One of my old Pentax cameras. Mostly I just use it butcher film, but it’s still pretty cool.
On trying to get good photos, when my photos kinda suck.
I like print work, and I’ve always thought it would be fun to do editorial photos. Last week I applied as a photographer for a local startup magazine. The creator wrote me back, gave me the assignment to shoot a couple different local business — particularly something food related — and to have the images back in a week.
You can do plenty in a week, no doubt. The only snag comes when I only really have one day out of that week to shoot, and I’m not actually familiar with local area. I told him yeah, I could do that.
On a suggestion of a cool place downtown, I went to Cook’s Fresh Market.
I went several places, but Cook’s was the first place I stopped, and where I spent the least amount of time. It turned out to be more of a grocery store than a sit-down restaurant. They had plenty of meals/sides/snacks ready-to-go, but I decided to focus more on the Fresh aspect. I took photos of the interior, exterior, and the unpackaged food. Then I moved along to another location.
Ultimately, I was satisfied with several interior/exterior shots. Not so much the food shots.
Without being given specifics on what the photos should look like, I try and err of the side of light processing. Especially when they’re more of a documentary style. My photos, however, were lame - a bad effect of no planning.
So, now we’ve got a bunch of uninteresting photos and we’re trying not to overly photoshop. A big problem is that there’s no consistency throughout the images. This leads to a lot of messing around.
I can’t really change the angle, but I can change the crop. I’d never submit print images with a stupid crop, but bringing two photos together, keeping my 4x6 ratio, can change the crop plus help with consistency.
After this, a few themes start appearing. Mostly notably, matching colors between two images. There’s also a theme for the images as a whole - parts of food making a full meal. Light salad starter, meat & veggie main course, and a dessert to end.
They’re not blow-you-away images, by any means, but crappy photos happen. It’s worthwhile to find ways to make something a little more interesting than it is at first glance.
The more I shoot, the less I find myself carrying around my camera. Maybe you can blame on the advent of the iPhone — the sweet, sweet, iPhone — but maybe it’s just that having an SLR kinda feels like work.
I spent a week with an entire side of my family, and I only pulled out my camera for a few shots.
I love my camera and I like the idea of capturing moments in better quality than any phone offers. I just don’t do it enough.
I’d like to talk with someone else who no longer pulls out their camera for everyday events — I’d like to know their reasoning. It might be a natural tendency of separating work and leisure. Though it could be the lack of control - I hate missing shots because my settings aren’t adjusted, because of a bad setup, or a low-light environment. Better quality than an iPhone, for sure, but never quite perfect. I don’t know, maybe I’ve gotten tired of it.
Resolution: I’m going to make an effort to take more random shots — what’s the use of a fancy picture-machine if you don’t have fun with it?
Today, I’m craving a regular schedule.
San Francisco/Napa Valley was a blast. To be fair, spending a week on vacation anywhere is usually some kind of blast, but this one in particular was dandy. I took close to a thousand iPhone videos, and ate enough carbs and sugar to induce a heart attack in a small bear.
Back in Colorado - lots of hosting gusts, hanging out around the city, and brainstorming for new projects. With a little luck, this monday marks the first day of a calmer schedule.
In closing: I tried In-N-Out in San Fran... and who, you would ask, was the victor of an In-N-Out vs. Five Guys burger challenge? Five Guys. I wasn’t disappointed by In-N-Out, I’ve just had better cult fast-food burgers. Remember, these are important issues.
For the next week, I’ll be trading in the Denver skies for San Francisco.
I promise to have lots adventures, eat some amazing food, and to take more iPhone photos than I could possibly ever need.
Also, In-N-Out. That’s happening.
Do you ever find something in an old photo that you never noticed before? It’s not hard to miss things in real life, when you’re too focused on one part of the subject to notice all the details. Or, in my case, too busy trying to inconspicuously take pictures of strangers, and keep a “Hm, what? Just… enjoying nature...” look on my face, until I tripped on the sidewalk. However, tripped on the sidewalk and didn’t fall into the canal. That’s a little something I like to call victory.
This is the photo I speak of:
He was from Oklahoma City. I don’t know his name, but I saw him several different times around downtown with his guitar
It’s been almost a year since I shot this and I only now noticed his bucket.
For the farting starvist.