Thursday, January 05, 2006
Orange Is Not The Only Fruit
Samantha Breach is a beautiful young British woman living and working in San Francisco who is one of the first people I knew to have a blog.
Actually, she has a couple of them, but the powerhouse is called "Becks & Posh" (click here) focusing on food.
She's a very good writer and visual artist, plus she likes to link people together, so that she's pretty much perfect for the blogging community. Though she refuses to accept the title, I call her her the Queen of the Food Blogs.
Recently, she started a photo contest/salon on flickr with a British wine afficionado named Andrew where people are encouraged to download their photos reflecting a stated theme, in this month's case "Orange Is Not The Only Fruit."
Then each photo is subjected to "constructive criticism," which seems to amount to Andrew lotfily advising people to crop, focus or get rid of ugly backgrounds.
I wrote in the comments section of "Becks and Posh" that if anybody stupidly criticized my photos, it would make me never want to have anything to do with that person again, so I don't think I'm going to be entering.
Digital photography is revolutionary on all kinds of levels, but I think the most important is that photography is no longer the province of well-to-do people, which used to be the case. Cameras, lenses, film, photo paper, chemicals, and developing color film professionally were prohibitively expensive for most.
That's no longer the case. In 2001, I embarked on a year-long photo project where I shot anywhere from 20 to 200 photos a day, then edited the best of them into a daily slide show with text, trying to capture the world around me. With film, the project would have cost in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, whereas with a digital camera and a computer loaded with Photoshop and PowerPoint, the entire project cost me less than a thousand dollars.
It was about halfway through the year that I actually became a photographer, by which I mean that all I started to see was light, and how it was reflected in the world.
So my advice to aspiring photographers is this: take lots of photos. You no longer have to harm any film or inhale any chemicals in the process. Eventually, you'll learn what works and what doesn't. Everyone's vision is different and that's what is interesting. How does the world look through YOUR eyes?
And do try to notice the interesting content around you while you're at it.