Tag Archives: light

Do You Ever Just Look At The Sun And Think?

The Sun by NASA Goddard Space Flight CenterDriving home from work yesterday, it was probably only the second time I had to deal with sun glare on my way home since the switch to Daylight Savings Time. There simply hasn’t been a lot of brilliant sunny days lately, but yesterday the sun was in full force on my drive home. And because it was within 30 minutes of setting, it was low on the horizon, and yes, it was large (that phenomena is an entire blog post to itself).

And I was struck, as I have been many times in the past, by the thought of what the sun really is. Because of course, the  sun is not just this bright source of light in the sky, witnessed since birth, and taken for granted equally as long. The sun is enormous and colossal, and it’s mass consists of all but a small fraction of the mass of the entire solar system! It is literally a violent and sometimes unpredictable hydrogen and helium fireball, for which life as we know it is entirely dependent. How about that for a humbling thought!

Do you ever look past the light it shines, the warmth it embraces us with, and think about how utterly foreign this bright and giant orb in the sky really is? The sun is both the most familiar and the most foreign thing in nature that we experience, and yet if not for the sun, that experience would not exist, because we would not exist.

Do you ever just look at the sun and think?

photo by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center via Flickr

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Take Your Light With You, For It Will Show You The Way

Wherever you go, you are always connected to where you

Wherever you go, you are always connected to where you’ve been.

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26 Photography Guidelines To Build From

DO NOT read this list if you are looking for camera setting tips, or gear recommendations, or lighting techniques, or composition tricks. DO read this list if you are looking to formulate your own thought processes and mental framework to improve your art and your relationship with photography. I am not a professional photographer. I created this list for myself, that’s why its written in the first person, but I thought maybe it could be of use to others. Use it as a starting point for your own photographic guidelines, and maybe to create your own list.

Figurine sculpture sitting on a box, dangling legs.

Figurine sculpture sitting on a box, dangling legs.

26 PHOTOGRAPHY GUIDELINES

  1. I will miss every shot I don’t take.
  2. Today everyone is a photographer, so I’ll make it a goal to find my photographic voice, my unique take on the world, my personal visual style.
  3. Better gear does not make me a better photographer.
  4. Repeat guideline #3 at least 20 times before clicking that buy button.
  5. Always shoot raw.
  6. Purchase more storage space if necessary to facilitate #5.
  7. Always backup my photos, and in addition to a local backup, make sure I have at least one off-site (cloud) backup as well.
  8. When I’m searching for an interesting photographic subject, I must remember that some of the best photos in history are of the most commonplace, day-to-day subjects.
  9. If the shot is not working, get closer to the subject.
  10. If the shot is not working, get further away from the subject.
  11. If the shot is not working, walk around the subject and shoot it from a different angle.
  12. If the only camera I have with me is my smart phone, don’t stop looking for interesting things to shoot, and don’t hesitate to use the camera at my disposal.
  13. Spend less time browsing photography forums, blogs, and books, spend more time making art.
  14. But when the artistic muse is AWOL, recharge by searching for new inspiration by browsing photography forums, blogs, and books.
  15. Take less gear with me on photography outings.
  16. Follow #15, keeping in mind that some of the best photos were taken with a 35mm or 50mm fast prime lens.
  17. Be less timid, and more self-confident, particularly when shooting people. I must not be a voyeur. I either need to fade into the background for candids, or when that’s not possible, I must do the opposite and own it, and become an active part of the scene. Great photographers overcame their fear in service of finding the next great shot.
  18. Since everyone is a photographer, I need to find a different perspective. I need to get down low, because every shot I’ve taken in the past from a low angle has revealed a whole new world.
  19. I should only put my very best photos online. I must resist the temptation to increase quantity which ultimately serves to dilute quality.
  20. Before I click the shutter button, I must stop and take in the scene. There’s no prize for taking the most photographs.
  21. Building on #20, figure out the subject, the thing that anchors the entire scene, and then look for light and dark spaces that create flow and visual interest, and then look for lines that flow towards and away from the main subject.
  22. When working in the digital darkroom (Photoshop, Lightroom, etc.) I need to walk away, come back later with a fresh pair of eyes, and see if I still like the changes I’ve made to a photo.
  23. Good photos can be taken anywhere. While going to a specific location to take photos is perfectly fine, I need to remember that good photos are all about light, lines and composition, and those things can be found (and framed) everywhere.
  24. A good photograph tells a story or it makes people wonder and use their imagination.
  25. I need to take more photos in the rain and/or when the ground is wet, particularly at night. The wet ground and reflections of light from buildings, cars, and street lights creates a magical canvas just waiting to be photographed.
  26. I need to refine and grow this list of personal guidelines.
Posted in Photography, Tips, Techniques, Guides Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Sometimes You Have To Get Your Alien Zen On

Alien zen meditation shrouded in a fine and mysterious mist.

Alien zen meditation shrouded in a fine and mysterious mist.

When life is whizzing by and your head is spinning, sometimes you just need a break. So sit back and relax, picture yourself shrouded in a mysteriously calming blue and green mist. All around you is the soothing sound of bubbling water. You feel a gentle warm breeze and you instantly find yourself in complete harmony with your surroundings. You have found your place of tranquility. This is your alien zen.

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