Remember When It Was Just Fun?

I live in Canada and we have lots of snow in the winter. I remember when I was a kid and we would go sledding. It was the most fun in the winter we could have. Even when you got hurt it was worth it!

My kids love sledding too. I don’t take them often enough. Always there is an excuse. It’s too cold, it’s too windy, I have too much other stuff to do today. It doesn’t matter what excuse, it’s just an excuse. Look at these faces, how could I deny them this much fun?

As an adult we get so caught up in our “problems” that we forget the pure joy that can be found in sliding down a hill on a piece of plastic or bike riding or jumping off a dock at the lake. 
While I was standing there on the hill shivering, I watched my kids and all the other kids on the hill and thought, what a terrible joke life plays on us by making us grow up. Then I thought why do we have to grow up? Where’s the fun in that? LOL. There is a difference between being irresponsible and refusing to grow up. You can still be responsible and embrace that child that is still lurking there just under the surface. In fact, it’s your responsibility in life to live it to the fullest and enjoy it. So next time the kids want to go sledding, I’m taking my sled too and chasing them down the hill.
Stop taking life so seriously. Get out there and act like a kid again. Your kids will love it and you will too.

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).


Updated Family Photo

My Brother and I and our wives threw a 50th anniversary party for our parents this pas weekend. It took a fair amount of planning and a whole lot of secrecy and pulling the wool over our parents eyes for months. Everything went really well and they were very surprised that we could manage to cooperate for the time it took to put this all together. It was a lot of fun in the end.

Here is an updated family photo of all of us. We have never had one will all our kids in at the same time. It just never seemed to work out. Finally I have that photo. I’ll have to be sure to print one for my parents and my Brother and Sister-in-law as well for the wall.

 It is official, I am the tallest in my family now. Dad was the tallest at 6’4″ but he’s shrunk with age leaving me the tallest at 6’3″. I’m taller than any one on either side of my family now. It’s good to be the king. LOL!

More Time With The 17-85mm.

So, I’ve been spending a lot more time with the 17-85mm that I had all but written off. I’m sure the last time I used this lens was 4 years ago. I’m not sure why I got it into my head that it was not a good lens. I do that kind of thing from time to time. Like when I learned that I could shoot at very high ISOs in the day light to get really fast shutter speeds. Then I got stuck thinking that all my shot’s should be at a high ISO just to get that fast shutter speed. What ended up happening was poor photos with bad contrast and color.

So, what I’m learning about this lens is also something that I’m learning about myself. It is pretty good. And I’m pretty good. I don’t want to toot my own horn but my photography is pretty descent. Even if few people actually look at it. I don’t really go out of my way to promote myself these days. Maybe soon but I don’t do it right now.

Anyway, I’ve drifted from my topic a bit. I tend to do that.

Here is a photo from my playings around today that really shows off what this lens can do under the right circumstances. We were out in the yard again, boy I love summer, and I had my speedlite on the camera to test what this lens could do with some nicer fill flash. I was quite happy with the result.

Let’s ignore her mop of a hair doo this evening. It’s been hot and the play was hard! Look at her eyes, so sharp and the color is just popping out at you. Then there is her freckles across her cheeks and over her nose. They just pop as well. With the right amount of light, this lens is very sharp. Sharp enough that I’m proud to show off this example from the lens.
I have a shoot tomorrow with a young married couple with a new born. They are looking for some good quality photos of their new son and I’m confident that I will be able to produce some very good images for them with this lens and my 50mm. I’m taking all my gear. The tripod and my umbrella too. Might as well run through everything I have.

Photos Of Fire

I love taking photos of the fire in the fire pit at the lake. I set myself up with a fast lens, usually my 50mm f/1.8 and a higher ISO so I can get a really fast shutter speed to freeze the flames. Quite often you get some really interesting shapes and designs in the flames. Sometimes you will see a face here and there or snakes or dragons. As long as you look at them in a small size you can still see that shape but usually if you blow it up to say 8×10 or so, you will lose that shape to the holes in the flame that created it in the first place.

But every now and then you will get one like the photo below. See the dog on the right side just above the middle. That face stays there no matter how large I look at it. The really creepy part is that the image looks just like our family dog. You can see a recent photo of her here. We have always wondered why she is so afraid of fire and then she shows up in a photo of flames. If I were superstitious, I would read all kinds of things into this. 🙂

Next time I plan fire photos, I’m going to wonder what the next winning lotto ticket numbers are!