Monday, April 27, 2009
A few days ago Courtney (my SO) and I spotted the lights of the annual Wilton Carnival, saying/thinking "Look at it! I need to go!", unfortunately with my camera back at the house it was a date for another night.
Friday we decided to make it a date night, fun and food, this meant Carnival and then Indian cuisine. Carnivals are festivals for photographers, the lights, the people, and the food all make for scenes that beg to be snapped. These days with the excellent high iso capabilities of most DSLRs the atmosphere can be captured exactly as the eye perceives. The scenes are all familiar, vendors calling out to the crowds of young people who are there more for the social benefits than the fried bread dough, the ambivalent ride operators collecting tickets to the two groups of kids wanting to give "Zero Gravity" another try, the rows and rows of giant stuffed animals that are destined to be a futile attempt by a man to symbolically win a women's heart. I challenge myself to take it all in then figure out what I want to keep with the mindset that these images will be not just memories but also images that strike something familar in the hearts of others.
Ideally, you want to be able to take photos without disturbing the scene, even with a smaller SLR you have to be a little coy with your technique to get what you want, eventually I will move to a smaller capable camera for these types of sprees (for the gear heads, the Sigma DP2 is looking fantastic, reminding me of a digital version of a Yashica GSN or the like). With my Nikon around my neck and Courtney by my side we walk around talking, finding interesting perspectives, and pressing the shutter when everything seems to fit. Obviously its not always a concious effort, many times its a look, react, and maybe take a few steps before looking at the LCD to see if the image is worth keeping. I'm not out there darting around like a ninja trying to catch the "decisive moment". No, sometimes in these venues it is just as effective to walk around as a tourist and enjoy the subject you are capturing.
It was color that intrigued me the most, I wanted to see if I could frame these images to emphasize the shear bombardment of eye candy. People are an excellent subject however they tend to be more a part of the landscape than being the primary subjects. What is more interesting to me is how they blend into the environment. This brings me to the posted photo: Tish's Amazing Fry Factory.
When I saw this vendor I immediately wondered outloud, "I wonder if they fry twinkies, I have never had one, and I want to try one tonight!", then as we made our first lap around the carnival ground we came back to see a woman patiently standing in front of the fryer waiting for the next round of customers in the window. Surrounded by the lights and signs of the "factory" you can't help but wonder if she is not only waiting for customers but also waiting for her night to end? You also wonder if that is in fact Tish standing in that window? If I bring a pack of Oreos to her will she batter them up and throw them in the fryer for me? The image is a shot that is meant to seem obvious but also meant to cause curiosity beyond the light and color.
Thankfully for my stomach we marched on looking for more moments, stopping at one point Courtney and I take portraits of each other (as we try to do when we are out and about with our cameras), then we decide to call it a night with the carnival. I always like to think about not only what I did but also what I didn't do; despite my recent confidence boosts I still find my self apprehensive about asking people in public if I may take their portraits. Yes, as you can see below, candids are always a very interesting for the moments you catch but I want to get to the point where I feel comfortable to take a random street portrait.
One of my favorites Nick Brandt
Some amazing images at Shorphy: All with my favorite film Kodachrome!
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Welcome to the PJN Photography blog!
Here I will share thoughts, links, and above all photography. Those who know me will get a chance to see more of my day to day photography, I will include my own thoughts about the images I post; you may learn a thing or two about me. For those who are visting this blog for the first time will hopefully enjoy not only the images I post but also can relate on some level to my general theories and feelings on not only my work but in photography on the whole.
So why did I begin with the image above? This bowl of tomatoes was exposed to my sensor just about one hour ago, it is new, it is simple, and it represents my current direction in my photography: simplicity. Not that the images themselves have to be simple, more that the image represents a practice of the basics, light, color, and composition (framing for the more literal photographers out there). This is very much a concentration on light and form, this kitchen nook has the most fantastic light; the table is surrounded by windows on three sides with white curtains providing a great mix of hard and soft light. In the history of still life images far softer light would be used to limit the number of distracting reflections however in this case, in my opinion, they actually frame the tomatoes.
If you visit my portfolio you will see my primary work is in the wedding and portrait area. My passion for photographing people is also my great frustration; I want to have a chance to put everyone in front of my lens however this is rarely possible. Weddings are not only a great challenge but they are also the arena where I can showcase the many sides of my photography. I prefer to tailor my photography to the tastes of the couple, though I do maintain my own style, I want any bride or groom to have their photography reflect their personality. My current exercise is to get back to basics however build upon them to take the images to a level that is instantly both a record and art.
I will elaborate in future posts how I plan to mature and refine my photography; I encourage comments to the blog to discuss these posts. More to come shortly! - Pete