Thursday, April 13, 2017

OK. Reset. Explanation.

Yesterday I wrote "I've been taking photographs of people for nearly 50 years and I just realized exactly how I could've done better than I have. It's a deflating feeling, actually.  All those missed opportunities and all those wonderful people with whom I could've done so much better.  Bon.  On y va!  Thus begins a massive reset.  I hope to find wonderful people to work.  Again.  Anew."

Here is the explanation.

I've been a slow and stubborn learner.  When I was young I thought I knew everything.  When I was in middle age I thought I could buy the right gear to "get me there."  As I grow older, I realize how little I know.

The details are simple, really.

Starting with lighting, it's taken me 20 years of fiddling around with things to get to where I'm happy with what I know.  Rembrandt lighting?  Understood.  Chiaroscuro?  Understood.  William Mortensen's "Basic", "Dynamic", and "Contour" lighting.  Got it.  Know it.  Nailed it.

Moving to processing and coming into the Digital Age I've learned a lot about processing images.  I think I understand how and when to apply textures and when to manipulate a "straight shot."  I understand Edward Weston, Morley Baer, and Ansel Adam's imaging and processing techniques and can apply them at will.  I feel I can even digitally simulate wet plate collodion (which is not really all that easy to do correctly in the digital realm - Apple Apps don't really get it right).

Working with people has been difficult for me.  I'm an introvert and it really stretches me to reach out to people and to ask them if I can take their photo.  I feel a strong responsibility to them as I don't like wasting people's time (which is what I feel if I screw things up).  Yet, I have worked hard to overcome my shyness.

Looking at my portfolio I see many things that give me pleasure.  I feel I've been fortunate enough to have done things that remain perhaps uncommon.

So what's the problem?

Well, the problem simply is this.  Take a look at the following video and pay close attention to where M.Gimes places the lens.

Now Google any of the Old Masters and select "images".  Titian, Rubens, Rembrandt, and Vigee LeBrun.  Do you see what I mean?

The effect may at first seem subtle, but it makes all the difference in the world, and I feel I've missed this one single thing.  Joel Grimes does not give lens placement the emphasis I am, but he does talk about it.  He clearly understands and has understood the importance of lens placement for a rather long time.  I have him to thank for helping improve my understanding of image making.

So.  I feel the need to hike up my Big Boy Pants and get on with it.  Hopefully my images will improve.  Thanks for listening.

No comments: