I have gone into a blog hibernation of some sorts and there hasn’t been a lot of updates in my facebook either.I have been more into twitter for the time being. The microblogging fits my microavailability of time.
I am still juggling a lot of stuff. Maybe now more than ever. Primarily activities that has the intent of growth of my businessas well as knowledge and creativity.
This post is gonna be a glimpse of my photography path and my search to get my vision rendered as true to life as possible.
At a very young age, I was interested in photography and gadgets. I remember that since I became conscious of cameras, I dreaded that “flash look”. When we used the point and shoot, I would prefer having an image with obvious noise or kind of yellowish and warm glowy tint rather than the harshness of flash. I found that harsh light so repelling. Our family got to purchase a decent analog film camera because of the fact that my sister studied Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting, and photography and darkroom was part of the curriculum. I got to try it on occasion and I loved that softness and the color rendition.
Then fast forward to where DSLR became more available to us ordinary consumers. In 2006, I “splurged” on my Nikon D50. Along with it I bought a 50 mm f1.4 and a flash unit I could bounce to the walls. I don´t remember using that pop up flash, or if I did, it must have been by accident. I loved the switch from a point and shoot to DSLR, but sometimes I still got results that I thought a DSLR would eliminate. Little and little I got more comfortable with it technically to produce images that I was fairly pleased with. Still, I felt something was missing.
I upgraded my camera body later on and also invested in a 70-200 f 2.8 with Vibration reduction. I loved the shallow depth of field it produced (isolation subject, blurriness of background). Again, the softness, but also dimension and focus on the object. Pleasing photography.
Early on as my interest for wedding grew, planning my own wedding and looking for a photographer, I fell in love with Jose Villa´s work. More about him later.
:::The fight of the brands and upgrades:::
I have been on and off about how I feel about brands and expensive equipment. It mattered to me at a a certain point of time, and then it became nearly insignificant, then somewhat insignificant, and then now to, yes I would love to know what equipment fits me best and would give a more precise rendition of my vision a.k.a. what´s in my head. So these are the different stages I went through.
It mattered – When I purchased my first DSLR, Nikon weighed more for me. I had seen some very yellowish pictures from Canon taken by non professionals that could not care less about whitebalance and for the most part shot in yellowish places and venues. So that was a turn off for me that leaned me more to Nikon. I also loved how easy it was to operate. I had a point and shoot from Nikon before this and I liked their philosophy of simplicity in function.
Nearly insignificant – Then as I got more serious into photography, I kept hearing on and on from wise photographers that equipment or brand doesn’t really matter. What was important was that you had to have the eye for photography and the technical skills in check.I was just so comfortable with the functionality of Nikon and I also heard the focusing issues of Canon, so still I wasn’t comfortable enough to consider a switch. It is though noteworthy that many of the photographers that I got drawn to, used Canon. I liked the creamy skintones and there were other things I liked too that I couldn´t define with words. So definitely, the yellowish tint issue has now subsided at this point, but I couldn’t still justify moving to Canon. Around this time, I had several people approach me like a videographer, saying that I should go over to Canon, but no one justified that recommendation. So still I wasn’t convinced to make the effort and investment to switch.
Somewhat significant – Then I heard some exemptions. It should matter (not necessarily switching brand, but more on upgrading) when it can ease your workflow and facilitate you in solving challenges efficiently. So for example, if you work in conditions where you will most likely stumble on a room that is not sufficiently lit, it would be nice to have a camera that tackled higher ISO without the noise being overwhelming.I justified an upgrade from Nikon cropped sensor to full frame with the ability to shoot higher quality image at a higher ISO, a more wider angle and greater depth of field. With this technical stuff available, it would help me focus more on being creative and reduce limitations.
More significant – Our head is a fine, fine thing. No computer can replace humans. The things it can contain (and we don´t even use it in full capacity) and the things we see with it (the visions, and that isn´t either expressed in full capacity) is amazing.
Photography is getting your vision down in pixels. And when we use cameras which is a form of computer, you can bet that there are limitations. For me it has come to the point that the search of that imagery that I have always had i my mind and always have aspired to capture in true life, has become more and more important for me to render as precise as I can. This is the definition of style. A style that has always existed in my mind, but not necessarily been exposed to the world accurately because of the use of limiting tools (whether it be me as a tool or the equipments and software I use).
I am pleased with the images I have taken to this day, but still I feel it is just 70 % me. Not that the remaining percent is someone else, but more on that the 30 % is the limitations that prevents it from showcasing the real me. I would like to at least get it to 90 % me.
I have been through several creative endeavors before establishing my photography business. Digital layouts is one of them. Make up is also another thing I got interested in. All of these things got me focused on subtle blending and gradual transitions. I realize this now that the same thing ties in with what photographs pulls me in. Gradual tonality and high dynamic range. Softness. Pretty, natural light and colors. Besides from these very specific tangible looks I like, I do love images with high impact, that are emotional and unique.
Reading Zack Arias latest post about his move to medium format camera, I read a paragraph that really struck a chord in me.
“…Reason #6 :: “That Look” :: There’s this, something. This feel. This “look” to film that digital has never quite nailed. One reason I love the 5d so much is that it’s the first DSLR I’ve used that gets in the neighborhood. This Phase One hits it for me. Part of it is the dynamic range these cameras have. They have far more ability to capture a larger range of tones from highlights to shadows. The highlight retention is astounding as well as the ability to hold on to details in the shadows without falling apart or getting too “loud” in the noise department. Between the gorgeous shallow DoF and the dynamic range, large sensor photography can’t be beat…”
And this kind of ties the past and present for me. And I hear Canon 5 d is awesome this and awesome that, but no one really explained it in that way which gave me a connection to my long time quest. I have wanted to put words to it, but couldn’t. Even Zack just refers to it at one point in the paragraph as “the look” or this feel. And only recently did I find out that Jose Villa uses analog camera as well as Alicia Swedenborg, both of which I admire so much. While Erika Gerdemark makes images that are almost seem to be done with film/analog while using Canon. They have that look, this something, this feel.
And for this reason, I am willing to consider making a switch. If this will get me closer to the vision in my head, I would gladly get accustomed to the buttons and live with the focusing issue.
:::My mission in photography:::
My main focus in photography is capturing moments and peoples personality. Therefore I do wedding and portrait photography (newborn, maternity, family, couples and children).
In relation to my vision and quest for that particular look, is to create images that look “tranquil” (softness and shallow depth of field, calming and pleasing colors, gradual transitions and low contrast).
I want to be able to subtract the busy part of a wedding, the stress and the formalities so that love, romance and celebration will be what is left in the image trail.
In my portrait photography, I want the ordinariness, routines of our day to day life and what sometimes can feel like a life in a box to disappear through my imagery. I want to help remind my clients the good things is life, the extraordinaries or even the simple things we are blessed with and that we sometimes take for granted. The people who we value most and the you you should value as much: These are the things that make life worth living and that we should strive to preserve, like in the form of photographs.
That is my goal in my photography. That look and that purpose.