Archive for February, 2011


In an ideal world, I would be able to take photographs every day and make a living from it.

In the real world, I work part-time at Best Buy selling cameras, and do not have the chance to shoot every day (or make enough to live off of it).

As someone who thrives on taking photos every day, I found myself feeling lost and unfulfilled on the days I was not shooting. In order to try to feel fulfilled I attempted to take a photo everyday of anything (mostly things around my apartment or within walking distance). Unfortunately, this also burdened me with the feeling of unfulfillment, mainly because I was never happy with any of the photos I took.

Naturally I ditched the idea of trying to take photo everyday, because I never publish any work I’m not happy with. Ever. (Curse my perfectionist tendencies . . .)

Due to my work schedule I found the time between shoots was growing to an unacceptable distance. And surely enough, I felt this void inside of me, like I was missing out on something.

What I was missing out on was photography, and I knew it, but couldn’t find a way to fulfill it.

It wasn’t until this past week that I found a way to keep my photography sanity intact: blogs, blogs, blogs, and websites. And more blogs, of course!

All of the photography blogs and websites I encounter I make sure to immediately bookmark, so on days that I’m not taking photos I can check them out and see what’s new or learn about new techniques, etc. It’s a win-win situation, because I can remain productive with my photography even though I am not shooting.

For anyone else out there that may feel the same way I do, I wanted to share the list of blogs and websites I’ve collected. You’ll find my nifty little list below, and hopefully it’ll help another struggling photographer regain his sanity too.

  • DSLR Tips is exactly what you’d imagine it to be, a tips website. This website does so much more though, such as offering incredibly in-depth reviews on different cameras, lenses, etc. They also have a Youtube channel where you can find reviews and tips in the form of video.
  • Photofocus is a one-stop kind of blog. Ran by photographer Scott Bourne, he posts informative articles, podcasts, and reviews. He also posts fairly regularly, which is nice.

  • PIXIQ is an online community that is staffed by contributing professional photographers, bloggers, etc. They have a whole slew of different categories, such as photography news, reviews, and even a techniques section. Each category has a plethora of articles within it, so be sure to check them all out!

  • Black Star Rising is an informative website that features articles meant for all different levels of photographers. I find that the website is best suited for professional or (new) freelance photographers, since most of the articles cover business related issues. However there are a great majority of articles that do discuss creative blocks, etc.

  • Jasmine Star Photography Blog was one of the first blogs I discovered. And believe me, it’s so much more than just photography. Jasmine is not afraid to expose herself by writing about her mistakes, or posting personal photos of her husband and their adorable dog Polo. Jasmine is not only an amazing teacher through her blog, but she is a true inspiration. By the way, she also frequents creativeLIVE, which offers web workshops geared towards photographers (plus, it’s Seattle-based).

  • RAW is a blog moderated by photographer Tristan Jud. You’ll find reviews, interesting stories and post-production information here. I recently discovered this website, so I don’t have a great deal to say about it, but I definitely think it’s a worth-while resource.

Do you have any photography blogs or websites you enjoy? If so, feel free to let me know via comments below or reply to me on Twitter!
 

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After finally stumbling into bed rather late last night, I caught myself thinking about photography. I was thinking about ways to improve the blog, how excited I was to take photos for tomorrow (today), and how I wanted to check all of my favorite photographer’s blogs to see if they posted any updates.

Essentially, I was keeping myself awake with the adrenaline of photography coursing through my veins.

As of late, it has felt like photography has kept me alive, and that one day without it feels like true deprivation. Perhaps I am just making up for the time I stopped taking photos, who knows. All I do know is that I want to keep taking photos – photos of anything and everything, because I love it so much.

Well, mushy mini-tangent aside about how I love photography oh-so-much and on to the good stuff!

I wanted to share the photos I took today on photo walk in the Port of Tacoma. Which I believe turned out much, much better than I anticipated. This is mostly attributed to the fact that I had absolutely no clue about what I wanted to shoot today, all I knew was that I wanted to shoot. When my boyfriend started the car and asked me where I wanted to go, I simply told him that I had no idea. He kept pushing for a direction, and I finally blurted out a safe zone: “Downtown Tacoma.”

Immediately, I regretted mentioning downtown because it is a safe zone. I admonished myself for not saying somewhere different, because if I want to become a better photographer, I will have to challenge myself (cue photographer Scott Bourne’s article about proving you are serious about photography and see point number seven). Luckily for me, my boyfriend decided (on his own accord) to turn into the Port of Tacoma to explore somewhere we have never been before.

With many thanks to him, he helped challenge me a bit and even point out some potential photos I may have never considered (three cheers for having a creative partner)!

 

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Huntin’ for Photos!

As I slowly unravel myself from my so-called “photographic rut,” I proposed the idea of going on a mini photo-hunt with my boyfriend in Downtown Tacoma today.

It was a lot of fun to wander around and take photos of whatever, just like I used to back home in New York. But what made it even nicer was that doing this reminded me of my dad, mostly because he and I used to venture around the city to capture anything and everything.

Since these are more casual photos (although I did squeeze in some nice headshots of my boyfriend, who claims he is not a model and gets a little flustered when I play paparazzi with him), I decided to create a nifty little slideshow for ease of viewing.

P.S., amazingly enough, there’s a photo that my boyfriend caught of me while we were waiting for lunch at the Harmon /shock and awe!

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As I have been adjusting to my new life in Washington state, I have come to discover that I put myself in a photographic rut . . .

Mostly because a) I have no photographic contacts over here (don’t worry though, I have been working on establishing new contacts) and b) at the highpoint of my shooting, I wasn’t working or in school, which gave me a lot of time to focus on my photography – at the present moment, I am working, but aim to begin using my days off to take more photos.

Today, I was reading over the amazing (and one of my absolute favorite) photographer Rosie Hardy‘s blog posts and saw a set of photos she published from a wedding. Not only were her color photos absolutely stunning, but her black and whites really caught my eye. These were the most crisp and well-exposed digital black and whites I had seen. I literally felt like I was looking at 35mm b&w prints.

And it was after looking at Rosie Hardy’s inspiring photos that I felt galvanized to take photographs again. I felt the same itch I used to feel to bring my camera with me everywhere, to capture anything that caught my eye. Unfortunately, I didn’t venture too far from home today, so I settled on taking a self-portrait.

Seventy shots later, I finally settled on the following two shots:

Basically, what I did was pull all of my dusty camera gear out of its hiding place in my closet and rig up my tripod. I composed the photo against a set of white window blinds (which I knew would blur as the camera focused on me), grabbed my 35mm Canon FTB QL as a prop, a light reflector, and fired away! If you are curious about the settings I had these photos on, they vary between 1600 and 800 ISO (I wasn’t worried about grain, I was in fact hoping for some to create a film look), and f-stops of 1.8 and 2.2 or so. Additionally, I think it’s important to mention that I had the camera literally set to black and white, rather than convert them to gray-scale in post processing. I was hoping to challenge myself a little bit since I barely ever work with digital b&w.

I really do like the outcome of the two photos I selected. Of all the 70 photos I took, I tried different poses and angels, only to discover what I really wanted to do was depict myself in front of the camera as who I am behind it. I say it was a success!

If you find yourself in a photographic rut, source inspiration from one of your favorite photographers or you can view this handy list I came across on Mostly Lisa‘s blog: http://mostlylisa.com/blog/8things/. She is slowly becoming another source of inspiration for me, especially since she has a Bachelor’s in journalism (hey, that’s what I’m studying for!)


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