Additional Photography Information:
Why in the world would anyone want to become a photographer or want to make great pictures or videos? Who can make it as a photographer? What requirements must you possess in order to learn how to take great pictures? The answers are right here. Read on….
I started out in photography just like you (and everybody else in the world, including the greatest and most successful photographers who ever lived): knowing absolutely nothing about it! Remember, after all, we all enter the world knowing only how to suck (eat), how to cry, how to go to the bathroom (in our diapers, no less:) and how to sleep; everything else we have to learn along the way. The journey of life begins the same for everyone – and so does the learning of photography.
The allure of photography is strange and wonderful; to some of us, there's a magic about a great photographic image that draws us to it in ways we can't explain, but can clearly feel. To others, they couldn't care less. But I have found an amazing and wondrous power in great images; there's something that draws us into a picture, and moves us in ways words can rarely hope to surpass. If you are among the special and wonderful group of our fellow human beings who find beauty and wonder in photographic images, then it is to you I humbly dedicate my web sites, and the information, tips, and educational explanations contained in them. I encourage you to spend a little time learning about photography; if for no other reason then to enjoy it more (or turn it into a profession that you can enjoy and love – and make quite a good living at, too)
Please be aware that, yes, I'm in business to sell photographic equipment and make a living, my main intent is to promote YOUR interest in photography, and your ability to make and enjoy great images and videos. You don't have to buy anything from me. I just want to encourage you to pursue your interest in the art of photography and/or videography. And nowadays, almost everybody carries cell phone with a built-in camera, both still and video, so we've all become photographers. Some will become better than others, but we're all photographers anyway.
Why would I want to become a photographer?
Consider that – with most people – among their most cherished possessions are photographs. They'll often pull out a treasured and time-worn album, or an old shoe box, stuffed with pictures of themselves, their friends, and their family; “this was me as a baby,” they'll say, “and here's my grandfather – oh, how I loved him!” It's not uncommon for a photograph to bring tears to our eyes, and bring us back to a time – yesterday or long ago – where something meaningful occurred, to us or to someone we loved. Beauty comes in many forms, and to some of us it may be a picture of us, covered in mud and huffing and puffing in that football game we played in high school; to others it might be that wonderful dress we wore to our prom; but no matter what touched our hearts, or who we loved, or how hard we tried, the images of those memories will always remain among our most treasured possessions. And the better the image, the more joy (or anguish) it will elicit in us (and to our clients if we're the photographer). A good photograph is a family heirloom, and will bring joy and memories to generations yet unborn.
Our pictures will introduce us to those we never knew, those to whom we are precursors, and who were born long after we have passed away, and will testify of our lives to our great-great-great grandchildren. How fortunate we are to live in an age of photography! Those of ages past never knew of those who preceded them, unless they were rich and able to afford a portrait painter – and hope the artist was talented enough to create an accurate representation. So ply your photographic craft with appropriate pride, knowing that your pictures will be kept and treasured long, long, after you've forgotten about the day when you made them. And as your talent increases, so will your income; don't price yourself out of the market, of course, but realize that your images will bring pleasure and joy to your clients, as well as their progeny over the years.
And yes, YOU can make beautiful images – it doesn't take the genius of an Einstein, nor does it take 20 years of assiduous study; later today, you can make a wonderful picture. Just read a bit of my guides and on my web site and eBay listings and you can start to improve your pictures today.
Photography is the ultimate equal opportunity profession! I've seen fabulous images made by 10 year old kids, as well as 90 year old great-grandparents. The image doesn't give a whit how old or young the photographer is; the camera cares not who presses its shtter button. All are equal before the justice of the lens; the rich and powerful, the poor and weak, the young and the old, the pavement artist and Michelangelo. None can buy the beauty of a photograph; the image cares not whether it was captured by a $50,000.00 camera and lens or by a cardboard box with a pinhole in it. No one can “fake it” in photography. And few can make great images until they realize the great lie. The injustice is in tricking people into believing that it's tremendously difficult to learn photography. It's not. However, as with any task, it does require some time, and some effort. But you CAN learn to make wonderful images – if only you'll try.
Do you want to be able to make wonderful pictures and/or videos? Ask yourself that question. The only person in the world who can answer it is you. But I promise you, you CAN! It's NOT that hard. The ONLY way you can possibly fail at photography is if you give up.
Photographs are small “pieces” of time, a slice of life, an instant in someone's life which, unlike ourselves, will never age and never forget the particular moment in which they were made; subject not to fancy nor forgetfulness, but an eternal witness to what was – and to who made them. Why was Man moved to create the photographic arts? I think that all of us, throughout recorded history, have always yearned for some way to preserve the images out of which our lives developed. Probably the earliest “pictures” were the drawings on cave walls – made thousands of years ago, by the earliest photographers. The urge to pass on an image taken from our own lives has been with us for as long as we can remember.
Over a century ago, a poet, Keats, looking at an elaborate scene painted upon an ancient Grecian Urn showing young men and women dancing in a forest, writes:
“When old age shall this generation waste,
Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe
Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say'st:
“Beauty is truth, truth beauty – that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.”
What Keats is saying, as he sits and admires an ancient Grecian Urn with painted images of young men and young women playing and loving in a forest, is that the painted people on the urn, like those in a photograph will never age or grow old; they will remain young and youthful and carefree forever, “a friend to man,” and, unlike us, real people who grow old and die, they will never age, and never die. Just as in a photograph – and written a century before photography became a reality. Isn't this a beautiful and poetic longing for photography to be invented? I wonder why it is always the poets who first express the need, the desire, the longing, for that which exists not – but should? “Beauty is truth, truth beauty.”
Photographers are the poets of light and life and beauty. Every portrait we make of someone is a message of love. Photographers capture the beauty and horror and truth of our world. And a “photographer” is all of us; each and every one of us has, very close to us, a cell phone with a camera and likely a standard SLR camera as well (or else you wouldn't be reading this:). Why? Because “Beauty is truth, truth beauty”. A “photograph” is a tiny piece of time, and a piece of truth; a photograph gives us beauty, and gives our lives continuity and validation. A photograph bears witness of that which was; of that which is beautiful; of that which is horrible; of that which can move and influence us. Gazing at a photograph, we can fall instantly in love – or recoil in horror from witnessing a great injustice. A picture can change the world. Your pictures can elicit tears of joy and tears of love, and tears of anguish, and memories long buried and brought to the minds and hearts of our clients.
So, gentle visitor, I applaud you for arriving here, and I thank you for reading this far. I encourage you to take the time to learn how to create great images, and I promise you that you CAN do it. If I can do it, you surely can, too! I'm not an artist or a genius; in fact, I spent years in ignorance of beauty. All it takes is a little time and effort. I can assure you that it is worth the time and effort it takes to learn how to make a wonderful image.
Quickie Technique #3: Portraits – Set the camera at subject's eye level; focus on the eyes; light one side of the face brighter than the other (half in light to medium shadow); to hide wrinkles use umbrellas or softbox; to de-emphasize a large nose, raise camera level slightly and shoot full or 3/4 face; to de-emphasize a receding hairline, lower camera slightly or have subject raise head slightly. More “quickie technique” information will be included in other guides and on my web sites. Thank you for viewing this guide and good luck in your pursuit of photographic excellence!
Thank you for taking the time to read this. I hope it provided some interest, and hopefully, perhaps a little motivation for you to look at your camera with just a little more respect now then you had before.