My Photography..

I love getting emails from you guys. This was the most recent one:

"It amazes me how incredibly beautiful your photos turn
out. I have a fairly nice camera and would like to
take photos like that, but they never seem to turn out
quite as nice. You have incredible talent."

I sent a response and a few minutes later got this back:

"You're very welcome. Question: How do you take such
nice photos? Do you use raw images and use a lot of
photo editing software or are you just that good of a photographer?"

I've been doing photography since high-school. I was the only one in the class that took is seriously. This was right before digital cameras became popular so everything I was doing was still on 35mm. I loved being in the dark room and learning all the cool tricks you can do during the developing stages. When I got to college I took another B&W photo class. While everyone in the class was taking pictures of their pets and their back yards, I was out searching for very unusual places to photograph, places that very few people go. I focused on abandoned structures. I loved that people were too afraid to explore them and I was fascinated that these places were once thriving buildings then something happened and everyone left.

[ Two of the first pics I ever took. 35mm. unphotoshoped ]

Taking photography in college really opened my eyes. I had a very good teacher that tried to push our talents. He taught us to view the world in a different way. Where most people would just see a decrepit building waiting to be torn down, I was able to look past that and started to focus on the art that lay within the buildings.

I spend a lot of time photographing abandoned structures. It almost forces you to search for the beauty. I can spend hours dissecting a site. I feel this help me as a photographer and it's now easy for me to hone in on and interesting subject.

[ some amazing texture on an abandoned boxcar ]

A few years ago I started shooting digital. Everyone has their opinion as to why one format is better over another or the more megapixls means the better, but I think that most of it is nonsense. Shooting in RAW with a 12mpxl camera doesn't mean that your going to get fantastic shots. You have to train your eye first to find interesting subjects. There is a very good photo website called Radiant Vista. They have a daily critique section where you can watch a new video everyday on what could have made a certain photo better. Also cambridgeincolour has tons of tutorials on photography.

I feel to be good at digital photography you must already have an understanding of what's going on inside your camera. To be good at programs like photoshop to help enhance your work, you must already know how those same techniques would be applied in a dark room.

[ sometimes a simple crop can do wonders ]

As for what I use: Canon Rebel (6mpxl), Photomatix for the HDR shots and Photoshop for minor enhancements.
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