Looking through the square hole
Taking pictures is narrowing your view. In a good sense. Looking through the square hole makes you focus on composition, color and details of what you see. It’s all about making choices.
When I was 12 years old I got a camera from my granddad. It was an Agfa, that I know for sure. But I am not sure anymore whether it was a Click or a Clack. All these years I was convinced it was a ClackII, but googling pictures of it made me wonder. The image in my memory resembles more the ClickII.
It was a little plastic camera, with 3 choices (sun, half-clouded, clouded) and I could make great pictures with it.
Taking pictures inspires me
Masks in Venice
I am not a photographer by profession. Although I do take pictures to sell them. What I like most about pictures is the infinite source of inspiration they are to me.
- The actual pressing the button at the right moment;
- Sorting, choosing, throwing away and keeping others after a shoot;
- The editing and playing in Adobe Photoshop;
- Organizing them in themes by tagging;
- Making plans for the next day of shooting.
And of course looking at exhibitions and in books at other photographers and their work. Favorites are Karl Blossfeldt, a teacher that made pictures of plants to teach about forms and shapes, Ansel Adams, a marvelous landscape photographer, Hans Aarsman, a Dutch photojournalist who writes real funny observations, Eva Besnyo, a social photographer and Ed van der Elsken, also a social photographer.
LOL, come to think of it, looking at their names it seems I didn’t get past the E in the alphabet, but that really is a coincidence! It’s not a coincidence though that 2 out of 5 are social photographers.
The reasons why I take pictures
- Pictures are great to remember events
- Making pictures makes me more aware of what I see
- I love editing pictures as a form of art
- I use pictures for educational reasons
- Pictures are my inspiration when I make my art
- I hang my pictures on the wall or put them on the cupboard
- I love to capture emotions or beautiful moments in time that may just never happen as randomly perfect again
- It’s a moment in Time
- I use my photographs in my books
- Photo Diary
A canvas hanging on the wall or framed on the cupboard
It’s great to choose some photos for a special place on your wall. Don’t go for the cheapest supplier. Have a good eye on the following aspects:
- How is the quality of the canvas;
- What kind of wood is used for the frame;
- Are the colors UV-resistant;
- Is the finishing touch a good varnish.
Sometimes I use my canvases as an art project. One project in particular was really fun to do. I was going to have an exhibition in a big garden in June. The theme was ‘Time‘. In January and March I took a lot of pictures and chose 5 for a print on canvas. On iron pins, stuck in the ground, I could hang the canvases on the spot where I took the picture, thus showing what it looked like a couple of months before. Because of the pins they were a little bit off the ground, so when it rained they wouldn’t get dirty from spattering mud. Glad you asked, yes, they survived the wet Dutch weather perfectly!
Do you want a canvas of your own?
This picture and others are for sale in my Zazzle store JosjeM
The camera is my best friend
As long as I am behind it
I was trying to recall how many cameras I have possessed. The amount is amazing. I regret that I sold or gave away most of them. It would be a nice Memory Lane if I had them all on a shelf.
Because of the picture I wanted to make for this lens, I rumbled through my drawers. The funniest thing is, that I discovered an analog camera with a film in it. No idea for how long. The display says ’19’, so I have 18 pictures, or maybe they are slides, of which I have no idea what’s on them. It will be nice to fill all 36 and then try to find some place to develop it, don’t you think?
[Update: I am glad I didn’t finish all 36, but let it develop right away. The Fuji film – having a blue shade in itself – turned out to be too old. All the pictures are very blue and because of that they look real faded. Oh well, now I at least know what was one it. Not for keeping :-)]
Nowadays I walk around with my Canon Mark II for the large ‘official’ photos. And my iPhone for the fun photos. Do you know the app Hipstamatic? I adore it! It’s an app pretending the iPhone is a plastic camera, like my ClickII. You can take pictures that had a light leak. Or doubled by accident. Or have stains on them.
There are always new things to explore
Not all old knowledge became obsolete when digital cameras were commonplace. The rules concerning composition, use of color, depth-of-field or contrast still apply. But any new technique or any new camera takes a lot of learning. I love it when things change and there is something new I can put my teeth in to try to master it. And I also love to teach about it. For instance in this article about composition on my blog.
The rule of thirds is very important in photography, but there are more ways that lead to Rome, in this case in leading to a good composition.
Mastering digital photography
In my photography library the most books are written by Scott Kelby. Basically every page is a picture with a talk. In a clear way and very instructive.
100 Photos that are all the same
Or how I rediscovered my pleasure in shooting
There was a period I hardly took any pictures, except from my family and special occasions. When we were on a holiday I bought postcards from the highlights. What was going on? I got frustrated that the postcards always looked better than my pictures. They were taken in better conditions, from a better position, with a technical camera. And I didn’t see much point in adding a picture of the facade of the cathedral to what all my bystanders were shooting at the same moment.
I regained my pleasure when I decided to have one main objective, one theme to work from. For example, my theme could be round or monochrome. One year all my pictures had to be taken in portrait mode. The theme could be five or contrast. As you can see the list is endlessly. I can really recommend it. It is such fun to try to find images that fit your theme. And what’s more: you will look at your environment in a different way than you did before.