Photography

This is a year that I want to focus on becoming a better photographer.

I think about photography all the time. I read books, read magazines, listen to podcasts, I watch documentaries about it, and most days I carry my camera with me. I’m getting better at the tools too. I gave a demo of Apple’s Aperture software for theNortel Photo Club last week, and I created (well copied and updated) a new web gallery theme in Aperture too.

So far this year, I have taken a 2-day workshop with David Barbour on street photography with School of Photography Arts Ottawa (SPAO). I’ve been taking dance pictures for Les Petits Ballets and the Ottawa Chinese Art Troupe. I’ve taken event photos for the Nortel Asian Business Council too.

The course with David was especially good, including one-on-one interactions, and sharing experiences with other students. But the most crucial part was getting over my shyness to approach strangers. I’m certainly not an extrovert now, but I just feel like I’ve been given permission to do it, when before I was afraid to approach anyone because I wasn’t “permitted” to interrupt them. There’s some deep psychological reasons for my timidity – something to keep working at.

I’m gaining the confidence I need, and it’s showing. During a trip to Virginia in March, I approached a waitress at IHOP to take her photo. I would never have done that in the past.

And I’m finding out who I want to be when I have a camera in my hand. I’m not happy taking pictures of buildings or race cars or wild animals, although I’ve done all of that. I’m really driven by people. I enjoy great close-up shots of interesting people. A look of focus or concentration, a flash of emotion, a great smile, or perhaps the most amazing eyes. I’m so drawn to watching people. Even when I am taking ballets pictures, most of my photos are of the faces of the dancers, not their feet – which does not make for great dance photos!

I’m finding out who I want to be in my primary form of artistic expression.

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