the professional photographer, and may reasonably be expected to have a keener sense of the aesthetic principles, and a more educated knowledge of the history and science of art than his professional brother - better skilled though the latter may be in the technique of his art."

I believe the same is true of the amateur today as it was when photography was in its infancy stage. I believe the amateur is very dedicated to the knowledge of the skill than any professional out there. Once a professional gets used to the idea of photography certain laziness takes hold of the art. I know a gentleman who has been in the studio photography business for all of his life. He knows his lighting inside and out. He can tell you that the lighting conditions (with studio lights) with out consulting his light meter, and have an amazing accuracy.

As an amateur myself, I am always experiencing new lighting methods and control of the camera settings to get new results and different natural moods. I am a neophyte in the history of photography, I believe that everyone who has contributed to photography since its conception has something to say and has a major contribution to the art with success and mistakes that have been made throughout the beginning. Let’s face it, as a species we tend to rely on our own experience and the experiences of others to understand where we are today.

I believe the amateur needs to work slightly harder to understand the concepts, where most professionals are handed the knowledge as an apprentice and use the time they have to craft and wield their niche as a photographer. The only thing that bothers me about the professional as a whole is that not all professionals are created equal, and some find it necessary to gouge the clientele that they work for. I remember my wife and I had aquatints who shot our wedding pictures, when it came time to come over and finish the deal we where shown this big beautiful album. Then we were told that the first half of the book was what we had paid for and the other half would cost quite a bit more.

I personally have shot my own fair share of weddings, to the point that I get antsy when I have to sit through an entire ceremony. I personally dislike the portrait aspect of wedding photography. I do however still enjoy shooting a wedding in a photojournalistic style of documentation. I have so much fun as an amateur photographer shooting the pure emotion of everyone at the wedding. The most memorial part of a wedding is the people who are there to witness the event. Although a majority of the photographs are the bride and groom, it is important to photograph the people attending. It is my job to document the things that they miss during the wedding such as family, friends, and the wedding party doing what is natural to them… having fun. I will admit that I am intrusive by shooting an absurd amount of photographs, but when the bride and groom finally get to view the photographs, the image of the obnoxious photographer is replaced with a front row seat of the day.

In light of this separation of photographers, I would like to throw in another term that creates a new class of photographers that separate the idea of an amateur that is starting out and the professional that sells their hard work for profit and living income. I believe the Master Amateur Photographer should be coined for the amateur that has extensive knowledge in the department of photography and is continuing learning from past experiences, new ideas, and new techniques to contribute to photography influencing future generations of photographers long after their time passes.

Shawn Kringstad; Photograph Showcase Nov. 8th

"Freedom in the air" - sk2004

"Overflow" - sk2002

"The Ice Storm" - sk2003

"Blue Sass" - sk2003

"Dilemma of Cultures" - sk2001