Look at the image below. How many times as (professional photographers) do we think of this? Homer Simpson saying “DOH!” As a professional photographer currently enrolled in college I do this all the time with my Canon 6D. Its the little detailed things such as a setting in the camera, a piece of jewelry or accessory the model, position of the lighting. The possibilities are endless. As a student, you make so many mistakes its almost like your “first 10,000 mistakes” before you can actually call yourself a “professional”. I wish the Simpsons would make an episode of DSLR & photography in general unless they have already done so & I just haven’t seen that particular episode…
I don’t quite remember when I first started to watch the television series “The Simpsons”. I want to say I was about nine or ten years old at the time. When ever I had watched an episode, it made me laugh a lot & by the end of the show it had taught me about some lesson in life that I will probably experience at one time or another. Most readers are probably thinking “what do The Simpsons have to do with Photography”? A lot of things actually. Think of it this way; for each problem or mistake you encounter on a general job, turn it into your own little mini episode. Specifically geared toward photography. Almost like a Simpson’s Photography video journal. All professional photographer’s aren’t perfect. I’m sure each photographer has already came off the job and said to some friend, colleague or who ever what they did wrong & what they should have done to fix it. The only thing is, the job is reality… not animated. When ever were not motivated, what do we do? Many people do many different things. As for me, I watch The Simpsons for little bits & pieces of informations. Something that clicks with my mind & sparks an Idea. For every photographer out in the world think of this – The Simpsons have been on TV for the past twenty five years. Each season containing twenty two episodes of different lessons in life. Could it possibly be twenty five years as a experienced & established professional self sufficient photographer containing twenty two mistakes or things they could of changed? Every photographer never stops learning, wether they are experienced experts or just beginning.
A lot of photographers think that if they buy a better camera they’ll be able to take better photographs. A better camera won’t do a thing for you if you don’t have anything in your head or in your heart. – Arnold Newman
Many people out in today’s society think that when they have a professional grade camera that they are a quote “photographer” Their NOT! They are just simply an everyday human that knows how to make a camera work. Their are masters of photography that learned from scratch with film. They took the time out of day to work on what they were passionate about. Today’s society is totally different than the past. They didn’t have the technology back then like we do today. I believe technology makes us lazy when not taught the right way. What would we people do today if we didn’t have technology? The same thing we did in the past. Communicate with each other and have respect for one another. The only way you create better images is connecting with yourself on a more personal level within your heart and soul to find that deep passion you have for your career.
I was assigned a model catalog for my fashion class about a month or so ago. At that time, I decided to photograph my good friend James who is quite the model. I had wanted to photograph in Bethlehem, PA. We went to the “cat walk” as he called it. It was simply the safety rail located underneath a major motion highway. Walking the half mile bridge, I couldn’t help but notice the beautiful Lehigh Valley river. Along the river their was railroad tracks which I had not known about till I had actually saw them myself. The view is just so stunning, you can’t help but not notice everything all at once. Although I was high above in the air, it was peaceful but not because of the heavily moving traffic above us. It was about 3 or 4 pm EST. At that time, the sun had set rather late than early. I was able to capture a nice image of a beautiful landscape. As you can tell its fall because all the leaves on the trees are different colors. I had not looked at the images until later that night. We had such a beautiful day, yet cold and we enjoyed the adventure. Some people might say its dangerous but I’m a photographer. If I want the image, I WANT THE IMAGE! I will try my best to capture the image such as the one I have posted below & I have succeed. I’m not only learning photography (professionally) at Antonelli Institute, it’s taking me on a journey in life where the possibilities and discoveries are endless. Along the way, I network with new people, learn about new cultures, travel to a different state or continent. I love what I do everyday. I intend to keep that until the day I day.
I don’t think there’s any such thing as teaching people photography, other than influencing them a little. People have to be their own learners. They have to have a certain talent.
I agree with this quote very much. I attend Antonelli Institute in Glenside, PA. Its a professional private art college specializing in graphic design & photography. When I first came to the school I was so passionate, eager, & just ready to photograph. Little did I know our whole first year was black & white film. Film was a challenge specially 35mm & 4×5. My first role of film came out completely blank … literally! I must had did this ten times or so before I got actual images. I found out it was my film advance inside the camera. I specifically remembering the one instructor (who is no longer with us today) saying “I commend you on your work efforts. Most people would have given up and you just kept going & going” That meant something to me. You must believe in yourself in order for yourself to succeed in life. When other people where it be friends, family, boyfriend, girlfriend believes in you, that also helps aid in success. After I had finished my first whole year of film I was kind of relieved. Their is so much work to developing film and well some of my classmates just didn’t care. I’m thinking “why are you even at this college when you don’t care?” I was planning on returning to college for my second year. That didn’t happen due to financial reasons. So I got myself a full time job in a warehouse & made money for myself even living with my parents. Later that year, I had lost my father. Little did I know I didn’t expect to return to college in 2013 without a father. The only thing I did was move forward. Time doesn’t stop for anyone. So during my third semester I had trouble refocusing myself back on track with my photography. It was rough at first but after week 8, I had picked myself up & took it to another level. My images improved and I also improved as a person. Now that its the finial week before Christmas break, everyone is starting to lose their touch. Imogen Cunningham was right, there are certain people with a niche talent for their photography & others well I think for them its just a hobby.
What do you see when you look at my photograph? What comes to mind? How does it make you feel? The photo that I had created below was done in studio on a Tuesday morning. It wasn’t that difficult to create. Actually it was more fun and challenging. The fun part was using what ever you brought in to class that mooring to drop in the water tank. The challenge was the timing. You had to time the drop in sync with your camera shutter. I had chosen to bring in an incandescent household lightbulb. I wanted to use a CFL light bulb but their just to expensive to waste when your working on a college student salary. I was pleased with the over all image although the more you look at it, it looks blurry. It’s not suppose to be when your using flash. The studio strobes that I was using were not fast enough to stop the action of the lightbulb hitting the water inside the tank. Though it did give the lightbulb a cool effect as if it was blown to pieces. Wouldn’t it be cool if time actually stopped that image from happening? Actually it did in a way but just with a camera. A photographer has made an object stop in time & therefore produced an image afterwords.
Originally posted on Photofocus:
Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer, Brian Smith, considers himself to be one of the luckiest guy on the planet. He’s told Bill Gates exactly what to do for an entire hour, appeared on The X Factor, exhibited at the Library of Congress, dined with the President and 3,000 of their closest friends, written an Amazon Best Seller, shared cupcakes with Anne Hathaway, gotten drunk with George Clooney and married the most beautiful woman he ever laid eyes on. I’d say he’s pretty lucky…and blessed. And now, we’re lucky enough to have someone like him on our latest podcast.
Rich Harrington and Brian have an insightful and informative conversation about shooting portraits, retouching, his advice on working with people and his latest projects.
For the past 30 years, Brian Smith’s iconic portraits of famous celebrities, athletes and executives have been used in…
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