Archive for May, 2007

31
May
07

Some restructuring of my site

I’m working on some restructuring of the menu system, and being too bold (or stupid), I do this on the live site. Everything is going quite well, even though I’m not quite finished, but I have som problems editing some text to match the new structure. I guess I have to upgrade my Drupal installation to 5.1 pretty soon.

Hmm, maybe I shouldn’t do that stunt on the live site. At least not without a backup (or two).

29
May
07

A weekend trip

Mia-Maria and I went for a trip to a cabin in the mountains close to Brummundal this weekend. Didn’t take too many pictures,but ths one turned out ok, and I guess I will post a couple more in the days to come.

20
May
07

Creating images with a meaning

As I wrote in the previous post, I was out shooting today. In the middle of the day with bright direct sunlight. It was really not a good time for photographing, but I was in out enjoying myself anyway. As I sat down on a quiet spot, I started to wonder why I felt good right now. Obviously, there is a number of reasons for that, so I narrowed it down a bit. Was there something about this place the made me feel good? The answere to that one was easy. It was a day with lots of wind. I love being out in windy weather. The sun was glowing through the bright green sdpring leaves, making them glow. There might have been other things as well, but I focused on the visual.
It was llike turning over a switch. I started to take pictures, hoping to capture that emotion, or should I say, the thing that triggered that emotion. I guess I fired away more than 150 shots in very little time. The photo in the previous post being one of the more successful.

If you talk to people, or reading forums and stuff on the web, a common question is something like: “How do I make images that brings some emotions to the viewer?”
I think I suddenly stumbled accross my own answere to that question. To touch the viewer, you need to have a real feeling inside you. It must be a real sense of joy, sadness, anger or any other emotion that stirs you, and in that moment, you have to make your image. You must find the cause of that emotion, or maybe something that symbolizes it, and the image you produce must have a quality that brings back that feeling whenever you look at it. Only then can you start to worry about touching your audience, which may be even harder.

20
May
07

Windy day in the forest

I needed to get put today, so I saddled up and went into the forest behind our home. It was in the middle of the day, with hard sunlight and lots of wind.

20
May
07

My shadow and me

Just an old shot I found while browsing through the library

15
May
07

When the camera gets in the way

Most photographers seems to enjoy discussing how the camera comes in the way of their creative process. This discussion is to photographers as the weather is to normal people. Mostly it’s about the tiny little viewfinder that prevents you from seeing, and the awkward controls that are fiddly and never seems to be where you want them to.

Just some words about drawing first. I enjoy doing pencil drawings from time to time. I’m not at all good at it, and I often get discouraged, but I still try. The tools involved in my drawing is:
– A pencil
– Paper of some sort
– Pencil sharpener
To cut down on the technical aspect, I’m gonna leave the pencil sharpener out of the equation. So, this simple equipment shouldn’t get in the way of the creative process? Most people tend to believe that. After all, it’s so simple, so back to the basics.
Let me tell you, if you haven’t tried to make a drawing since you quit kindergarten, its really really hard. The pencil is such a delicate instrument. It’s characteristics changes as you use it, and even the most subtle pressure changes will show up. For me, drawing has nothing to do with creativity yet. I’m still trying to learn the craft. But I’m not ever thinking that the tools are uncapable. The masters of the craft are able to create stunning work. Not only technically good, but really mind blowing artistic work. The tools are not the issue here. Some are hard to learn, others are easier.

Back to the camera.
This tool is in fact fairly easy to use (compared to many other artistic tools). In only a couple of months of training, you can achieve results that are remarkably good, even without much guidance. I would like to see the person that could reach the same level in that time with a piece of rock, a hammer and a chisel.

For some reason, photographers tend to dream about the ultimate camera. The one that can be operated without any thought. With features and specifications that goes beyond anything you can imagine. Then would it be possible to unfold your artistic wings and fly on to eternity (Strangely enough, I never dream of the ultimate pencil). I guess you’re in for a disappointment. It’s not that black blob with a tiny hole in it that is the problem. I know the hole is tinier than it ever has been. I found my old Pentax Mz5 a while back. It is a just-above-bottom of the line camera from around 1995. The viewfinder is bigger and brighter than my EOS 5D, and the camera is smaller and lighter, but all that came out of it was crap. Seeing sure didn’t help me much. And by the way, just 3cm north of that tiny little tunnel, the whole world unfolds itself in all its glory. The brightest viewfinder you’ll ever find. The real problem lies, as always, within ourselves. It may be that you don’t master the craft, it may be that you have your ghosts and barriers in place, or it might be that you have a bad week. Some of it is easy to cope with, like learning a craft, others are difficult, like losing fear. A bad week only need some time. It’ll pass. What about laziness, or just ignorance?

What I am positively sure about is that the camera, ergonomics or not, isn’t nowhere near the reason. If you want to be creative and make art, but can’t get your results with a camera, try something else or work harder. The tool you use is a part of the result you get, just as much as you are. In fact, the process of being creative implies that something is created. To do that, you need tools of some sort, and that tool will put it’s signature on your work. Without tools, it is only images in your brain, and that is really nothing. You have to produce something out of those thoughts to call yourself creative. You’ll have to learn to use the tools, and you must accept their signatures, which by many people are called limitations.

15
May
07

Learning the craft

I remember in my student days, I was a member of the university camera club. In fact, I was a member of the board in that club. This club was relatively technical minded. Not that the members didn’t want to be creative, we just couldn’t get a real focus on that. One of the members was really upset about this lack of creative work. He often made a point of carrying an old Pentax slr with a slow 50mm lens all the time. Every meeting he complained when someone ask about something technical, like how to determine the exposure or something, and every annual meeting he suggested to change the clubs name from being a “Camera Club” to being a “Photography Club”. The funny thing was that I never saw him trip the shutter. I never saw any pictures that he made. Other members, who concerned themselves with technical aspects and learned the craft by doing, ended up making many fine photos, but I never saw anything from him.

For me, being in a club with this guy was a great learning experience. It made me realize that I didn’t have to be ashamed when I fiddled with my camera at home. It took me quite some years, but eventually I grew tired of the technical aspect. I really don’t get a rush out of handling a camera anymore. What has come as a pleasant surprise is that the process of photographing still pleases me. Well, it’s not really a surprise as I also enjoy drawing and painting (more on that later), but quite many people starting to photograph, loses their interest once they have tried out all the features of the camera.

Most of us didn’t really know how to use the tools either, and if you don’t know the craft, how can you expect to create anything with it.




Visit my home page

View the images from my blog

You'll find the gallery here (starting august 2008)

Print Swapping

a

free hit counters