31 October, 2007

Before I Go Trick or Treating...

Once again I find that I have been so busy, that I haven’t been keeping up with my blog. So I am here to remedy that. First things, you may be wondering what I have been up to that has been keeping me so busy. For starter, I still continue to focus on event photography, which means every weekend I have been out and about. As I have said before, I enjoy capturing the moment and the most recent moments include

Day Out with Thomas at the Colorado Railroad Museum

Race for the Cure

K9 for the Cure

K9 for the Cure was an amazing event and if you checked the link I put in above, you'll notice that my picture was published on their webiste. Yep, without me, it's just aweso.

Boo at the Zoo at the Denver Zoo

And a little bit of the World Series (just the outside because like I would be able to get a ticket)

Oh yeah, and from a while back, I also attened the Member Education and Training Seminar for the Rocky Mountain District Circle K International, for which I am an Assistant Administrator. At this event I shot mostly Holga, which if I do say, came out very well. I mean, it is Holga. For this particular one, I did a "holgarama" which is not completely advancing the film so that each frame overlaps the next.

And besides all of that I have been fairly busy with some portraits as well as beginning work on putting together a nice and presentable portfolio.

Putting together a portfolio has been both immensely fun and infuriating at the same time. Both of these options are generated by the shear number of options available, which I had not really considered fully before. For starters, the cover of your portfolio should be representative of your work; nice clean product and advertising would be complimented by one of Lost Luggage’s Looking Glass covers or perhaps Pina Zangaro’s Satin Finish Aluminum Machina covers. But what cover identifies “event” or even photo documentary, which is an aspect of what I focus on, though I do need to go into further depth at times. I had seriously spent most of my time focusing on paper: do I go with a nice Innova paper (because I really like their Fiber semi gloss warm tone), or maybe with a Hahnemuhle photo rag? Texture, brightness, sheen: it’s all very complicated, but as I said it’s exciting to rifle through all of the different papers, some smell exactly like the darkroom while others feel safe and comfortable like a familiar memory. Of course, there are papers that I just want to try out, like Moab’s moenkopi Japanese Washi and Booksmart’s Fine Art Metals. Of course, I currently don’t have any images that would be complemented by either Japanese Washi or gold, but soon.

So while I contemplate, I’ll leave you with a little bit extra. Jay Kinghorn will again be presenting, this time at the Colorado History Museum in the Boettcher Auditorium, November 8, 2007. I’m hoping to attend if my schedule allows, and I would encourage you to attend too.

Have safe and happy Halloween!

05 October, 2007

3.2 Seconds

Today I had the wonderful opportunity to meet two great professionals. The first, Jay Dickman, a Pulitzer prize winning National Geographic photographer and master storyteller, and the second, Jay Kinghorn, a literal digital photography guru. They were opening their limited show at the John Jellico Gallery at the Art Institute of Colorado, which had begun using their new book Perfect Digital Photography as one of the primary texts for incoming photography students. Now, I haven't had the time to completely go through the book, but from what I have seen it is not arrogant to call title the way it is. The author's skill sets compliment each other completely as the text goes through the process of taking a picture. I say process because that is what it is. Sure, anybody can click the shutter, but as Jay Dickman put it, it takes a lot more to make someone spend more than the 3.2 seconds most people give to an image. Now I may have gotten the numbers mixed up (I've also been told 20 seconds), but stop and think about how long do you look at a picture in a magazine before you flip the page? Do you think that the images that you linger on were really and truly taken with very little planning?
One of the best things about the Jay Dickman's talk was how he described the way he told a story. This really resonated with me because that is what I really consider myself: a visual storyteller. It's what I want to be. His explanation of how you put together a photo essay made so much sense, yet I had never really thought of it in that way before. Even as we talked at the reception, he did nothing but inspire me. And of course, when he asked me what I wanted to be doing 10 years from now I drew a blank. That's a consitent problem with me, nowing here I am in the moment, but in the distant future, things get a little foggy, but we're getting off topic.
Talking with Jay Kinghorn was pretty much the same way. He really emphasized and reinforced Jay Dickman's comments (see, just like I said about their book) about how the great images, the ones that move you and inspire you are all previsualized before the lenscap is even removed. Yes, there is an element of "right place at the right time," but on the same token, it took a little bit of planning to put yourself in the right place at the right time. I'll admit, that I end up more lucky than anything, but on occasion I'll see the perfect location and I'll wait for just the right moment to come along and the picture will be exactly what I envisioned.
As a side note, I just got around to getting my film scanned this morning, so with any luck, I'll be able to post some new pictures in a couple of days.