For the past few years, I’ve been using Camera Club Confidential as a journal of my education in photography, taking notes for my future reference and sharing them here in the hope those notes might be useful to others.
This year I’ve launched a new blog – NoBadLight.com – where I share very brief tips for improving our images while keeping the joy in our photography. It’s still a work in progress, but I want NoBadLight to be a place of one-minute tips and trickery for everyone who takes or makes photographs, whether you use a pocket camera, a phone, or a dslr that costs more than your car. I hope you’ll join the fun. Thanks, DZ
A very pedestrian bored-at-dinner shot turned into something a little more compelling by clicking a few buttons and moving some sliders. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this, if you like the end result.
A friend in the Photo Club recently asked that we disqualify one of his images from our Annual Awards because he did a lot of post-processing and it is his personal belief that a photograph must come straight from the camera. That doesn’t explain why he submitted the image in the first place, but personally, I tend to tune out any discussion of “what photography is,” because I’m still trying to understand what photography is to me. And that changes sometimes.
Earlier this week, in a fit of insomnia, I opened a long-ago downloaded but never used iPhone app called Snapseed. I modified some old images from my phone’s library. I never thought I’d enjoy playing with all the heavy-handed photo filters I see on Instagram and Facebook, but I do. I like being able to turn weak or outright failed photos into something odd, and with more potential impact. And it lets me playfully experiment with composition and color and lighting even when I just have a few spare minutes to noodle on my phone. Here are some examples:
This tree clings to the edge of Bryce Canyon. The original photo was interesting, but his adds a nice surrealism.
This was a boring, pointless shot of tomatoes. I don’t even know why it was on my phone. Now I like the painterly feel of it.
This one also springs from an okay original, but in my opinion the effects here add all sorts of mystery to an otherwise very straightforward shadow.
Not my favorite model, but the most available. And I can get him to do almost anything.
This morning, I wandered outside with what I might consider the opposite of my phone: Nikon D7000, 70-200 f/2.8, TC17IIe teleconverter. I spent some time with my favorite subject: Backyard birds. I shoot in RAW, and the objective of my post-processing in Aperture is to recreate what I saw with my own eyes. It’s quite different from what I’ve been doing in Snapseed, and I cannot imagine myself layering a “grunge” filter onto one of my nature shots, although I might just to see what happens. It’s all photography to me. And a pure joy, too.
Just some backyard birds from January 1, 2014
I need to find someplace other than bars and restaurants to play with my Fujifilm X100s.
We spent all of today in Bryce Canyon, and I may yet get some magic hour shots, but the wi-fi is working so I’m posting now! The morning and early afternoon were all rain and thunder, so we sat by the fire, had an early lunch, and even ended up taking naps. Then, the weather broke and we walked almost all the way down into the canyon. Best non-photographic lesson yet: I need to lose some weight and gain some aerobic fitness.
Early this morning, the sun broke through the clouds for a few minutes, but just for a few minutes.
Late in the afternoon, we were able to hike down into the canyon. Not ALL the way down, but close.
It was nice to have some different perspectives on the formations, but the hike back up was more brutal than Canyon de Chelly.
More fun on the trail.
We both made it back to the top, but I wasn’t smiling this big. More like gasping.
During this morning’s storms, I played with some images from earlier in the week. These are going to keep me busy for a long time, I think.