Photography is visual poetry. Plain and simple. The way light gives us a representation of the world around us, and being able to capture it on a medium to enjoy later ...well that's pure magic.
A few short years ago, my photographic experience consisted of little more than buying disposable cameras at Walgreens and snapping random, grainy pictures of friends, family, and foliage...then developing them for 29 cents a print.
I remember the first time I played around with a digital camera; it was my cousin's bulky Sony Mavica that caught my attention. The full-size photos were a whopping 640 x 480 pixels, narrower than the black portion of this page, and were saved on a 1.44-megabyte floppy disk drive in the camera. Man, the concept of a storage drive inside the camera was über cool. He let me borrow that $500 beast for an evening, and I filled a stack of floppy disks with photos taken in and around the house. From shooting apples in the kitchen to my mom's peony blooms outside, I was officially hooked.
Fast forward a couple more years and a couple more mediocre point-n-shoot film cameras. I saved up my money and splurged on a Sony Cybershot something or other. If I remember right, it took 3 megapixel photos and saved them to a MemoryStick. It was ok, but within about a year my whistle was thoroughly wet, I was learning some more about photography, and a strictly-point-n-shoot camera just wan't cutting the mustard any more.
Along came the Sony DSC-F828. Little did I know that it would be that camera that would redefine what digital photography meant to me. I didn't quite have the money to get an SLR camera at the time, but this Sony "prosumer" model was a good fit. For three years I snapped tens of thousands of photos with that thing and loved every minute of it.
Posting some photos on Flickr and commenting on others' work, I became close friends with another amateur photog by the name of Eric Fetcho. He had a Nikon D70 (and later, a D80) at the time; more than once I had to wipe my jealous drool off those cameras.
One day Eric called me and asked if I knew anyone that was interested in buying a Nikon D200 from his boss, John Walls. The camera was virtually brand new, but John wanted to upgrade. I didn't quite have the money, but I scraped it together nonetheless. The deal he offered was just too good to pass up. This brings me to today. Little by little I am purchasing more lenses, lights, reflectors, and all manner of other accessory goodies, because photography is nothing short of magic for me.
There are photographers, and then there are photographers who use light to evoke emotion. That's an incredible talent that I'm still trying to dig deep enough to find.
Make no mistake though: All the money and all the gear in the world doesn't make a good piece of artwork. Some of my favorite photos are the products of my earliest efforts with bare-bones cameras and Fuji 100-speed film. Realize though, that while a killer camera, a nice set of lenses, and a copy of Adobe Photoshop certainly opens creative doors, any person, with any camera, can take a fantastic picture at this very moment.
As a matter of fact, there's a 36" print hanging in my home that I took with the Sony '828. It's my all-time favorite, and was not a photo that I expected would come out looking as cool as it did. That quick handful of shutter clicks on the roof of a parking garage became the first photo I ever received offers for. Part of it now comprises the banner for the weblog Fort Wayne Observed.
Forget about megapixels.
Forget about graininess.
Forget about film vs. digital and which is better.
None of that matters.
It's about artwork and that which catches the eye. Each camera, even the cheap ones, has its own nuances that can contribute to artistic value. If you doubt this, look up the photographic world's all-time favorite little el-cheapo camera: the Lomo. Those super crappy cameras take some super cool photos and as a result, have become legendary collector's items with their own cult following.
Sometimes it's a matter of forcing yourself to look at the world in a different way. Downtown alleys are among my favorite places to click a shutter, making pretty pictures of ugly things. Alleys are a photographic goldmine I tell you. Try this: being careful not to run into anything, walk yourself down an alley looking solely through the viewfinder of a camera. You'll see something you never noticed before. Take a picture of it!
Keep those pictures, because someday they'll be among your favorites. They certainly are for me.
A picture is worth a thousand words. If you write those words in a unique, striking way, it's Phoetry.
All photos are available for purchase as prints, cards, gatorboard-mounts, and posters. In each page's "comments / prints" pane, there is a link to the purchase point for that photo at RedBubble.com, makers of high-quality and affordable printed products. I've made each item competitively and reasonably priced. Support local art!
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The photographs presented at Everett-White.com are protected under the United States Copyright Act of 1976 and all other applicable international, federal, state and local laws. All Rights Reserved.
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Made on a MacPro.