Archive for December 31, 2010

December and Final Notes

Posted in Notes with tags , on December 31, 2010 by AZSalsman

2010Yippee!  Whoohoo! Alas! Whatever word describes the final triumph.  365 days of photo taking.  One entire year of my life devoted to the craft of photography. One full year, 365 steps in this journey, has come to an end before a new dawn begins.

If you had asked me at the beginning if I would make it through the year, I would have given a tentative yes – good intentions and all. But there was something inside me that said that it is doable regardless of the daunting task and that I HAD to succeed. So, I set out on the trek to see where it would lead.

I recently read on someone else’s blog that they identified the difference between a “picture taker” and a “photographer”.  I agree – as I see it.  A picture taker captures the fact that you were there.  A photographer captures the story that goes with it.  The former is of little interest to me.  The later is where I find my joy.

I have yet to do a thorough evaluation of the photos taken during this process but as I do a random check, I see that things have changed and grown.

A few days ago, through a photography website to which I subscribe, I  found out how many people have or are undertaking this challenge.  Many are nearing the end or have ended. Others are just starting.  But all regardless of the level of their craft, have different goals. Most are faithful to it. Others get overwhelmed with trying to include it in their daily habits.  But invariably, everyone learns something – whether it is about photography or about their lives in retrospect.

Through the year, one of the hardest things, I feel, about photography is truly understanding and executing is the capturing of light.  Photography, after all,  is all about light.  More than the technical aspects of getting the right exposure settings, it has to do with the intensity, the right kind,  and reflective qualities from the subject that creates the story.  This is the hard part of the craft.

I did learn that there is a photo everywhere and every time. You just need to look.  You need to be aware. You need to be willing to see the world around you in completely different ways. Then you discover something new, something grand, something unique.

So for me, right now, this task is complete.  The goal was defined as “to take and post one picture each and every day for one year”. That year has ended. To do less, would have been to sell the challenge short always wondering if you should have tried harder. To do more than that initial definition, would have been to saturate and muddy the purity of it all. Thus, it ends.  Where to go from here, I don’t know for it doesn’t end – it just begins anew.

To those that have followed along to various degrees through the year, I thank you.  Do not fear for I am sure you can find some way to occupy the few moments you spent checking that day’s entry.  I encourage you to pick up a challenge and grow. To others, thank you too.  This would not have meant a thing if there was no one to share the imagery. To God, I say thanks for the rich beauty created for our benefit, our enjoyment, and our existance.



WHAT I HAVE LEARNED (well, a partial list, anyway):

  • Life is a series of pictures. Put together, they become a movie.
  • The is a difference between being a “Picture Taker” and a “Photographer”
  • Photography is about capturing light
  • Set the ISO then your Aperture then your Shutter Speed
  • For handheld pictures, the shutter speed should be the same or faster than the focal distance
  • If all the technical stuff of taking photographs is beginning to overwhelm and frustrate you, revert to the automatic settings of the camera so you can regain the enjoyment of your camera…it should always be fun.
  • There is a picture to be taken everywhere.
  • A white index card taped to the back of your external flash is an excellent diffuser to soften the flash while directing the light forward to your subject.
  • There is always something new to learn.
  • My bucket list for photographs to take:
    • Forced Perspective
    • Self-Protrait
    • Painting with Light

December 31, 2010 – The End The Beginning

Posted in Snapshot365 with tags , , , , , on December 31, 2010 by AZSalsman

December 31, 2010
This is it. The last day of my snapshot365 project. Day 365! I could have chosen many other options for my final day but I chose THIS one for a very specific reason. If you don’t know why that is, check out the photo that began it all: January 1, 2010. I have come full circle with a journey in between that took me 1/2-way around the world.

And so it ends….well, almost. I am working, right now, on some final thoughts from this years photo excursion that I will post either late tonight or first thing in the morning. I invite you to come back to share in what I feel I have learned.

But this is also the beginning – only I don’t know where this one will end. Thanks for sticking this out with me.

Sony DSLR-A100 | f5.6 | 1/250 | ISO100