Welcome.

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 Welcome to the new home of Chris Lemmen Dot Com. I spent a great deal of time over the last couple of weeks trying to decide if I should shut down my other sites, give up on the whole internet lifestyle, or just run a simple blog.

I decided to run a simple blog right here with all my thoughts on it, but I decided to reclaim an older blog that has some really good content on it and continue it. I also imported the posts from the blog I just shut down so there should be no missing anything there!

Some of you are used to me posting photos or midlife stuff or just nonsense. Well, I’ll try to make this new site all that and more.

Stay tuned.

Chris.

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Where Have I Been?

Wow, I just realized the last time I posted on this blog was way back on July 23 2015! What’s up with that and where have I been?

Well, I’ve been here of course but I’ve had some…issues…that are making me lazy and complacent. Those issues all being stemmed around a midlife crisis that makes me constantly question the need to do anything ever. But enough about that…

So, what’s been happening since July?

Well, summer vacation and a very slow summer at work. Photographically it was slow much like the last couple of years but I did get some great photos I’d like to share with you.

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It was a pretty fun summer. We did a lot of camping but not as much photography as I had hoped. Still though I managed to get some really nice photos of the Aurora Borealis later in the summer that I’m quite happy with. I’ll share those in their own post.

Sorry for being away so long but sometimes life just gets in the way! I’ll try my best to not stay away for so long going forward.

Chris.

The Universe Provides A Little Luck.

I’ve been hoping for a little luck for a while now. Any kind of luck. Something to show that the universe still cares about me.

Yesterday that wish came true. No, I didn’t win the lottery although that would have been a great sign from the universe. No, this one was a smaller but very welcome gesture from a former co-worker. At her new company, the previous admin person, had purchased a DSLR for the company to take photos. About a year ago it started acting up on them giving them errors every time they turned it on. My friend mentioned me to her employers as being most likely to diagnose and possibly even repair the camera so I was asked. I said I would have a look at it for them.

A week went by and I received another message saying that they replaced the camera and if I wanted the old one and could repair it, I was welcome to it.

So, yesterday it was delivered to me! I am the proud owner of another DSLR. The make and model are not important. It’s an entry level model with an 18mm-55mm kit lens. A perfect little beginner camera, if I can get it to work that is. So far, I need to shut it of and back on after every photo I take. But I have a few ideas that I’m going to try. First thing is to update the firmware. Surprisingly that usually solves the problem.

I guess the point of this story is that maybe, just maybe the universe will throw you a bone once in a while if you are open for it.

Thank you universe. Now how about a solution to the problem with the card slot.

Chris.

On Being An Amateur Photographer

I no longer want to be a professional photographer.

I got into photography for the love of making art not with the plan of becoming a professional photographer and making a living at it. Sure, I like to get paid for my photography and it happens every now and then but I’m not going to try to make a go of it as the main means of income. I just can’t do it.

I have a few friends who are professional photographers. One who is quite well known in the sports photography circles, especially Hockey and Formula One racing. But they still have regular jobs as well. When I ask why they always tell me there’s just no money in photography unless you are very fortunate. Don’t get me wrong, there are many out there who make a good living doing it but they are very driven and very, very busy.

To my friends doing this amazing hobby of mine as a business, I say “good for you, I hope you do well” and I mean that from the bottom of my being. It’s just not something I’m going to pursue any longer.

The more I plan to do this for a living, the more I second guess myself and think that I’m just not good enough to do it. That’s wrong of course. I’m a decent enough portrait photographer that I could probably keep myself busy most weekends doing portraits. It’s just that it seems to be taking the wind out of my sails when it comes to the passion for the art.

Between the years of 2008 and 2013 you would be hard pressed to see me without my camera gleefully capturing scene after scene. Be it from the back of a boat or a moving vehicle or laying on the ground to get just the right angle for that little group of mushrooms in the grass. I absolutely loved it and lived for it. But then as time moved on and I became better at the whole photography thing, I started to think about getting into it as a way of making extra money. I quickly started to judge my art with a more critical eye and was beginning to dislike what I saw in my own work. Work that used to just light me up for the mere joy of creating it. I was starting to hate taking the photos.

In the later part of 2013 and all through 2014 I found myself taking fewer and fewer photos. I was just not feeling the love anymore. Why? What changed? Was I getting worse? Was I losing the skills I had been honing?

As a result of some long deep conversations with my self and some deep thinking on the matter, I’ve decided that I was putting too much pressure on myself to produce the same level of work as all those professional photographers I was idolizing. I was telling myself that I was not skilled enough and that I should just give up but at the same time I wanted to be one of them so badly. I was all over the place with my thinking and I was beating myself up constantly over every photo. Every click of the shutter button was filled with conflicting emotions. As a result, I began to take fewer and fewer photos.

Now, if it so happens that I get more and more paid gigs, well, I’d be foolish to turn them down now wouldn’t I? But it will have to be on my terms and my style. I’ll need to be hired for my style. That’s important to me.

What does amateur photographer mean?

Well, according to Webster’s Dictionary, Amateur means : a person who does something (such as a sport or hobby) for pleasure and not as a job.

For pleasure and not as a job. An amateur does it for the pleasure, the love of it. How many photographers have you heard say they spend more time running the business of their photography business than actually doing the photography? The very thing they wanted to do has become the last thing they do.

I want my love of photography back. I want my passion back. I want to be known as “that guy with the camera” again.

I’m going to focus on taking photos, making photos and just loving the results of spotting just the right light on just the right subject. Maybe I’ll start up another photo a day project and not be so judgmental of the day to day results but more interested in the process itself.

For now, here are some photos I took because I love the subject.

 

 

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I don’t care who likes them. I do. End of worries.

Chris.

PS follow me on my Flickr Stream or my Facebook Page.

Stare Down With A Fawn

Hello Little One.

On a quad ride before we packed up to come back home, we came across this little one and it’s mom just wandering around along the back road. It made  the ride and the mud worth it for sure.

We had a stare down for about 2 minutes before it decided we were not going to eat it then it slowly wandered under the fence and into the field. My kids were thrilled by the encounter.

Chris.

Mushroom

Mushroom

 

I spotted some great looking mushrooms in the bush during one of my walks this past long weekend. I had to take some photos.

Thinking about it after the fact, I should have used my tripod to get a deeper depth of field. Oh well, next time.

I envision little forest fairy creatures living in and among the little mushroom village I discovered.

 

Chris.

Photograph What You Love?

Photograph What You Love.

I hear this a lot when talking about photography and business. Photograph what you love and the rest will be easy. Does that mean the business aspects will just fall into place? Of course not but they do say it will be easier because you will have the passion and subject matter more in control.

But how do I know what I love to photograph? Well that is the hard part. I’ve heard it said by many photographers that you will just know but it may take years to figure it out.

I think the cause of my photographic block I’ve been suffering through is due to me trying to figure out what I love to photograph. I could say my kids but that’s a given. Or is it? I know many people with kids that take very few photos of their kids. Certainly few of my friends and family go through the set up and processing time that I put into the photos of my kids. So there, that’s one thing I love to photograph.

But that’s more for me isn’t it?

Well there is another point. Don’t try to love photographing something just because you think that’s what others want to see. If we all photographed what we thought others wanted us to, there would be billions of cute cat photos in the world or on Facebook anyway! You need to photograph something that has a meaning to you. The passion you put into that will show in the photo. That will draw like minded people to your work and from there you never know what could happen.

So back to my stuff. I’ve spent some time looking over my Flickr stream and it looks to me that I love to photograph nature, minimalistic scenes, industry and rusty crusty stuff that is loaded with textures all along with my kids. Texture and color seem to play a significant part in my photos as well. I’ve also noticed a lot of daily life type photos. You know, food, coffee cups, socks hanging on a railing, people enjoying their hobbies. But in these I’m also seeing a lot of strong colors and textures as well.

Even when I use my phone to take a photo, I tend to punch up the colors and textures in the image.

There you have it I think I have figured it out. Besides my kids its Nature, MinimalismIndustry and Color and Textures.

It has taken me years to get to this conclusion and it may change down the road but for now, I think this is what I will focus on (pun intended).

Chris.