I love rainy days. Everything seems to have more color. Yesterday it was raining a little bit, so I went to the park and hung out beneath the pine trees and took some pictures.
Sure, my camera got a little bit wet and I had to keep wiping off the lens, but it was great fun. I spent about an hour out in the elements. Funny, there was no one else around in the park!
I’m not a big fan of labels. I suppose that they are necessary to give definition, especially when you are trying to find something specific. For example, if you need a doctor because you have some awful foot pain, then probably it would be good to go see a podiatrist, or you are having a pain in your … then a proctologist might be in order!
More specifically, in photography, you might want to go see a portrait photographer to get a few snaps made of you and your loved ones, and a pet photographer to help with your more furry or feathery friends.
I’ve been reading a couple different blogs and there are various topics dealing with, in a round about way, labels. Should I classify myself as a landscape photographer, nature photographer, post modern, post-post-modern, semi-illiterate-cubist-street-still-life-photographer???
The reason I try to shake labels from myself is that when I start to label myself, I start to constrain myself. For example, if I’m walking through the house and see some interesting shadows on the wall, or on a piece a fruit, or whatever, then I start this stupid internal dialog about whether or not I should get my camera and take the picture because _______ photographers don’t do those types of pictures! Interestingly enough, about 90-95 % of the time, I do take the picture!
In going through my images I don’t see a recurring theme other than: Dang! I take a lot of pictures!!! I guess that I would have to get a label for myself if I decide to start selling my prints, at least an ‘external’ label; it would help narrow the field for those looking for specifics.
Lastly, labels only seem to last for a very short time with me as I’m always trying to reinvent my life to make it more satisfying.
As for these images, they all came off of the same memory card! They were all taken within 24 hours of each other. So, how should I label myself?
Don’t you just hate this little phrase: His/her work is derivative of _____. Well, as many photos as there are and as many different ways as they’ve been taken, it would seem that mostly everyone has a little bit of derivation in them, wouldn’t you think?
I like to look at other photographer’s works, to see what they are doing and how. If I like it, I might try it a time or two and then integrate it into my own work, or more than likely, add my own spin to it. So that makes my work derivative.
Let’s take the ‘cram it’ method and it’s inventor, Michael Brown! No kidding, you can find out that he ‘invented’ it all over the internet. The same internet that Al Gore invented! BTW, he has a funny post about that very topic. I hear that he even has software and a book and maybe even a movie coming out!
So, as I was saying, I like to ‘cram it’ every now and again and I get some interesting pictures from doing so. I’m all for doing whatever elevates my playing field and makes me a better photographer. Should I not use a macro lens because someone has done it before me? Should I not take pictures of the beach, or sunsets, or animals at the zoo because people have done it before me?
Heck, if I avoid all of the cliches and techniques that I’ve learned, I might as well put the camera in the closet and concede that there is nothing new under the sun and that I might as well not even try lest I be branded derivative! Yikes!
I was over on Cool Daddio’s site reading the results of his survey about blogging. It struck me that the reason, probably, that we blog is to get comments. When I first started blogging last May, I think, I was overly concerned with generating traffic to my blog. I found that in order to get a lot of traffic, especially for photo only blogs, you have to go out and post on other’s blogs. As Chantal said in one of her previous posts, it’s so ‘Junior High School’. I’ll post on yours if you post on mine!!!
In looking around, I found a few that I really liked and continued to read and look at the pictures. I still do that. I visit only a few blogs per day and comment, if I have something to say. If not, I just don’t comment. It doesn’t mean that I don’t like the image/topic, it’s just that I have nothing to say.
I’m not a big fan of drive-by commenting. These people drop by and give a one or two word comment and then they are on their way. The object, I suppose, is to get you to come to their blog and post a meaningful comment. I might drop by to see what’s going on, but will rarely make a comment.
Looking at Google Analytics, I see that I have about 20 or so people visit every day. Some people from my job, some from my wife’s, and of course, you good people.
I rarely concentrate on the numbers, except for one. Visitor loyalty. I can see from the stats that my return visitor count is about 71%. Now that, is wonderful news. It means that you guys and gals keep visiting over and over. That means so much more than the 30% new visitors.
So, thanks ever so much for stopping by every day! I sincerely appreciate it.
Now, I just have to figure out how to get some traffic from Africa! No hits there!!!
Well, it wasn’t intentional, but it happened. I was attempting to back up my database and accidentally hit the wrong button and it got dropped. I lost all comments, etc. Hopefully they can restore it from the last backup, but if they cannot, I guess it just means that I can repeat myself and no one will be the wiser!
I’ve gotta take it in stride! At any rate, I’ve upgraded to version 2.1.x of WordPress, so that’s a good thing!
So, I’ve learned that I need to take more frequent backups and watch where I’m a clickin’!
Even though I hate to loose those other comments, I’ll probably just let them go. It seems that the new database structure is different than the old and creates a problem. I’ll just march forth!
In north Texas, there are few parks, most of the trees have been cut down to factiltate housing, there are few rivers and greenspaces.
1. Las Colinas golf course – This was easy pickings, as they say. It was about 1/2 mile from my house. I used to go there on my way to work and photograph the golf course during the early dawn hours.
In June of 2004, I moved to Charlotte, NC. North Carolina is a nature photographer’s paradise! There’s so much to see and to take photographs of. In Charlotte, public parks, streams, rivers, trees, trees, trees abound everywhere that you look. There is such a thing as too much choice. Perhaps it’s sensory overload. I’ve been all over the place.
In evaluating my shots, I realize that the best ones come from the places that I have visited many, many times. For example, I always come back with good shots from Seabrook Island, SC. I know the island well. As a matter of fact, I’m going down there this weekend. This time, I think that I’ll take a walk on the inside of the island and photograph it. I’ve never done this before. There are beautiful trees with fantastic beards of Spanish Moss hanging down and lush vegetation everywhere.
So, now, with this knowledge in hand, I think that it is time for me to go those places that speak to me. Places where I can sit back, relax, wait, and listen to that inner voice. Places where I have that intimacy. Places that I understand.
My name is ______ and I am a Gorilla Keeper at the North Carolina
Zoo. I was just searching for some pictures online of animals at our
zoo and came across some of yours and then your website. The pictures
of the gorilla are amazing and so are the baboon ones too. I also work
at Africa Pavilion, so I spend a lot of time with the baboons and the
other animals inside the building as well. I was just curious if you
sold any of your photos at all and how much because there are some that
I would love to get and I know some co-workers of mine would too!