Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Individual Vision

I start new Intro to DSLR classes at the Light Factory this week. It's always exciting. I get to meet new people and share one of my greatest passions with them. Then I get to be there as they, hopefully, discover their own individual creative voices.

Sometimes they just struggle with comprehending what Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO are and how they combine as Exposure... but I usually get to at least see a glimmer of how these other individuals see the world. Sometimes people just want to know how a particular shot was achieved so they can shoot just like that. That's not what I'm usually hoping to pass along to people, but I'll give them the basics to see where they take it.

One of my favorite portfolio reviews was with photographer Brian Ulrich when he had an exhibit here in Charlotte. It was more like a visit than a formal creative critique. He really looked at every image I put in front of him and asked me questions about how, why and where I shot each frame.

Then he asked me why everything was always shot with a shallow depth of field. I had never really thought about it... Maybe it's because I have an astigmatism and the blur just registers as "normal" in my brain. Then he suggested I try shooting my normal subjects with a greater depth of field. I was aghast! Wouldn't that be the way someone else sees the world? Maybe. But I wouldn't know if I didn't at least give it a try.

So later that week I was working on my flower series and I tried it. I ended up liking it.
I still favor a fairly shallow Depth of Field, but I am trying more techniques. If they look like something that would come out of my mind, I keep them in my mental creative files. If not, they get filed in a different area... because the technique might perfectly express someone else's view of the world.

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