Learning Photography

One of my 'good' photos from near the beginning. It may be sharp, but so is much of the background and foreground.

I thought as I am starting out on this website I should tell you all a little about how I started in photography and design. This post will detail my journey in photography.

Beginnings

I have enjoyed others photography and casual photography ever since I was very small, and I have also enjoyed art for some time. As I began developing my art skills I was slowly gaining an interest in the art that could be observed and captured in the real world. I was also steadily gaining an appreciation for realism in art, and the difficulty of capturing, even on film, a piece of art that could actually evoke feelings of its reality.

It was in late 2009 and early 2010 that I really started looking to photography as an art form that I wanted to use personally, and I took my usual approach of learning before doing. I can't really recommend this approach, which in my case means that I have a better theoretical knowledge than practical knowledge of photography.

Real Photos

Another early photo with sharp focus, but this time it is the composition that kills it.

In January of 2010 I attended a 4-H arts camp and participated in the photography track offered there. From then on out a camera was one of my preferred tools for art.

During the early stages of my photography I produced images that were usually technically good but had poor composition, and poor use of the technique. I can only call my photos from this period technical experimentations, not really true artwork. This is the time during which I developed the self critical attitude I have toward my photography, because I knew it should be better, but I wasn't sure at the time how. As I began talking with photographers it became more and more obvious that I just didn't have a feel for the artistic part of photography, but only a skill set that wasn't exercised enough.

Slow shutter while zooming, the main problem with this particular photo was that I didn't use a tripod.

The key to the beginning of my growth as a photographer was the realization that it is art in the same way that painting or drawing is art, and should be treated in the same manner. Prior to that realization my idea of photography was 'it isn't art, it is just capturing the real world'. As soon as I changed my ideas my photographs began to improve, based on others (both photographers and non-photographers) critiques, and personal critique.

Producing Artwork

This is one of the photos I have entered into competition, though I used a black and white edit. It is sharp, with good (though not perfect) composition.

As I began to realize the artistic potential of photography, I also began to seek other photographers I could have a lasting relationship with. I viewed this as important because I wanted to know people who would consistently encourage me to create better artwork, and who could offer advice.

It wasn't until fall of 2011 that I found a community of such artists. That summer I had been invited to attend a meeting of the DSCC (Duluth Superior Camera Club) which is part of N4C(North Central Camera Club Counsel) and PSA(Photographic Society of America). I decided that a number of the members of the club would be able to give constructive feedback on my photography and consequently joined the club. I am vice president of the club for the current year of meetings.

This particular photo is one of my more artistic ones, though it has a lot of technical problems. Most of the problems are due to low light and high ISO.

Not only have I found this community useful, I have found that my technical knowledge has been a boon in helping others understand photography. I hope that you will find this is the case as I continue to share my knowledge with you, the audience.