Friday, November 21, 2014

Restless Souls

Some of you that follow, know that as of late I have been involved with several projects, and have had to put my personal projects on the back burner in order to complete my deadlines for outside media companies. In a magazine interview I was recently asked this question. What is the biggest difference between film and digital that has impacted you as a photographer. I touched on the subject as an evolution of a photographer, and brought up the fact that photographers now have to be there own lab. In the old days an image was captured and the film was usually sent to a lab and an image was produced by that lab. In this modern age of digital, the photographer now captures, edits, and usually produces prints of the images. Unless of coarse, they use one of the many services to produce prints. These services can be handy being that most photographers can only produce images in a 13x19 format simply because the cost of what I call plotters is pretty substantial. Hey lets face it photography is expensive, and to own all the tools of the trade can be huge investment, especially if your return on investment isnt quite working out the way you had hoped.

This brings me to my point. I recently had a conversation with a friend who is extremely frustrated simply because he wants to be a working photographer and just cant seem to catch a break. Like many of us, this friend works a job and photography is a hobby at this point. What I want to point out is the frustration that can be felt can be a bit overwhelming, and it could lead to some rash decisions that may put you in a position to only hamper your aspirations. So for the sake of argument lets break this down a little. Having a regular job, which pays the bills is always a good thing right? The grind of a job can and often is a real pain in the ass, but what many don't understand is the mere fact that although this regular job is a grind, it is a necessary evil, and you simply cant throw away a source of income for a hobby. But there are those who will, because they can't understand a simple point. We live in a real world and the dream of being a big time photographer who is sought after for commercial projects as well as personal images is really a shot in the dark. Yes! it does happen, but I can say from experience it's not an easy goal to achieve. Hell, at this stage of my practice I still work a regular job, but I also work other projects and to break this down even farther, success is only achieved through hard work and the most important factor in all this, The Images. The images you produce have to stand out or at very least be something that catches peoples eyes. What I am going on here, is the fact that I have been lucky enough to catch some eyes. At this time two of my shots have been noted by National Geographic. Now these shots are not my greatest, but they had elements that caught the eyes of better photographers than me. And when I say better I mean they have access to equipment that is far superior than mine. Put that equipment in my hand and watch the magic. Returning to my point, I want to bring a dose of reality to the table and simply say, that maybe a false sense of accomplishment has been injected into the mix here. The big problem with social media is simply, with sites like facebook, you often connect with your friends, and friends will always compliment you on the images you post and what is most troubling about this, yes it can lead you to a place in making you think that you are better than you really are. My friend and I, well lets just say this, at times he has asked for my advice or thoughts on an image, and I have been honest, even though he does not always like my words. To be clear I am in no way an authority, but I can say I know what I like as far as an image, and when the images I see don't measure up, maybe that advice should be taken as constructive rather than as an insult. However it always stings when a friend is honest and says that photo sucks. Believe me I know, Instead of getting upset, I prefer to take the thoughts into consideration when I spend the time afield composing an image in order to improve the craft. Doing that has lead to some of the success and I continue to this day to ask better photographers than I, to give me their thoughts. One last point on all this. I mentioned that editing has become a huge part of a photographers work flow, and often times is the case, it's not the image you shot, it is the editing that is the problem. I have seen in to many cases photographers who have gear that would make anyone envious, go out capture shots and simply over edit the hell out off them, and the final product is crap.

In closing, I want to say, that I do not claim to be an authority on images. I can only offer my thoughts on what I think about a photo. When I like it, I can say I like it, When I thinks its crap It's crap. I do know this, Giving up on something solid is never a good call when it comes to your aspirations. Yeah I know sometimes you have to take a shot, but you sure as hell better know the repercussions if you fail. Rash decisions based on a false sense of accomplishment can certainly lead to a loss of what is most important and that is your family. I chose to move forward on the side of sound judgement, and with that being the case, I will continue to build a practice and watch it grow and at a point in the not to distant future a point will come when one or the other must go. Until then, I will work my ass into the ground to achieve my goal. For my friend however I will keep you in my thoughts and wish you only the best.

Here is my most recent image of notice, and one that I submitted to a nat geo assignment. I call this the Day's of the Open Hand. Once again not my best capture as it was shot through the windshield of my vehicle, but I will point out it fit the bill of the assignment to the letter. Be blessed the people who are making a difference to help those less fortunate.
Days of the Open Hands

You can view my submission http://on.natgeo.com/1zJQotZ

Until next post my best.
Shoot it,
Mike 

About Me

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Well if you are here, and you have added me to your circles, than it's safe to assume you wanna know how I got these scars. First off I will cover photography. I have been snapping a shutter since 1983 and some of my captures are well known. Photography means a hell of a lot to me and like many photographers I carry a certain air of pride in the work I do. The experts say you have to specialize in one genre of photography and I say ok, Well my genre is simply not to specialize. Loving what I do, I will tell you that life can turn on a dime and you have to live each and everyday to the fullest. While you are out doing that, snap some photos along the journey.
Personally, I am a dad, a husband, and I work my tail off to provide for my family and involve myself with causes I believe in. The hard work has paid off and I think I am one lucky guy. Three awesome kids, one hot wife, a boston terrior, whats not to love.. 
Thanks for adding me.
What can I do for you today?
MIKE.
SHOOT IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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