Marking it down

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          I fear that everything I shot tonight would be ripped apart by a professional critique. It’s not that I think I’m still in a rut. It’s actually the opposite. I felt like I was in a groove. While this sounds great, it’s a common problem with photographers, especially young students. It’s all too easy to love a picture just because you worked hard to get it or because you finally matched that magazine cover photo that you liked so much.

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          Western alumnus and current faculty at Brooks Institute of Photography, Greg Cooper, took us out shooting tonight. I really appreciate that kind of hospitality. He showed us a great harbor in Oxnard where we were all bound to shoot the stereotypical. This brings about the quandary of whether or not we should be shooting these cliché shots.            Sometimes you get a killer shot that is great because it’s the same technique but your photo stands out for whatever reason. Separation was great, light was just perfect or maybe you just got lucky and all of your colors match up perfectly (I’m requesting that Keith post his semi-stop sign photo later to exemplify this). These cliché silhouetted beach shots are pictures we can’t take at home, but are they really benefiting our portfolios and expanding our abilities? Probably not.

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          My exposures are getting much better though. The varying types of light have helped me get quicker with picking an exposure and getting it right. I’m also getting better at watching for moments. So even if these lame calendar shots aren’t going into our portfolio I am training myself to watch for features more often.          I want to say I don’t care what we shoot as long as I’m learning. But I feel that maybe I would be cheating myself to assume that all experiences are equally valuable. This same idea scares me because it’s impossible to know what I’m missing out on. The only way to know is to try and do as much as possible. I’m keeping a list of things-to-do, and it’s growing fast and my days are disappearing. 

         I think it’s time to consolidate my ideas and expand the amount of time that I’m spending shooting. Soon we’ll flip the page to another cliché calendar photo as July is around the corner. I’m running out of days to X off.  

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One Response to “Marking it down”

  1. […] out Brad’s post about the harbor, specifically the third picture in it (the silhouette of the surfer and the […]

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