A photograph is worth a hell of a lot more than a thousand words…

Posts tagged “long exposure photography

I’m not a sellout, dammit.

No photograph with this post, just me running my soup cooler. I was thinking about my post a few days ago when I was lamenting not being able to photograph my own vision, and the more I think about it, the more I think that simply isn’t true. My vision goes into every photograph I create. It doesn’t matter is someone else asked me to create the photograph for them. People come to me to create their photographs because of my vision.

I remember my college professor once saying that professional photographers, those who create photographs as a means of putting food on the table have to be willing to compromise from time to time and be willing to “sell their soul just a little.” I suppose there is some truth in that, but as in everything, black and white are not critical absolutes in life. A certainty in one situation is not a guarantee of a direct translation or application to another situation no matter how similar.

My studio has been open for six months now, and if I honestly believed I was a sell out, I would close shop, get a job at a gas station and take pictures on the weekends for free. But, I just spent the last four hours sorting through the photographs that I have taken since I opened up in January (because my website is in dire need of an update), and I am finding myself having a good measure of trouble picking which photographs to include in the update.

Between January 4th and June 6th, I have taken over thirteen thousand photographs with my digital camera alone. ¬†Granted, not all of them are winners, and about half of them are culled from the herd before I even show them to the client. But, after my sort this afternoon, I still have close to 300 of what I would call “winners,” photographs that I am happy to show to anyone. Perhaps 100 or more of them I would cheerfully enter into an exhibition…5 of them I already have plans to do exactly that.

So, I may very well be a portrait photographer for hire, squeezing friends and strangers for their hard earned dollars, but I am still quite satisfied that I am just as much an artist as when I was in college. My vision is in every photograph I create because it takes my vision to create it. My subject matter may have changed between then and now, but I still treat every subject with the same eye.

I still like photographing women sans clothes, but weddings, children, and puppies present the same opportunities for the exploration of light, line, and beauty.


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On the rocks

I’m not sure why, but I love the way water behaves in long exposure photographs.

This one was around 5 minutes. I’m wishing I had a flashlight with me to put a bit more detail on the rocks along the shoreline, but the deep shadows work, too.


Over the edge

parking_garage_loresBelieve it or not this is a 45 second shot that was hand held…sort of.

I couldn’t get the shot I wanted from this vantage point with the tripod on the ground (well the top of the parking garage) because the ledge was too wide. So I laid the tripod on its side across the top of the ledge and dangled the camera over the side of the building, and laid my body across the tripod to keep it still during the exposure. I wasn’t able to look through the view finder, so I focused on infinity and repeated the process a few times til I got a shot that I liked well enough to call it a success.


Old Train Station

clarasloresWell, it isn’t a train station anymore, but it is a cooler title than restaurant…which is what this old train station is now.

Clara’s on the River is one of the better restaurants downtown. It is a nice thing to say, but frankly doesn’t mean much as their simply aren’t that many restaurants downtown. If you count fast food like Subway and Schlotzki’s there are about 7 or 8…which I suppose is a lot considering the size of Battle Creek.

Clara’s, Arcadia Brewery, and the BiCi Bristo probably have the best food and service. Clara’s has the largest menu and is the most reasonably priced, and during the summer time you can sit outside on the river and people watch while you eat. Their Sunday brunch the cat’s ass…all you can eat for about 5 hours….I haven’t made it the full 5 hours, but I’m trying.

I’m still on my long exposure kick. I’ve been there before, but this time I am limited to doing it at night since I still have yet to replace my netural density filters after my camera gear was stolen. I’ve replaced just about everything else, but I still have yet to replace all of my filters. ¬†I do have a circular polarizer that adds 3 stops of exposure, but I need to get my paws on some ND filters, too.

This one was f/22 for about 4 minutes.


Long Exposure on the Battle Creek River

I’ve been neglecting my blog, but not photography. I just haven’t had much that was ‘blog worthy’ to post lately.

Last night I took part (led) the Battle Creek portion of the 2nd Anual Worldwide Photo Walk. I’ve been photographing downtown so much lately I was actually kinda bored and spent most of my time photographing the other photographer. But I did do a bit of night shooting after the walk was over, and got this shot. It isn’t terribly earth shattering, but I was tinkering with long exposures. I have a couple others of this scene that show more detail, but they were lousey with lens flare. I like lens flare on some of my shots, but these were particularly nasty. This one had a few, but I was able to eliminate most of it in post processing.

(click image for larger view)