| currently listening to: Girls On Film, Duran Duran, s/t, 1981 | LINK
the photography/internets part two:
twitter to me is a meeting of the minds where ideas can flow and friends can chat and people can show off what they’ve been working on. sure it’s an addictive way to spring your life onto old friends who haven’t seen you since high school graduation (sorry kids, i know i’m scary like that…). but it’s also a place to learn from seasoned veteran photographers and aspiring amateurs alike. for photographers at any level, the learning curve is never complete. practice does indeed make perfect but perfect keeps moving ever further out of reach with each photo you take. twitter, along with some tutorial style blogs and Flickr, allow for an open conversation about everything from the technical aspects of photography (lighting, cameras, lens’, editing, etc.) to the overarching creative techniques (styles, manipulations, cropping, etc.).
these days being a photographer doesn’t mean that you have to lock down all of the information you have accumulated through the years and store it away so that your favorite and most loyal assistant can abuse it and drag your name through the mud after you’ve retired. these days you can broadcast knowledge in 140 character snippets. sure, the market is being saturated by amateurs posing as professionals and vice-versa but the competition/posturing should inspire you to pass on what you know so that people can actually learn the trade instead of just speak it. i personally think it’s a great idea. i love spending hours looking at photos, the good and the bad. my best piece of advice for photographers is this: if you’re interested about getting better and learning more? go down to your local photography center and sign up to take a class. it’ll be worth your while. and lest we forget…
every great photographer takes a bunch of shitty photos every shoot.
so what is my favorite lens? well, let me tell you. i have 2.
for most of the week i work as a staff photographer for cars.com. most of my job revolves around documenting every car that comes into the office for review. i spend a lot of time in and around auto shows, new car launches, manufacturer tours, and proving ground tests so i see my fair share of metal shiny objects under crippling lighting conditions. to get through the day? i rely on the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L USM zoom lens. when i am looking to document the outside of a car, i shoot between 50mm and 70mm so as not to distort the proportions of the exterior (the photojournalist in me says “don’t distort proportions when documenting”. it’s fine in an artistic realm). for the interior, i make sure to use the lens across it’s range with wide dash shoots captured at 24mm and the fit and finish close-ups of the glove compartment at 70mm. it’s a fast lens that’s durable in various lighting situations and contains just enough range to keep my foot zoom to a dull roar.
when it comes to shooting portraits (a personal fave of mine and how i spend much of my time shooting photographs when not around cars) i like to grab my Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM. fast, light, and with just the right balance of “i’m not trying to scare you with this camera in your face but i am trying to get you to make the perfect reactionary stare”, this lens is what i carry around with me even when i don’t have a camera on me. that way, if i’m trapped at work i can plop it on my camera body there. and if i want to walk the dog and some kid walks by with melting ice cream down his front? i won’t miss the shot because my camera body at home is always ready to be used. and let’s be honest. i tweeted this the other day:
the first image is a collection of 81 photos i took of the all new 2009 Cadillac CTS-V. one heck of a car. 6.2L 556hp engine. basically a 4-door Corvette. not for the light at heart. 12mpg to boot. all photos taken with the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L USM.
the second image is from a recent shoot with Markely. notice the man off frame left and the people just to his left shooting photos. there’s nothing more fun than watching people point their cameras at something (in this case, the bean in downtown chicago) and clicking away. ah… poetic. captured with my Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM.
what better way to write about the current state of photography than to listen to the former current state of pop music. my love for duran duran’s music is almost skin deep. sugary pop from england was shoved down my throat by an early babysitter who looked and acted every bit the part. she had spent a couple of years living with her father in london and when she moved back to the states (southern minnesota to be exact) she brought with her simon le bon’s hair style, nick rhodes’ grimmace, and enough swagger to fill any one of the taylor’s shoes. so it is with great head bobbing and no guy-liner that i listen to this record. sigh. to be in 2nd grade again and have a choice to listen to the dead milkmen or duran duran. as my brother always said back then (and probably today as well), “Twisted Sister sucks!” indeed.