Back in the days of the Renascence a man named Rembrandt changed the way paintings were being done. At least he is the one credited with this new technique. Up until that time all paintings were flat and two dimensional. What Rembrandt did was to add a light source and create shadow making his images three dimensional.
This is precisely what a camera sees. It sees light and shadow.
In modern times we now have several advantages. We have digital cameras and digital editing capabilities. We also have the ability to create our light source and to completely control all aspects of light and shadow that the camera sees.
This absolute control of light and shadow is what separates a truly gifted photographer from a standard photographer.
Anybody can take good snapshots. Anybody can learn to edit or alter their images using Photoshop. Photoshop is an art form of it's own and those images are judged differently than those images taken by the gifted photographer.
For the gifted photographer, Photoshop is used sparingly and as a tool. Often to simply crop an image and to size the image for printing.
The gifted photographer takes a great deal of time and effort setting up for the image to be shot. Every detail is considered. There are a great many details, many of which are never considered by a standard photographer.
I have always been a photographer. I started out with a 35 mm film camera and used it until about 2001 or so when it finally broke down and I had lost interest. It was also quite expensive to process those images.
My Son Ben purchased a Cannon digital camera in about 2011 and he shared his images with me. I was excited and I was impressed with what these digital cameras could do. In 2012 I bought his camera from him and he upgraded his.
I went to Pima Community College in Tucson, Arizona and started taking photography classes to learn the art of digital photography. I was taught some basic Photoshop techniques and I learned all about my camera and it's operation. I was also inspired by the work that was being done by my classmates. As it turned out I inspired them as well.
I try to tell stories with my images. I try to bring out the character of a person in five images or less. Tell their story.
In the spring of 2014 I took the most important class I have ever taken and I learned more in this class than I even knew possible. This class was lighting one and was being taught by Pete Trexler who is by far the most talented instructor and photographer I have ever encountered. What Pete taught me is now incorporated in every image I shoot. The personal growth in my photography is noticeable and extreme. I credit this man with this growth. It is not over quite yet either. I have signed up for his advanced class and will be taking lighting two in the fall of 2014. Needless to say I am quite excited.
Since I took Pete's class I have purchased a very good set of professional lights, a backdrop stand and several backdrops for portrait and product photography, and a laptop that I can now tether my camera to and operate it from. This is all very valuable and important technology.I now have a completely mobile studio that I can pack up in my car and take anywhere.
I work very hard at creating my images and I know I have the gift. When the process becomes automatic it opens the artist up to that power greater than us all and he is then able to stand outside of self and allow the creator,creation, creative process to truly flow. This is how the best work is created. I have never settled for less in any medium. Often I find that the finished product is far better than I know myself capable of creating. This is also why I have never signed a single piece I have ever created. It is not OF me but it is BY me. My work is always a blessing and it is a great honor for me to pass these blessings on.
If you like what I do, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org Perhaps I can shoot some images for you!! I would love to do so.
WW July 2014