Friday, November 5, 2010
Photography My Way
Expressive Photography: The Shutter Sisters' Guide to Shooting from the Heart
inner EXCAVATION: Explore Your Self Through Photography, Poetry, and Mixed Media
I got these two books in the mail today and I am so excited. Many times I've tried reading books about photography, and I've never gotten past page one. Most of them out there are dry and technical and scientific. Which, on one hand, photography is. But it's also unquestionably so much more. And here are two books--whose type I didn't even know existed, that I didn't know I was looking for until I found them--that spoke to that so much more. Taking them out of the box, flipping through them, I could feel the energy of excitement and knowing and recognition moving through my body.
I ran across The Shutter Sisters Blog by happy accident one day and felt immediately as though I'd arrived exactly where I belonged. Here's part of what I read about their philosophy:
Shutter Sisters is committed to honoring and celebrating the beauty that women behind cameras can capture. We embrace the belief that we are all creative equals, eager to share with one another our work; our art. It is in that sharing that we thrive and grow not only in our creativity but in all facets of our lives... . A great image is a great image whether it happened by beautiful mistake or meticulous calculation.
Most of the pictures that I take that I end up really loving belong more in the happy accident category. I don't seem to have the capacity, the knowledge, the patience, the whatever, that is needed to meticulously set up a shot. I know that about myself. I know that I'd rather take two or three hundred shots and hope for a few exciting ones (thank goodness for digital...) than to take the same amount of time to set up the shots and take just a few. Not only that, I don't think I'd even know how. And, because of that, sadly, I've been under the assumption that because I don't do it "properly," I would never be very successful. Yet now, here is a blog and a book, with contributors that are both professional and amateur photographers, that tell me otherwise, that honor that there are different ways of accomplishing the same thing, and that there is no one way that fits everyone.
For me, there is a thrill to just shooting that would be lost if I took a more scientific approach. It works for me. It excites me no end to come home after shooting and have so many pictures to go through. It's just how I do things. When gardening, there was never a master plan, as is suggested by all the books out there. I just started someplace and it grew and evolved from there. Same with decorating, with road trips, with so much of what I do.
It doesn't mean that I don't have a shitload to learn. It doesn't mean that I don't crave growth and transformation as a photographer. I want to learn more about light and meters and filters and tripods. I want to experiment with composition, be more creative, step more outside the box. There is so much on the technical side that I need and want to learn. And slowly, it is happening. In my way, in my time. But even more than technical knowledge, I want to discover and then develop my own unique style, and beyond that, to learn and practice the art of photographing from the heart.
I can't wait to get going...
Oh, and p.s. I've created a new blog, Snapshots From the Moment, for my photography. My goal, eventually, is to post a picture a day, and maybe to write about the learning and the experience of taking pictures. To visit the site, click below.
Visit my new blog here!
See you tomorrow.