Jus’ Ordinary People

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    I get to play with/try out a lot of different gear; cameras, lenses etc. I shy away from flash systems and other accessories right now, as nothing I might produce is worthy of the financial strain of travelling in that direction, although Im sure it would improve my results. IMGP1293 (2)-Edit (800x688)

There are many times when the pursuit of photography seems to yield no favourable result. Its all too easy to blame it on the gear, blame the sensor – poor noise performance, AF, dynamic range not as good as A,B,C etc. Or, the lens – too slow, back/front focus, poor colour reproduction, not sharp enough. You catch my drift.

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But, i think often times, as a complete amateur and portraitist, with limited subjects, knowledge and equipment it can be ridiculously diffuclt to ‘create’  something imaginative and arty, with a little flair and edge. It can be disheartening. The reality is, I photograph real, everyday people. I’m sure the possibilities are endless and the ability to create whatever you see in your mind’s eye is there. I aim to learn, but along the way certain facts cannot be ignored.

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The basic one – not everyone takes a pretty picture. There are some I have photographed, stunning in reality, but they just don’t translate well to JPEG. Others, kinda unexceptional, catch them in digital and the results can be amazing. Surely the idea is to capture the good ‘side’ of any individual, the question is, how?

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The other basic one -The so called holy trinity of photography = ISO, aperture and shutter speed. If you can ace the exposure and nail the focus then sure, you have a technically good picture, but, without decent composition and some point of interest as the focus of that composition then you have nothing real. I have tons of GOOD pictures with some distracting feature in the background rendering them useless, and some well composed shots that may be slightly mis-focussed or poorly exposed, (which i reckon can be rectified in PS or LR or somesuch, but I have little/no clue) but are interesting or worthy nonetheless.

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I’m not after the EXTRAordinary, as suggested, that’s a rare thing. I am interested in the LESS than ordinary; somethin’ with a little somethin’. How does one achieve that? I take a LOT of pictures, and just moved some 10,000 shots off my laptop to external storage. All taken this year…so far.

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A lot are sh!t, some are good and possibly very good. Most are ordinary. I can count on one hand those that are less than ordinary. None are exceptional.

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I leave that to the Pro’s



2 comments on “Jus’ Ordinary People

  1. marla2008 says:

    Not exceptionnal, huh ? Yeah sure, that B&W 3rd shot is plain as they come… You knucklehead ! You have indeed produced quite a few *exceptionnal* pictures, usually of Casey, a few of your other children as well. The vast majority of your shots ranges from at least decent to good, very good, and excellent. With a few stunners here and there that have made me drool with envy. Who do you think shoots only keepers. No one that I know of, or even have ever heard of, for that matter. And certainly not me ! Photography is not an easy thing, and technical perfection has VERY little to do with conveyed emotion (as that 3rd shot totally goes to demonstrate). Screw the haters who agonize about a two inch undetermined object in the background “ruining” an otherwise powerful pic. They’re just too obsessed with the technical aspect of things to have any artistic perception at all. That’s so sad. A portrait is only as worthy as the connexion it creates between the viewer and the subject. All else is talk. And as we all know, talk is cheap…

  2. You’ve said what I was trying to say, thank you. It is about the emotional ‘pull’ or power an image generates, and there are some days it seems to come naturally. Other times it’s akin to pulling teeth. As an exceptional portraitist yourself, I’m relieved to hear that it can frustrate you too. We strive to achieve something different daily, with little variation in subject matter. It can be tough, especially when feeding the blog monster!

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