Thursday, November 20, 2008

Proof that you don't have to be anorexic to model...

If a camera adds twenty pounds then Photoshop can remove forty. It is amazing what it can do. Too bad they missed the shadow on the right side of her hip.

This summer while I was in school, one of our favorite websites to look through was Photoshop Disasters. For a photographer this site is kind of invaluable. It teaches photoshop users what not to do by showing you all the ways that everyone else has screwed it up. This blog reminds me that looking at all the details in an image is essential. The details are where professionalism lies.

Now I don't quite understand how all of these images still got published. I mean some of these images are the cover of huge products and publications. These images had to be looked at by minimum of twenty people but nobody caught the errors....

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Who would have thought that I would have posted more blogs while I was at school than when I arrived home?? I know I wouldn't have. I thought today was kind of the perfect day to start back up.

Today is a wonderful day because the elections. I have to say that I am excited to be an American for the first time in a while. It was revitalizing to see all the people turn out to support their candidates. Not to mention that for the first time ever we have an African American president. I'd also like to compliment McCain on his concession speech it was truly into the man's great character that he could take a defeat and speak with such a positive message.

I'm taking the feeling that I have today and going to cherish it. I hope that you all do to.

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Last Day

I don't know what to do about it. This summer and fall have been quite the ride. Living with a room mate instead of a wife, being in the mountains, never sleeping, and of course photography. The whole time I have been by myself but never alone. I have always had the support of my wife from afar and the friendships that I have built over the course of the entire summer. It was hard. It was exhausting. It was amazing. I don't know if I would have changed any of it if I could have.

I just wanted to remind everyone that although we are proceeding forward by ourselves, we built an amazing network of photographers over this summer and we should use it. Remember that every time we are stuck financially, creatively, or just having a hard week, we are all going through a similar problems. There will always be an ear to listen if you need to talk. Anyone can call me if they need it. We are each starting our careers in a very person career but this summer has taught us that we should never be alone in that pursuit again.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Neverending Journey

I left Minnesota without a path. I had bushwhacked my entire life but could never find it. This one summer has taught me that all that bushwhacking was just part of the journey. The basic principle of a path is that it requires a journey to take it. I would grow bored with my life if it wasn't a challenge here and there. This summer I was on a paved trail. I grew more this summer than I had in the last couple of years. I changed. I evolved. With 10 days left, I can see the branches closing in on me. I may get snagged here and there but I am still moving. When I get home, I know that things are going to be difficult. Change always is. This time though I have a purpose, I have focus, and I have desire. It's an amazing thing when you find what you were meant to do. From now on, I am going forward. For the rest of my life, I know my direction. I'd like to think of it as my machete.....

Friday, October 3, 2008

Savor it

What is it about this time of year? What makes this time of year so amazing for everyone and everything. Somehow fall always makes me motivated. Let me tell you, that I need that feeling right now! Assignments are piling up and things have been going wrong but, it doesn't seem to matter.

Every time I step outside I feel the excitement. It has been hard to attend class. Being a visual artist this time of year is just amazing. There is no lack of inspiration. Suddenly that street that I have looked down hundreds and hundreds of times is one of the most beautiful things that I can find. I can't walk around the block without wanting to stop and photograph a leaf on the ground. Too bad this time of year doesn't last a little longer but, I guess that is what makes it so special.

Really the only thing that I wanted to say was make some time. Photograph, bike, hike, or camp. Whatever it is that you do, do it. This time of year only comes for a weeks a year so take advantage of it! If I can fit the time into my crazy school schedule, so can you.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Is a portrait expensive?

Cameras and equipment. What can I say? I always need something else.....always. Some days I wonder if any one person has enough money to have a photography business. When I first started shopping around for photography equipment I realized that everything is expensive. Once I educated myself about quality camera gear and looked at the prices, I couldn't help but feel extorted.

If only that was where it stopped... That is just the camera and lenses and all "fun stuff". When I started being educated about the business of photography, it became so much easier to understand why photographer charge so much! Lets not forget that we aren't even talking about the education or time that we had to put in to get to that point or even the hours that we put in doing our job in the first place.

People always ask us photographers how much that camera that we are carrying around cost us. There are two problems with this question. 1.)Why do I want to tell the random stranger that I have never met before that they could buy a car with what we have in my camera bag??? I mean really, that just doesn't sound intelligent. 2.) I don't want to admit it to myself!

The camera is one of the cheapest investments that we make. It's sad, but true. There is so many little things that are essential to digital photography and none of them are cheap! At the school that I am attending, we have this saying that will make that average person question our sanity. "200 dollars, that's cheap" I even cringe when I say that!

Just to finish off this thought process, let me actually tell you why I started writing this blog. All this talk about how expensive this business is. All this talk about how the camera body is one of the cheapest investments in photography. When my camera body breaks, I am out of business. Get a second one! Today, was the third time my camera body has broken. (I really don't understand why my professional "I can pound in nails with it" camera body broke for the third time in under a year, but it did) Just some food for thought for all those people who wonder about why their portraits cost so much.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

To Clone or not to Clone...

Lately, I am living in Photoshop. To those of you who know me, you know that that isn't a comfortable place for me to live. My photography tends to be real. I want to photograph it the way I saw it. Embellishing is just not my style I guess.

Photoshop is a crazy world where anything is possible if you can think it up and then take the time to create it. Some people flourish in it. I don't.

Don't get me wrong, I think Photoshop is an amazing tool. I just don't want to use it much. My teachers refer to Photoshop time as butt time. I couldn't agree more. I would much rather think for two minutes in the field than spend an hour fixing that thing that would have been gone if I moved 2 feet to the left.

Then there is the fact that Photoshop can be used to create a personal vision or style to their photography. This is the side that I kind of understand but have not yet figured out how to apply. Maybe I am too real for it. Maybe I just haven't seen someone with the style I want to emulate.. Either way, I think it is the biggest thing that is lacking in my photography. I'm hoping that someday soon I can identify where my direction is because I have been looking far too long!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The power of people

Last weekend was one of the best weekends I have had since I was here. I spent most of it out shooting but hardly any of the time was I further than a half mile from my house. For anyone who has seen quite a bit of my photography, they know that I don't shoot people that much. I think it is mostly my introvert personality. I really need to get over that.

Putting a person in a photo adds so much story. There is story in there expression, their posture, or their hands. It's refreshing to shoot without really knowing what is going to happen or even if you do, getting that decisive moment. I love shooting weddings. As the photographer, I am given a chance to share in the emotion of their day and capturing that is an amazing feeling. Who knows, I may be a closet people shooter. If that is the case, I better get out there and do it more!

To Spew or not to Spew....

I was driving around with one of my friend's last night talking about my lack of blogging skills and she used a term that is exactly what I am trying to avoid.

Emotional vomit.

It's not a very pretty phrase, but it is exactly what I am going to try and avoid in my blogging. I tend to be a deep thinker and I figured that I would avoid trying to scare anyone who reads these away by not writing that way very often. Although, I still don't quite understand why anyone is going to want to read these. That is something that I am going to have to work on I guess, either my writing skills or understanding that some people just don't have anything better to do than read my random incoherent thoughts.

Back to emotional vomit....

I think that anyone who hears those words can put a picture in their head. I want people to enjoy my perspective not walk away thinking that I unloaded on them. Too many thoughts can just be depressing and I am trying to work on being an optimist. Because of the emerging optimist, I will try not to emotionally vomit too often.

I thought I would finally say what I am planning on writing in these blogs. The title kind of tells all I think. Just to clarify for anyone who needs it.

Life- everyone has one. I just thought I would share mine with you so you can see a bit through my journey through it.

Thoughts- this will probably be my rants and emotional vomit category.

Photography- I thought I could share my thoughts and stories of trying to become a photographer/artist. By this I mean, moments of what I am doing, stories and people that have inspired me, and anything else that pertains.

Lastly, I will share some of my work on the site.

I realize that this should have been two blogs instead of one but, oh well. That is why I am practicing. And so it begins...

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Slowing down

With only a month and a half of school left, I am finding myself thinking about what I am missing while I have been in Montana. I spent the last few days in Glacier with my Dad. The park is one of the most amazing places on Earth yet people still barely slow down notice. Is life that busy that even your vacation can't be appreciated? I can't believe how so few people stop and just take it all in.

Every time I was photographing, at least a dozen people slow down enough to hop out of the car snap a photo and drive away. Will that one photo be your memory that lasts you your entire life? I hope not but, since they didn't stop and look, it may have to be their memory.

I have the opposite problem, along with a lot of other photographers I know. We spend all the time there but don't stop working. It's always looking for the next composition or anticipating what is going to happen, never just appreciating what's sitting in front of us. I have to consciously make myself put my camera down sometimes to make myself grasp whatever I am photographing. How can you capture the beauty of a landscape without actually looking at it? I can't.

Next time you are somewhere that you would like to remember, don't pull out your camera, just stop and take your time. Take in all the detail and remember it. Make it an experience instead of a moment.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

New Beginnings

Just to give everyone a little preface, here are some details. I am a student at Rocky Mountain School of Photography. I'm married. I'm currently living 1200 miles from my wife of four years. I've taken my summer and fall to pursue my dreams. Anyone, who reads this is welcome to join me along the way.

First of all, I would like to say that I don't write often or well. I kind of feel bad for anyone who is taking their valuable time to read my random thoughts. Most of the time my good thoughts aren't worth reading.

I am starting this blog for a couple of reasons.

One. I'm away from home and maybe I can share a little of me with everyone who cares. Yes there are a few out there.

Two. I was told that I need to start writing. So I am writing. Just one more thing to add to the to do list anyway right?

Three. I want to understand myself a little better. I don't really get that one either...

Four. I want to remember. I want to think. I want to share. Once again, sorry to all who take their time reading this.

Until next time....