Monday, October 19, 2015


Today is "Maker Monday"... a new series of posts where I talk about something I've made recently...

For my first post, I wanted to take a moment to talk about photography.
I've been taking photos since about the age of 6yrs old, when I was sort of unofficially designated as the family photographer. My mom was never inclined, and my dad had a habit of cutting people's heads (or other body parts) out of the shots... so ... there you have it. Plus... I was an extremely shy kid... and would (and still do) prefer to be behind the camera, rather than in front of it.

My first camera was a Kodak Brownie... and I lugged it everywhere.
Other cameras followed... a Polaroid, a small Kodak Instamatic, my first 35mm; a Ricoh... and then a series of Nikons. My current camera, is a Sony a6000... and yes, I love it. I have one camera body, and one lens (a standard 50mm)... but I am making it work (to quote Tim Gunn).
I am essentially self-taught... although I did take courses and got my diploma in photography from the famed New York Institute back in 1990.  I've been selling my photos since 1986.

Over the years, I've had several photographers that I have greatly looked up to...
Ansel Adams, Henri Cartier- Bresson, Dorothea Lange, Elliott Erwitt, Sally Mann, Steve McCurry, Alfred Stieglitz... Vivian Maier... to name a few. Last night, I saw a movie about the photography of Gregory Crewdson. And it was amazing.
All these artists had different equipment, different lenses, different styles and ways of working... but they all had one thing in common... passion.

You can have the most expensive, high tech camera equipment... and still have crappy photos. Yes, they may be technically sharp, well lit.. whatever... but if they don't have soul... if they don't speak to the audience... what's the point? In my opinion... art is meant to evoke a response in the person who sees it. If it doesn't speak to you as the artist-- how is it to speak to the viewer? You have to have a passion for what you are doing... and hopefully, pass that passion on to the person who sees your work.

"The best camera is the one you have with you." --Chase Jarvis

So for today's "maker" post... I am not telling you how to take a photo. You can read a manual to figure out how to use your camera. What is more important, is that you have a vision of what you want your finished photo to say.... what you want to make the viewer to feel.... then go about trying to make that happen. ... and keep at it.

See you all tomorrow...


((The photo for today's post was one I took late yesterday afternoon. It had been snowing off and on all day... and for very brief moments, the sun would come out. I ran out, and took this photo of a bush in my yard, just as the sun shone upon the berries. The chill in the air, and the dampness of the day had an overall  blue/ purple tone to the shot, that I just love. I shot this at f5.6, 1/80 sec, ISO 800. 
Minor editing at PicMonkey included slight saturation, and sharpness on the berries.
I wanted the viewer to feel the chill in the air, the warmth of the sun ...
and to have a general feeling for the profound beauty that is autumn.))