Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Tri-bidexterous, originally uploaded by preyingjaws.

I shoot a wide variety of subjects and one of my most recent trains of thought is myself. Am I stuck on myself? Some may say may be. I say not. How can I say this? Easy, I live by myself. I like to experiment with what I have so often I'll turn the lens onto myself. Lighting is fun to experiment with. I often check out other lighting set ups on the Strobist.com and the results on the Strobist's flickr page.

In this picture I have a chest high key light at 1/2 power bouncing of a partially opened umbrella, a back light set at full power bouncing off the umbrella and back wall. Both are optical slave set. I self framed, all though not to good, the point and shoot using a mirror on the wall behind it. The Canon A-590 is set to manual mode, 80iso, f/4, 1/30. The levels and cropping are done in the GIMP on an Ubuntu 10.04 machine.

Because I do shoot with all three cameras can I call myself tri-bidextrous?

Monday, March 29, 2010

Thinning Out

I just thinned out my [deviantart] in box after two weeks of neglect. As I thin it out I am looking at specific elements that I've been critiqued heavily on at Wasatch Camera Club's competitions. Points like the 'Rules of Images' aka Thirds, focal point and color are always talked about in the general critiques of all the submitted images. As I am thinning out, I first eliminate the subject I have less interests in like: cats, puppies, bugs, some flowers, sunsets that don't tell a story, etc. I do hang for a moment on subjects that may capture a moment of interest: sunsets with story line elements, mountain scenes, people, etc. I am looking specifically for lighting, creative blurs, human subject interest (poses natural & artistic).

As I am reviewing these given subjects that do capture my interests I am looking for what do I have and what can I create based on what I do like from the groups I do follow. What I realize is I must check my focus before I finish a shoot. For instance, I know that my Pentax f/1.4 50mm front focuses. I need therefore to refine manually the focus. I seldom use this lens on the street. I do use it extensively at home.

I realized after my last photo competition with WCC I'm not submitting my best work. By looking at what pleases me and what elements I call good from this review I am applying it to my own work. In my own work I'm not delete delete but marking good, eh, and oh no. Then I go back through the good and sort needs help, eh, better then most, and alright. With the 'needs help' I look at how much work, if a lot I toss it. With 'better then most' I continue to refine until I have what is worthy of posting for the competition. When the competition time comes I submit that which is in the given category and two others that I think capture the human fine art interest elements.

Our judges in the WCC comps tend to lean heavily towards the fine art side. This can be difficult for me as I want to explore elements of news when and where I can. Even so this should not sway me from shooting what I like the most. I am looking at those elements I continually get critiqued heavily on and looking for the ways to over come them.

dA's helping with that by providing the grounds of massive amount of images I can can quickly scan, critique, and glean from. The greatest thing I've noticed is the spot on focal point of interest. If the focus is not on then, even with my unrefined eye, I move on.

As with many things, I am approaching, finding that spot on focus is of utmost priority. If the focus is not right on, I've either been passed up or moved aside. Photography at this time is more then about taking an image, it's become a teacher about life for me.

I can say my in box is 600 or so images down from 2400 of an hour ago. My hard drives of images, well let's say barely 5% will be seen by anyone else but me. Of those that one besides me sees 1% or less will be worthy of bragging rights.