Monday, January 9, 2012

Tips on Creative Photography

Do you love photography like I do?  I have been doing photography for about twenty five years.  I'm almost forty four, so I would say for half of my life I have had a strong interest in Photography.  I started out with my dad's brownie camera in the younger grades and then in junior high and high school I graduated to a disc camera.  Remember those?  The negatives came in a little tiny circle that you could view them.

Then in college I had a boyfriend who worked at a camera store.  As I was going into my first year of photography in college he persuaded me to purchase my first 35mm camera.  At the time, I kept saying no, but he was so persistent that I have a good camera for taking photographs.  He used to love Ansel Adams and would analyze his photography.  Sometimes it drove me nuts.  Well, he did get me to buy it along with filters and other accessories and a nice camera bag.  I was happily satisfied and he also got a commission off me, I'm sure.

He later on, started his own cleaning business.  He was pretty successful, seeing as he was such a good salesman.  I did end up breaking up with him of course at a later date.  He wasn't a very stable guy.  And he was always about partying and being with the guys.  And then when he got his first apartment, I would get there and he would leave all his moldy dishes for me.  It used to tick me off and I would often find myself doing his dishes for a good hour on end.

Then there was one time, where he followed me to the college library and tried to get me to take him back.  He actually forced me against the building so I couldn't go anywhere.  He was a character though.  I learned about pot from him and his friends.  I learned that I never wanted to smoke it even though everyone else was.  I guess I probably should have done it, seeing as I was breathing it in anyway.  The rooms were always full of smoke and weed.

Now back to photography.  I took two years of it and my teacher wanted me to major in it instead of painting.  But I chose painting because it was cheaper.

Tips on Creative Photography

Number one tip is to keep taking photographs.  Exercise your creative eye.  There are images all over the world just waiting to be exposed as a image frozen in time.  You need to practice it all the time. 

The beauty of digital photography is that you can keep taking pictures and you are not constantly spending money on film.  For years I used a 35mm camera.  It was the only thing I knew about.  I knew all kinds of tricks to photography.  I bought lots of filters, diffusers, different lighting equipment and I read up on tricks to learn.  I learned about vignetting and took lots of doll pictures.  I practiced with still life set ups.  I got rather good and getting my set ups.  I would buy flowers to use with the dolls. 

I used glass and vaseline and baby powder to get different effects.  I used glass vases filled with water to get a magnifying effect.

I created boxes that I cut a opening in the back and windows into the two sides of the box for filtered light.  Then I set my fabric inside and placed my doll heads inside and created my still lifes.  When doing still lives you also can get quite creative in the set up.  It's all a process.  I liked photographing my dolls and set ups as it was a quick fix while my children were sleeping.  I definitely went through my film very fast.  I don't think my ex liked that I always had lots of film to develop.  I often went through ten to thirteen rolls in a month on my kids, the dolls and the flowers.

You're looking at a regular shutterbug.

Now, I love my digital camera.  I love the fact that you can take lots of photos, delete some that you don't want and you can keep reusing your memory card.  Learn to back up your stuff in case something happens.

Try driving around town and see what catches your eye.  Decide what you want to photograph and go look for it.  Nowadays you have to be careful when photographing children.  Make sure you get the okay from the parents to do it.

Go to public events.  This is often a good way to get cool photographs of different types of things.

Keep practicing.  Try doing weddings too.  That is a good experience and you will get wonderful pictures to add to your portfolio.

Try learning how to do overlays.  Those are really neat.

Something I am slowly learning is to take photography into the photography software and working with it to get amazing results.

I can't believe what some people do with their images.  The computer technology is amazing.  I think I have just barely crossed the threshold on that one.  I'm not an expert on drawing on photographs.  Although I did amaze myself and do a good job on my cover to my first mystery novel Black Roses..  It's published on Barnes and Noble and Amazon, but my royalties absolutely sucked after putting in thousands of dollars into it and add $5000 for the basic advertising package which absolutely did nothing for me.  Never again.  Next time, I am not going with Authorhouse and instead am going to look into doing it for much cheaper with CreateSpace.  Someone told me that is really much cheaper.  It is worth it to get it in print and to have a hard copy to give to your kids.

When you are jumping into photography, I think it is so important to invest in a good camera.  I have a few of the little pocket size cameras (one Kodak and the other is one of those underwater cameras) .  But my big baby is a Nikon D90 camera.  This last year I invested in a lovely macro lense to go with it, a wide angle, a fisheye lense and I also possess a huge telephoto lense.  My son has used the telephoto and got some close up shots of the moon.  I haven't tried it yet, but should make myself do it soon.

Bring your camera practically everywhere you go.  You never know when you are going to find an image that inspires you to click and shoot. 

Try going out on a rainy day, or after the rain has come.  Especially if you are into flower photography like me.  I love driving around town finding gorgeous flowers to take photographs of.  And after a rainfall you have all those tiny beads of water left sitting on the flowers.  Makes for beautiful photography.  Macro photography is a really exciting thing to delve into.

I love it.  I also like taking photographs of mannequins.  In town where I live, there is one used clothing store that constantly puts her mannequin outside.  I have gone a bunch of times to photograph it in the different outfits and hats.  Fun.

Try photographing animals.  You can get cool pictures of them too.  Once in college I took a black and white picture of two horses in a deer sanctuary.  I still have the photo somewhere.  It was kind of neat, because I managed to get one horse to stick it's tongue out portraying a dog.  Humorous.

I probably should have majored in photography, but at the time I didn't.  I would rather photograph stuff instead of doing oil paintings.

Oil paintings take months to finish.  You can't call it done after one day.  You need to keep working at it and perfecting it.  And man is it hard to get the exact colors that you need.  It has been years since I did an oil painting and I got rid of my oil paints.  Of course I suppose I could always purchase some paints again someday if I want to do it again.

But sometimes, been there done that is good enough.

I would much rather draw before I attempt to paint.  Drawing was always my strong point. 

Watercolors are also a hard thing to master.  You have to be very careful about making sure all your colors don't run.  People produce gorgeous still lifes though.  Some stuff is absolutely amazing.

If you have never heard of Janet Fish.  Google her work.  She was a great artist.  Maybe she is still living.  I'm not sure.  But I had a book of her still lifes once and they really knock your socks off with all the detail to her stuff.  I mean, she had a whole lot of loaded objects going in her works of art.

Jennifer Jo Fay

Copyrighted January 9, 2012

If anyone likes paperdolls or knows someone who likes paper dolls, check out my paperdoll post on each of my blogs where my paper dolls are for sale:  The Official Paper Doll Blog 

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