I do that because I believe it’s possible. I don’t really… I don’t like to rest on the idea that people are just born artists, and that’s it. They wake up in the morning and they make brilliant work, I think it’s nonsense. If we look at every artist, every photographer, at their beginning stages, they stumbled. They made mistakes. Some of the learned a little more quickly than others, but there is a lot of information that can be absorbed and applied, regardless of what your subject matter is.
A bit of a lengthy watch, and I’m still making my way through it, but this quote from very early on in the video lets me know that I am in for some valuable information.
If you follow my blog (hello, all five of you!), you’ll have seen a post I made in October talking about scaling back in social media. Funny enough, there was something else that I subconsciously scaled back: capturing moments with my camera.
I like to think I’m a photographer. I bust out the camera, whether it is my phone or my SLR, at every opportunity and I enjoy snapping a few photos. Perhaps capturing a video while I’m at it.
I couldn’t put my finger on my hesitation to use my camera as of late. I enjoy capturing moments, especially with friends, that I don’t get to regularly enjoy. Even when I eat meals that I don’t normally eat, I used to take photos.
So… what’s happened?
I could make excuses like some abject sadness that’s taken over my life, or that my iPhone’s camera no longer wishes to operate without heavy persuasion, or even the very unlikely scenario of extraterrestrial life showing up on Earth to steal my camera.
None of these are true, but I think I finally figured out what’s happened: I’ve shifted my priorities from “capturing moments” to simply “experiencing moments.”
It’s one thing to be able to look back on all the great photos I’ve taken of really unique experiences, but it’s completely different to be entirely immersed in your experience and simply enjoying it. My guess is that ever since Instagram blew up, was bought, and everyone started posting photos of their food and some random brick wall they found (which I was also guilty of), I’ve grown an aversion to wasting valuable experiences by being focused on taking photos of it rather than actually participating.
Sure, I can take photos of food that I am eating, but I will immediately put my camera away after the shutter snaps and pay complete attention to my meal and my eating companions.
I’d rather enjoy what little time I devote to my friends, my family, and the experiences that we share, over being able to show strangers on the internet what I am currently doing.
I raise my glass to you life bloggers and sharers, but it is definitely not for me.
Awesome person, Pearl Chen, just pointed out that one of my photos for Ladies Learning Code made it into an episode of Penny Arcade TV’s Extra Credits entitled “So You Want To Be a Programmer (Part 1).”
It’s not exactly a stunning achievement, but it feels good to know that something you’ve captured gets used for something as awesome as Extra Credits.
Bonus: it’s a great video for anyone who is curious about or wants to become better at programming.
My weekend away with friends was a stunning success – had an amazing time, relaxed my butt off, and took some great photos.
Flickr Set: Cottage – July 2011
I need to do this more often.
While away on vacation, I would love nothing more than to have more pictures of myself actually enjoying the change in location and scenery. I bring a rather nice camera along with me (Canon T2i with an 18-55mm and a 55-250mm lens) that take wonderful pictures… in the right hands. I always hesitate to hand off the camera to a stranger (or even friends!) because the picture that they will take will (usually) not look the way I would have imagined it.
Is that a douchey way to think? Of course! But what do you expect? They aren’t me and they won’t know what sort of shot I am looking for.
What is a guy to do?
While on vacation in Miami, I could only think of one solution: eliminate any variables that you can control before giving up control of your camera.
Before handing off my camera to the waiter to get him to take my picture, I did several several things:
- Switch the lens to “Manual Focus”
- Set the right shutter speed
- Set the right aperture
- Set the right ISO
- Turn on the LCD viewfinder
My trick was to make it as simple as a point and shoot camera is to use, without having to have them fiddle with any of the settings.
Once you get used to asking people to take pictures of you with your SLR, you will be able to finally have pictures of yourself in front of the camera for once!
I love discovering useful and/or educational content that is well made. That’s why I was quite happy to discover about OliviaTech, a blog of Olivia Speranza, sharing her tips and tricks about audio, lighting, photography, and videography. This is my favourite kind of site to stumble upon, because you immediately learn a million things.
There’s an even better part: her video tutorials and reviews!
She has a collection of very professionally made videos on YouTube and Vimeo that educate us amateurs about different equipment and techniques. They’re short and they pack a lot of good, educational content.
Thanks Olivia, you’re doing great work!