July 2015 – IPsoft Newsletter - Randolph & Wacker...
You have only one frame. What is your story?
“My Own Fame on My Own Frame” is my photography motto. Everyone has their own interpretation as to what it is. I think many fail to see the art, its purpose or meaning in it, and we just shoot at anything. In a society so obsessed with selfies, or their “camera” phones, what really is photography? We have the feature on our phones, but have you stopped and considered and made photography part of your soul? What thought actually goes into your photo? In a nutshell, to me, photography is a single framed story. You have only one single frame, what story are you going to tell? Your eyes tell one story, but what story does one single frame tell? It puts the whole big picture into perspective. Ha, pun intended. I am an amateur photographer, but growing up, my Dad was my teacher primarily; he’s a professional photographer and videographer. I learned cameras with film before the digital revolution. I learned how to load a camera, wind the film, set your film speed (ASA), white balance, etc. Most of all, he taught me the “stops of light” – exposure time (shutter speed), aperture (f stops), film speed, and getting good depth of field in shots. He focused greatly on many aspects of photography like the science and composition but, most of all, the art in photos.
I have wholeheartedly gotten back into the hobby of photography. Belayed for most of my life, I finally invested in a nice camera recently and started shooting again. Actually, the camera was vacation pay from my previous job, lol. “Your phone is not a camera,” my Dad has stated repeatedly. He’s very old school when it comes to photography. So, getting back into photography, I’ve joined several photography meetup groups in Chicago like “Chicagoland Digital Photography,” “Chicago Streets and Beyond Photography” and “1001 Things to See in Chicago Before you Die.” The last group is one that I regularly host. I’ve participated in several events that involve everyone honing their photo-taking skills. You quickly learn from each other. You can practice your skills and learn how to use your camera at the same time. Together with these meetups, I’ve met other photographers, and have learned a lot. We shoot anything in Chicago to scenery, architecture, street photography, and much more. Some of the events we have done are “One L of a Ride” with the L trains, Chinese New Year Parade, Chiditarod X, Chicago River, and various other neighborhood walks in Chicago. You get a lot of practice; I’m still learning my camera and how to set it up according to how much light is available.
You quickly learn how to manually setup your camera, especially in limited light. It becomes an art. There is always that challenge in shooting. How far are you willing to go to get that perfect shot? I’ve learned that lesson in the awe of nature, and we must learn to respect nature, our subjects, and show a little humility. One photo shoot I did of our beautiful city this past winter, I quickly learned that lesson. I almost fell into a frozen over Lake Michigan. So, the next time you take a picture, whether with your own camera or even on your phone, think about what story you are telling in your shot. Give it some depth and thought.
August 2011 – Your smartphone is not a camera...
The world of photography reaches far beyond the simple "point and shoot" of a smartphone. It reaches farther beyond a "selfie." It's an art and a science. This was one thing I forgot when I bought my first smartphone in August 2011. I forgot the true meaning of photography and how it touches the soul. I forgot the art and the science. In an automatic world, photography is not as simple as "point and shoot."