I ask myself what defines the difference between a professional and a hobbyist. I'm not going to use the term amateur. The dictionary defines an amateur as "one lacking in experience and competence in an art or science". I believe anyone now days with a camera or phone can take an interesting photograph. Now the dictionary defines a professional as "one participating for gain or livelihood in an activity or field of endeavor often engaged in by amateurs". So it becomes pretty clear it is about the money.
I have recently taken the plunge to learn and to create HDR (high dynamic range) images. They have become very common in the photographic community. The technique is the blending of two or more images of different exposures in post processing into one image. The allows the final image to show the full range of light, all the way from the highlights to the shadows. You can find two types of HDR images. One is what I call realistic HDR, where the colors and contrast look genuine. The other is what I call creative HDR. These images can almost look like paintings. The colors and contrast are exaggerated. You will hear me talk more about this technique as I learn more. This is one of the first images I created using HDR processing. The photo was taken onChristmas day at Deception falls up near Stevens pass. I hope you enjoy viewing it.
As the year moves on from November and now into December, I have found myself becoming more motivated to make 2016 one to be remembered. This includes getting really back into the photography world. To that end, I have created a personal mission statement to live by. I offer it here to share with the whole world.....
"I will demand excellence in all aspects of my life. I will believe that each day will bring new opportunity."
Last month I talked about taking time to stop and enjoy the little things. The sand pattern was about 12 inches across. Now I am going to suggest looking now for those images that are even smaller. I will be walking or just doing something and my eye catches an image that would be missed over most of the time. I kneel down and gaze even closer and behold… a whole new world appears in no more then a few inches across. Patterns emerge, and composition begins to form. There is texture in the image. In the dying of a leaf the most fascinating image develops. I gave this photo the perfect title that says everything about this image……..
Finding those little things sometimes can produce new images I never see when I’m just scanning the world for a great photograph. It can pay dividends to look down and see things less noticed that are just below my feet. I will walk along the beach and see the waves, the sky and clouds, and the birds flying overhead. The sand below created a world I didn't see. Stop... the waves still spill on to the beach, the wind still blows softly... But now I have found a new world. One filled with a winged.... not sure, what is it? I have discovered a whole new world in an image that takes the eye to a place it just does not quite understand, but knows that it is special. I am so glad to be at the coast again. So I ask you when you take a walk anywhere soon, stop and enjoy the little things, and take time to photograph them.
“He used to be a photographer...” It was such a simple comment. A client was introducing me to relative of his. The comment should have hurt, but it didn’t, and that’s the problem. My wife and I have a great company we own. It provides us with a living, but it does not provide me any real passion. I’m a productive entrepreneur, but I’m not an effective artist. I take great images, but I don’t sell them. I don’t even share them with much of the world at large. At least when I used to work in a camera store, I was involved in the photography world each day. Now photography is just something that I long to do again. Jon Acuff said “that our dream job isn’t something we discover, it’s usually something we recover”. It is time to recover my dream job.
I have a great photography website, if I were to build on it, refine it, and promote it. I have the time to take great images, if I would just make the time to take great images. I have great cameras, if I were to utilize them daily. I have an eye to see great images, and I will share that with the world. It is time to change the “if’s’ into “wills”.
I will commit to the following to further my photography.
· A weekly blog post.
· Regular updates to my images on my website.
· Regular participation in social media (Viewbug, facebook, twitter).
· A monthly photo outing with local groups.
· Monthly entries in photo competitions.
Most importantly, I will once again get involved in my photography on a daily basis. This is a promise I will make to myself, and to those of you that enjoy seeing my images and have encouraged me to get back to doing what I love to do with my life. Thank you for you support and for your kind words.
Today is October 9th 2015 and I have brought the new photography website to the point that I am ready to present it to the world. I will always have things to work on to improve it, but I had to come to the point where I said "it's not exactly perfect but for Heaven's sake get it out there". Show it to the world and be a part of the photographic community. Please enjoy my new photography website. I look forward to hearing your comments and suggestions.