Archive for Notes

July Notes

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

It is the end of July already. It is hard to believe that summer is half over. Although, for me, I do have an excuse….I was out of the country and half way around the world for half of the month.

this month proved to be a good month for working on photography skills. The reason is simple: travel. With my two week mission trip to Bulembu, Swaziland. Not only was the area a fertile field of photographic images providing plenty of new imagery for me, but it was not my usual stomping ground so there was a precious opportunity for new stimulation.

In addition, I have been reading a book on photography entitled Photography for the Joy of It by Freeman Patterson and André Gallant. It is a very good book looking at all aspect of photography without concern for the technical aspects.  I am beginning to really understand the way the light metering works and how to use that to achieve the image for with I seek.  I feel, too, I better understand how to approach a potential image with purpose, creativity and communication.

There is a potential photography in virtually everything.  We just need to be conscious of it and looking for ways to capture the vision we have in our minds.  The challenge is to capture to a viewer can gaze upon it and gather the information you wish to convey without the benefit of the sights, sounds, smells, context of actually having been there.

All in all though, the project was fun and all in a day’s work.

May Notes

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

As far was what I have learned this month, I seems back to the basics.  I did really enjoy experimenting with “Toy Photography”.  It really highlights a pure definition of “juxtaposition” for I cannot control the expression on the subjects’ faces but I can control where there are in relation and their surroundings.  But because of that position, the photographer can still capture them with real human  (or animalistic) interaction.

The days here are getting longer and, certainly hotter.  With that, the sun gets stronger and more intense making daytime photography more challenging.  The bright midday sun washes out the colors, blows our highlights and creates impossibly contrasting shadows.

Maintaining a freshness as I go through a day’s activities is hard.  I am sure I have overlooked opportunities that I had when this project was young and fresh.  After 151 entries, I am happy though I have stuck with this.  30 more days and I will have reached the 1/2-way mark.  Think of it.  for now, I must remember to keep the freshness alive and not merely look tot he final badge.

April Notes

Posted in Notes with tags , on April 30, 2010 by AZSalsman

Here we are at the end of April already.  I have successfully managed 1/3 of the year….4 out of a possible 12.

I am afraid that I have not focused much on the technical ends of taking pictures.  It has been a full month but did not get much chance to “get around” so I was limited both in true opportunities and in time to concentrate on the craft itself.

I did discover about myself that I tend to feel the need to outdo myself from the day before.  I set the bar high and expect to stay there.  Hence, I end up trying to get the “perfect” shot.

I also learned that I oft spend time looking simply at the artistry of an image and forget to capture a story or have something to say by saying through the snap of a camera.  I realized this after the Phoenix Coyote game earlier this week.  I captured the two teams shaking hands at the end of Round 1 of the playoffs.  It seemed like a special though but I also noticed several around me snapping photos with their point-and-shoots or the camera phones.  These people would be getting, more or less, the same vantage point and likely a picture that looks VERY much like mine.  The difference? This one is mine.  It captures the memory…a visual trigger that I was there and had a great time.  I must be willing to  not just look for a unique masterpiece, but to at least capture a portion of a day.  With time, the image will be more dynamic and dramatic but I must “capture that moment” first.

Perhaps as may comes along, I can focus on new techniques or creative angles.  But for right now, I just need to snap the shutter.

March 31, 2010 – March Notes

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

Well…this marks the end of the third month.  I have been successful, so far, about posting one picture every day (except for one day on which I posted 3 views of the same subject).

As I look back, there are certain things I am beginning to notice.  I tend to photograph details or close up…trying to isolate a particular feature or point as opposed to large scenes and events. I think that having a narrow depth of field, one can adds a bunch of mystery to the image – wondering what is in the blurred area.  This leads me to believe that if I could afford another lens, it would be best to get a macro lens such as a 50mm/f2.8 or 100mm/f2.8 lens.  Translated, this is a fixed focal length (no ability to zoom) and fast – meaning that you can really get in close to your subject and focus on one detail.

I also have noticed that I lack people.  I guess I am shy about asking people to pose for a camera – especially for a picture from which they will not benefit.  Yet, one of my favorite shots for March was March 24 when I got a beautiful shot of my wife as we enjoyed a stroll through the Desert Botanical Garden with mom and dad.

I am enjoying the picture taking but I am finding the challenge of maintaining stamina in the daily “creativity” waning at times especially when I think of the months yet to come.  I hope, for anyone following along, that you are enjoying it and seeing things develop.  Please feel free to make comments along the way.  It may be the only way I can truly measure the journey.

February Wrap-up

Posted in Notes with tags , on February 28, 2010 by AZSalsman

Well, February has come to a close . We have participated in Valentines. We celebrated the triumphs, victories and trials of the Olympic athletes. We have seen a month of cleaning up from the Haiti earthquake and experience another in Chile.

For me, I have completed a second month in my personal project.  I have managed to take SOME photograph every day and learn a few things in the process. Some pictures are more artistic, others  are more of a record of an event, others are more of an experiment – but all are taken by me.  Despite the heartbreaking lesson of an expensive repair after a dropped camera, the project continues.

I must admit that it does get difficult trying to find inspiration each day or to find a new perspective or work on a particular skill, especially during days one’s activity is travelling from home to work and back again or when the day’s tasks demand ever moment of the 24 hour time span.  In the end, however, I do find I find something “unseen” each day and hope that I captured in on camera forever.

As for this day, the day the Olympics ended, the day Canada ended with a hockey gold is a hard-fought game, the day Canada set a record for most golds and the USA for most total medals at a winter game…I say “Adieu” and best wishes in March – eh!