#25 Trying NOT To Be an Amateurish Amateur

At least part of the fun of photography, for me, is shooting frequently-shot subjects, and seeing if I can produce a reasonably original, and somewhat personal, image. As Sontag said in 1977, it seems like everything has already been photographed (!) which isn’t true at all, but the ubiquity of cameras certainly pushes us to try harder to see the world uniquely.

 Père Lachaise, Paris, 2016 by Rubin

Père Lachaise, Paris, 2016 by Rubin

 Coit Tower, San Francisco, 2015

Coit Tower, San Francisco, 2015

NOTE: I say in the show that it’s “contests” that might be restricting content, but i misspoke - what i meant to say was that certain kinds of “crits” (short for “critiques”: photographic feedback sessions with experts) have ‘mentors’ who will specify their fields of interest and, frequently, subjects of which they have no interest.

Regardless, the subject matter we are drawn to, but may need to push ourselves to make novel: nudes, cemeteries, monuments and statues, old people, the homeless, chipping paint, flowers, pets… these are all photogenic by nature (and to be honest, i love shooting all of them) just realize what you’re up against. If you’re trying to distinguish your pictures from the crowd, particularly in contests, these are subject matter that will make it hard to impress professionals.

 
 Jerome, Arizona (1949) by Aaron Siskind. 1. He sets the bar high for old paint. 2. This online reproduction doesn’t hold a candle to an original print. It’s one of those special images that makes it clear the difference between a great print and an okay one.

Jerome, Arizona (1949) by Aaron Siskind. 1. He sets the bar high for old paint. 2. This online reproduction doesn’t hold a candle to an original print. It’s one of those special images that makes it clear the difference between a great print and an okay one.

Photography isn’t looking, it’s feeling. If you can’t feel what you’re looking at, then you’re never going to get others to feel anything when they look at your pictures.”
—Don McCullin, war photographer

Rookie Post Production

Saturation

 Suzanne, chilling after recording an episode. Gorgeous sunset…

Suzanne, chilling after recording an episode. Gorgeous sunset…

 Same image, cranked color saturation. It’s certainly more dramatic. But cloying…

Same image, cranked color saturation. It’s certainly more dramatic. But cloying…



“Bokeh” and try not to use that word…

 Using a short depth of field means that there’s a narrow window of the frame that is in focus, and everything behind that is somewhat blurred. It’s cool to control, and one of the great tools you have as a photographer making an image.

Using a short depth of field means that there’s a narrow window of the frame that is in focus, and everything behind that is somewhat blurred. It’s cool to control, and one of the great tools you have as a photographer making an image.

 It can be fun to play with depth of field — here the flowers in the foreground were the focus, and so the ‘subject’ was purposely more indistinct in the background.

It can be fun to play with depth of field — here the flowers in the foreground were the focus, and so the ‘subject’ was purposely more indistinct in the background.






  • Suzanne’s Instagram (@sfritzhanson)

  • If you like our show, please subscribe on iTunes, Google Play, or your favorite podcasting app, and please rate the podcast. And don’t forget to join the Neomodern Facebook group to discuss the show, share your photos, hear about specials for printing or framing your best images. Thank you!

0 Likes