Friday, August 19, 2011

Scanning Negatives Photography Project - from Roll 2

Just a quick heads-up about this photo, there is nothing really great about this picture I know that, I really do. So why on earth would I be posting this picture? As photographers we capture images of moments in time, we are not always required to make memories for others, sometimes we need to make them for ourselves.

When I look at this picture (late December 1978) I see an image of a friend of mine who's mind is happy about the moment. Looking back we were both in our own element and for me that is a good memory. I know that I can look back on this photo and see so much more in it than anyone else would see, and that is something I like about it, this picture has a special meaning to me.

I really need to make some sort of point here about photography so here goes. With the world in more advanced stages of technology we are in a position to really capture more images and video than ever before. When I first got my 35mm film camera back in 1978 I never imagined technology taking us to where it is today.

When it comes to taking pictures these days, take a lot of them. For the younger photographers, take a lot of pictures. If I had this technology back when I was growing up I would have taken a ton more photos. Now this photo of my friend has meaning to me. I smile every time I look at it. I took this photo without considering anything about taking good pictures, basically because I did not know any better, it was my second role of film.

Looking at this photo from a project learning perspective, I may have moved closer to the subject to take a better photo of the subject. But because the barometer is in the picture I know exactly where it was taken. I was new to the use of a camera flash at the time and looking at this image it is obvious where the hot-spot is directed. Taking this photo at the moment I did was great from the perspective that this image could not be easily replicated or duplicated, in other words it was a once in a lifetime shot. It was a spur of the moment shot that was pure as it was taken and has brought back good memories for years.

My first 35mm camera had a fixed 50mm lens and even though it had limitations I needed to learn to consider the subject and the surroundings when taking pictures. That is something you should also consider. In this digital age we tend to rely on the fact that we can always crop out portions of an image we don’t want. I say, you should still try to fill your lens with quality imagery so you have more of the original image data in the final picture. I believe this improves crispness and clarity in the final image.

My suggestion to you is this, be sure to take some pictures that make you smile. One day thirty some years from now, you might be glad you did. You can think about it.

Enjoy Life! Take Pictures!

BTW ...
On Twitter I am @TMSphotos ... I am always willing to connect with photographers.

You are also welcome to join my Blog here. I try to share knowledge, information and experience of my photography.

Photography Concerns With Young Adults

I don’t know about you but when I grew up life was very different than it is for the youth of today. I look at the technology today and compare it to what I had in my teen years and I am amazed. Even more so, I am unnerved, concerned and sometimes frightened.

Actually, to some degree or another we are all concerned with technology and we should be. But my focus today is on the subject of young adult photography and the internet. Before I go into details, let me ask you to take a moment and think about something. Look back on your years as a teenager and think of one or two dangerous or stupid things that you did that were really dumb things to do now that you think about it.

I am not going to share with you some of the stupid things I did but I’ll tell you this, I would never do them again and I darn sure don’t want my teenagers doing them. Now let’s fast forward to the here and now. There are cameras everywhere, portable cameras, security cameras, traffic cameras and children, teens and adults with cameras on their phones.

As with any technology there is a list of the good and bad things about it. For most of us who are photographers we usually are in the state of mind to capture and share photography moments with others. Our young adults on the other hand, may become subject to the malice of others on the web. This is a subject that we need to be prepared to discuss with the youth of today and tomorrow.

My story today is one that was shared with me by a close friend of mine, if it can happen with his children it can happen with yours. My friend has a teenage daughter who is in high school, she has one of those phones that also takes pretty high quality images. It was summer break and this young girl and her friend were hanging out together at her home, just having some fun girl time.

The parents are fine with this because both young girls get along well together and usually stay out of trouble. On this particular day however, they decided to have fun with the camera phone. Like most girls they make their silly girl faces and take their pictures and post them on facebook.  These are typical things to do until the dad sees pictures of the girls kissing each other on the cheek.

Now normally this would not be a problem, but because some people tend to be vicious and spread rumours this could be a problem. The father was angry with what he saw not because what they were doing was wrong, it was because these girls could really set themselves up for harassment from friends and more importantly, from enemies.

So the dad decided to do something a bit different with this situation. After everyone had dinner he called the two young girls to his computer and told them he wanted to talk to them about something. He pulled up his daughters facebook page and went to her recent photos, he told them he was not mad at them but he was very concerned about what he was seeing.

He proceeded to show the girls how the image could be downloaded and reposted to another website. He explained to them that things could be said about them on facebook and other websites that just are not true. He had a discussion with them telling them that even though what they were doing was for fun and it was innocent, he told them that there are perverts on the internet that spend hours online looking for pictures like these so they can do bad things with them. Things like photoshop their heads on to the bodies of unclothed women to create something that they did not do, and then post those pics on the web.

Then he explained how the photos could be tagged to show up in web searches. The dad told them, on their own time to go to Google, click on images, search on the key words “lesbians kissing,” then change the setting from “safe search moderate” to “off” and see what the results are.

The dad went on to say that just because you have a lot of friends on facebook the most important thing to remember is that the internet is not always your friend. As you both continue to learn and grow in this cruel world you need to make sure that you do not become subject to the harm of others because of what was innocent fun in the beginning.The dad did not even ask, he just looked at the girls for a moment. They looked at each other and each said, “we should delete those pictures!”

Now this is just one example of things that could go wrong with cell phone cameras. Unfortunately there are way too many bad stories of children who end up in bad situations because of internet predators or any number of the evil doers of this world. It is good to teach our children how to take a good photo. It is good for them to be able to capture memories for their future. It is good for children to have fun with photography.

It is important that we teach our children of the dangers of technology also. Don't let our children become statistics to the dark side of the internet. Spend time with them, teach them, help them. Be there friend on facebook and in life, but first and foremost, be their parent.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

First Photo - My Beginning in Photography

In December of 1978 I bought my first camera. It was a Pentax K1000 based on a recommendation from a pro photographer who was a close friend of the family. Granted, Pentax is not a Canon or Nikon but at the time Pentax lenses were manufactured by the worlds second largest optical company. Also, the cost of the camera was very reasonable for a young sailor in the US Navy. Bottom line from my point of view is that the Pentax K1000 was and is a workhorse beginner camera.

One of the things I truly enjoyed about the K1000 is that metering was a breeze for no flash photography. Get the needle in the middle by adjusting your shutter speed and aperture and take a picture. Simple.

In this photo, my best friend is in front of my parents house in Winter 1978. Keep in mind that this is a scan of the negative. I did have to use Photoshop to remove dust and adjust the image color. Looking at the picture I ask myself a couple of questions ...

1) Is it a good picture?
2) How could I make it better?

So, is it a good picture? Well, it is a landscape picture of a friend in front of my parents house. It's winter and there has been a pretty good amount of snowfall so there is a Winter snow scene. You can kind of get a bit of an idea of the size of the home because of my friend standing in front of it. There are not any real details about my friend in the photo and because I know the house is larger, I realize that this is not a good photo of the home either. Frankly, I gave no real thought to the composition of the photo because I did not know any better.

How could I make it better? I should have thought about what I really wanted the subject to be. If I wanted a good picture of the house I should have looked at the home from different angles, determined the best angle or angles and then taken a picture or two. If I wanted a picture of my friend, I should have thought about what would have made a good picture of my friend and taken that.

From my first role of film there are not really any good photos. I just wanted to take pictures and get results. In those days it felt like I had to wait a week before I got processed film returned. Thank goodness for digital cameras!

With the technology in today's digital cameras you have the ability to really take a lot of photos and review them quickly to determine what you can do to take a better picture next time. Think about this if you are first getting into digital photography or if your helping a friend or relative get involved in photography.

Enjoy Life! Take Pictures!

BTW ...
On Twitter I am @TMSphotos ... I am always willing to connect with photographers.

You are also welcome to follow my Blog here. I try to share knowledge, information and experience of my photography.