D-Noc Photography

Step away from Mediocrity

I just heard of this almost magical camera gadget that seems to be the next big thing on Kick-Starter, Arsenal.

It is a gadget that can help you select the optimal camera settings, by analyzing the subject, light etc. and make you get perfect pictures every time.

Although I find the technology behind this gadget fascinating, I can't help thinking that this is yet another attempt to dumb it down.

Photography is, among many other things, a matter of learning a craft. Figuring out what works and what doesn't and to keep striving towards mastering the craft.

Perhaps this thingy can help beginners understand the craft better?
Personally, I would not use it, even if it could make life easier.

But that is just a personal choice. I WANT photography to be challenging. I want to feel stupid when I fail and I want to feel awesome when I succeed.

Using an add-on Superior-Auto Mode does not seem like the best way to challenge yourself.

Get off the high horse

Ok, I get it.

You only shoot with your Micro Four Thirds because it is the ultimate compact camera solution.

..or you only shoot with full frame cameras because small sensors suck.

..or you only shoot film because it is the only way to achieve that analog look.

..or you only use a wide angle lens when shooting in the streets because being up close is the only way to connect with your subject.

..or you never process your pictures in Lightroom or Photoshop because your pictures need to be authentic.

..or you only shoot in black and white because colors are taking away the pureness of a photograph.

..or you only shoot with primes because zoom lenses are filled with compromises.

..or you only shoot L-lenses because life is too short for inferior lenses.

I get it, but seriously, who cares?

It's not like people are going to look at your pictures and say "Wow, best photograph in the world, just too bad it is taken with a zoom lens". It doesn't matter. Yes, of course the gear you use matters and you have to pick the gear that fits you best. But don't try to make you choices the ultimate truth. It is not. It is purely your truth.

If you find a recipe that works for you, good for you. But that doesn't give you the right to scoff at anybody else, just because they do something different from you or choose different gear.

The end result is what matters. The final picture, the work you have created is what counts. The gear you used or the approach you used to get the results you wanted doesn't matter.

There is no need to think you are superior just because you think your way of producing photos is the only way. You are not superior. You're a photographer who have found your voice. Good for you. But you have to realize that other photographers will find their voice using other gear or other ways. 

In Undead Colors: Yellow

One of the many beautiful costumes from this years International Carnival Parade at Aalborg Carnival.
The British Carnival group Mandinga Arts had teamed up with Hasseris Gymnasium to create the most amazing and well-executed themes of the entire parade, a Mexican Day of the Dead tribute. 

In Undead Colors: Red

One of the many beautiful costumes from this years International Carnival Parade at Aalborg Carnival.
The British Carnival group Mandinga Arts had teamed up with Hasseris Gymnasium to create the most amazing and well-executed theme of the entire parade, a Mexican Day of the Dead tribute.

Review: Stories of Home

I just finished reading the eBook "Stories of Home" by photographer Kate Densmore.

I had been looking forward to reading it for a while, but other things kept distracting me until now. In retrospective that were a bit silly as the lessons learned in this book could have been really useful to have practiced through the long dark winter.

Kate Densmore specialises in taking pictures of families in their "natural habitat" and judging from the many beautiful pictures in the book, she prefers a 35mm lens and really knows how to put it to good use.

The book, coming just short of 200 pages isn't the kind of book that offers advices about choice of focal lenght, ISO and other technical stuff, even though these issues does pop up from time to time. No, it is more the kind of book that tells you what to look for when you want to capture the big (and little) moments in family life. So, if you are looking for a recipe-book, Scott Kelby style, you will be dissapointed. But, if you are interested in a more guidance oriented approach that more describes which moments to look for and what to try to avoid, you have come to the right place.

Kate Densmore writes in a straight-forward way that describes her way of working in a very private and intimate environment, and the way she writes really emphasizes that this is less about the technical aspects of photography and more about learning to captures moods and telling stories.

The book is split up in three parts, each covering different aspects of the topic:

  • Documentary Family Photography
  • Everyday Fine Art
  • The Art of an Ordinary Day

Each part guides you through the process of capturing the special moments of your family life, be it on special occasions or just a regular day and throughout the book you find beautiful pictures that are used to underline the points made in the text, and you also find some creative exercises, which in some cases seems to have ben thrown in as an afterthought. (Or maybe I am just not the kind of guy who throws the book over his shoulder to pursue some creative exercise).

You will also find interviews with three other family photographers, which share their motivation and workflow. This works well as it sometimes gives the same takeaway point, but put in other words.

All in a very good book, well worth the price. it has given me some new inspiration and shown me what family photograhy can also be. Most people regard family photos as merely snapshots, but maybe we should actually put more effort into these pictures as they really cover the most precious moments in life. As Kate Densmore writes in the conclusion:

"Treat your everyday images like art. Respect yourself and what you do, and honour your story and the story of those you love. No one is ever going to care about your work unless you care, deeply."

I highly recommed reading this book. You can buy it over at Craft & Vision.

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