I figure its only polite of me to tell you a little bit about myself if I expect you to read anything I have to say about photography and take it seriously. If anything, I hope you can relate to my story and find inspiration to get out and take some pictures.
I have had a fairly long history with photography and up until a few years ago I had relatively no interest in it in any serious capacity. I went to art school and took all the mandatory photography classes where I was first introduced to pinhole cameras, SLR cameras and general photography principles. Ohh ya, and that dreaded dark room.
My schooling was focused almost entirely on film (since digital was relatively new). I recall the anxiety I had shooting over a week for an assignment, taking the film up to the dark room, going through the process of developing the film only to pull the strip of film out of the drying rack to find out I messed up somewhere along the way and ruined my entire roll. An entire week down the drain not to mention the cost of the film. If I wasn’t ruining my film role I was in the dark room going through endless sheets of expensive development paper just trying to see if my pictures were any good. This whole process was not good for a person with a short attention span and a college student budget. Needless to say I was very turned off by the “process” of film. (Hot tip for students who still have to shoot film, take your roll to Target and get it developed the way the rest of society does, your teacher will be sure to compliment you on your development skills. I swear I never did that).
a bit later, circa 2004, I purchased my first digital camera. It was a $40 off-brand camera sitting on a clearance rack at Target. Not anything to write home about but I do remember the feeling of freedom it gave me. taking a picture and seeing it show up on the little screen on the back was amazing. No more developing, no more dark rooms, this was going to be amazing. My only problem now was figuring out what to do with these glorious 2 megapixel photos after I took them. At this time all I had ever done was blast some light on a negative in a darkroom to make the photo magically appear. from there I was clueless.
fast forward to 2009. This was the year I got my first iPhone. This may be unimpressive or cliche but this was definitely the camera that started to change the way I approached photography. The fact that the “camera” was in my pocket, with me at all times, was something very new to me. Previously photography was something I thought had to be very intentional but the iPhone allowed me to be spontaneous. In 2010 Instagram came out and again changed the way I saw photography. You could add filters that instantly made your photo look cool and intersting with the tap of finger. I was sure this was cheating but man it was awesome. Right about now the gears started spinning in my head that photography was actually kind of cool. It was becoming this way to capture random authentic moments and edit them in a way that could bring interesting new perspective and meaning to a photo.
After wearing out every filter on instagram (or at least the good ones, alright, just Nashville) I moved on to a few other apps like hipstamatic and camera+ and found some fun little nuggets that I liked in each but was starting to feel the limitation of my iPhone. I reached the point where I didnt want to just add fancy filters to pictures anymore. I wanted a camera that could add depth (literally and figuratively) and would work a little harder for me and give me the flexibility to control how I am shooting. After all this I had come full circle back to the SLR that I had dreaded years ago only now it was different. No more darkrooms, no more expensive film. Just freedom to capture essentially limitless photos without anxiety. Beautiful photos that only an SLR can give you.
From here on out I hope I can share a bit of what I do with my iPhone and my DSLR that gets me pumped and hopefully will get your creative juices going as well.
If you made it all the way to the end of this post we should high five because you’re amazing! *slap*