Friday, February 22, 2008

Always learning..

Okay, I'm finally getting around to a second installment of my blog. I have a bit of news before I move on to tonight's topic. I'll list it with numbers so that it seems more important than it actually is.

1. My website is officially live. (I think). It seems to be, though in a slightly different form than I originally anticipated. I have opened only 50% of the website which shows much of my nature photography and gives all my contact info, etc.

The second part of the website will show commercial photography I have done and will be doing for individuals and companies. That part of the site I hope to have up in the spring after I finish some more projects.

So, here it is: Let me know your thoughts!

2. I am currently published in PhotoLife magazine. One of my photos, Sentinels, took 8th in the Nature/Landscape category of their annual Image International competition. The bad news is that I spelled Sentinels wrong when I sent in the image, and spelled it "Sentinals". Nice going.

This is the image:

3. I was accepted to which is a juried, online gallery to showcase your artwork to retailers, designers, etc. I know some people have gotten some wonderful exposure from that site so I'm banking everything on this. Well, no not really but it's still nice.

Now you might be wondering when I'm going to get around to a topic even remotely resembling the Blog title. Well, that time is now.

One thing I've learned in my 36 years of existence is that there is something to learn from everyone. Of course, that can really, really vary greatly depending on who we're talking about, but even people who seem to offer up nothing in this world can teach you something if you take the time to think about it.

What you know is all relative depending on who you are comparing yourself with. I know a bit about photography but there are tons of people who know less than me, and tons who know more. I'm fine with that and I'm open not only to learning from people who know more, but even people who know less. Why not?

The idea for this blog today came from an experience I had awhile back. I had purchased my first set of studio lights from Alienbee (great lights by the way) and to be honest, was not very good with them. The vast majority of my photography was always outdoors in natural light, but studio strobes was a whole different animal.

So, thinking I could get some friendly help, I went to a pretty famous website for help on their photographer's blog in the "lighting techniques" section. I kindly explained I was new, I had a certain problem and could someone kindly offer up some advice.

Well, what I got was a bunch of guys making fun of me, rolling their cyber eyes at the stupid question I had asked, and basically tried to make me feel stupid. I can only assume from their reaction that the first day they bought their studio lighting 20 years ago, they knew everything as soon as they opened the box, never needed to ask questions and were perfect photographers right from the start. (actually I checked their galleries, they had very little to be pompous about)
I laughed it off and they didn't bother or discourage me at all as I don't really pay much attention to idiots like that. But I know a lot of people do. If you're just beginning, don't think that a question is stupid. Whatever you are confused about, ALL of us had to learn it at some point too.

Over the next few months I practiced with the lights and got quite good. I don't really NEED help anymore, but this Sunday I'll be attending a lighting seminar in New Jersy with a photographer who has more experience than me. Why not? Chances are, even though i know a lot, I'm going to know more when I'm done and be a better photographer for it.

You might be struggling with some very basic problems and you just can't figure out what to do. Maybe your shots are all blurry, maybe they are weird colors or maybe you want to sell things on the internet but you just can't figure out how to get the shots to look good.

There are two things I'd like to see on my blog. (I'll use numbers again, this is important)
1. People with less photography experience and knowledge should be totally unafraid to ask questions and seek help.
2. Photographers with a lot of experience who happen by should lose the air of superiority and help out those who need to pick your brain.

If these two things happen, this should eventually turn out to be a fun and helpful place to be. So, what I'm thinking is if there are people who have some questions or problems, I can turn the answers into future blogs and we can all learn from each other. (that also saves me having to think too much for ideas).

Thanks for listening, and remember to buy 20 or 30 of my prints.