Learning curve

Since I’m working on my 365 photo project this year, I find myself out shooting more than past winters. The area I live in doesn’t have grand vistas to photograph – no snow-covered mountains – no charming rural scenes. There is a lot of rural areas, of course, but “charming” isn’t a word I would use to describe them. We don’t have beautiful old world streets or dynamic modern cityscapes. In other words, it’s not naturally photogenic. So I find myself looking for details more. Small scenes of the big picture. When narrowing my vision, I found that there are a multitude of photo opportunities around. I have taken nature shots on the edge of a mall parking lot. I’ve found architectural details in buildings around town.  Just a light covering of snow on an everyday object seems to transform it from something mundane into something interesting. Shapes and lines start to grab your eye.

In the past, I have gone through winters having taken but a few shots. Mostly photos when a big snow arrives or some other event. I never really set out purposely to shoot. I usually had my camera with me “in case” I saw a shot but most days it went unused. This year is different and it has opened my eyes a little. I’m looking for photos.  I’m finding them. All of my photos might not be award winners, but I’m enjoying the process and am looking forward to what I capture as the year progresses. I have also been experimenting more in Photoshop. Trying to make an image look the best it can. Whatever works for the subject matter.  I’ve been experimenting with texture layers, black and white conversions, sharpening, curves, etc.. Some photos look good right out of the camera, some take a little extra manipulation.  I like both types.  Like I said, “whatever works”.  I do find when I’m out shooting, that I almost pre-visualize whether the shot is going to work as-is or will take extra work afterwards.

Much like my guitar playing, I don’t think I have a photographic “style”.  I seem to do a little bit of everything.  A sort of  “joker of all trades”.  Looking at my work on this blog I think you would agree. That’s alright with me.  I don’t have to stick with a certain look.  Not that that’s a bad thing. I can admire an artist who does one type of photography really well.  Someone who does portraits, or nature, or sports photography all of the time and has the process perfected. I like the serendipity of coming up with a good shot.  Something I didn’t expect.  I like to think outside of my comfort range and see what develops. Should be interesting to see where I head this year.

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