How reading books made me a better photographer

Over the past year, I fell away from photography, I did it for a job daily. When it came to my personal work I completely stopped. I no longer cared about a camera on my person when I walked out the front door. I stopped reading books and stopped working out. I did my job and went home, and my personal drive for development and creativity dried up. It wasn’t until I started reading books again that something changed.

The dangers of aspiring to be a perfect person

Be it a healthy person regarding fitness, eating habits. Being it a time-efficient hustler, and productive person. Or be it minimalist, aspiring to consume less and aspire to have only long-lasting high-quality items. To the spiritual or person of faith that preaches their belief without request. There is something about these people that isn’t quite right. Something about somebody that labels themselves as (insert aspiration here), that rubs me the wrong way and that is they are generally speaking assholes.

The best point-and-shoot camera I’ve owned

I’ve been around for a while; all 36 years, and during that time I’ve accumulated and used a number of point-and-shoot cameras, from the film days to the adoption of digital. And I can honestly say after using, Yashica, Ricoh, Leica, Fuji, Kodak, Olympic, Canon & Contex my favourite point-and-shoot camera can be summed up into these categories; ease of use, quality, features and size. It would have to be the…

Hero story

Everyone wants the hero story, everyone wants to be entertained by the extraordinary. The amazing, the talented. But in reality, the extraordinary is a lifetime of doing the same thing over and over again. The hero is a person who didn’t ask for glory but was forced onto it through pain and trials.

Gear isn’t finite

I’m going to show you what gear I use. And I also want you to know that gear isn’t finite, it changes over time. And that all this gear that you see in front of you, sure it helps in capturing a picture but it’s not the end all be all. Gear, settings, controls, styles, are all concerns of the hobbyist and amateur, they are good to know and important but they aren’t what makes a picture great. the story, the meaning, the purpose is what makes an image.

What if we all had the same gear?

What if you had the same camera, lighting and subject matter as everyone else. A groundhog day for a photographer so to speak. If we all have the same gear what would make you different? “Imagine you had no way of visually showing someone any of your work, and they ask you to describe what you’re about, not your genre, but what is the essence of what you’re trying to achieve?” This quote from Katy Niker is something we should all think about and consider when pressing the shutter button. What is it that you’re trying to achieve beyond visuals?

Is Instagram dying?

Is Instagram dying? Here is a quote a fellow photographer shared with me.

“Although I feel Instagram offers a really beautiful opportunity to connect with others, share art and reach people on a large scale on topics that deserve recognition and attention, I’m finding that it’s becoming harder and harder to feel excited, stimulated or inspired scrolling through my feed.”

Why take photos

It’s a hard and easy question, depending on how deep you want to go.

Many people want to capture a moment, archive a memory. Some people want to express themselves or other peoples stories. Some want to show you something, be it a travesty or crime to a shiny object to entice you to buy it. For others capturing a photo is meditative or therapy. We all have our own reasons to capture a photo.

Phases

As creatives, we all go in and out of phases. Be it trying something new, putting a twist on previous work to outright stopping our practice to follow other endeavours. We buy new gear in hopes it will change something, be it adopt a new way to look at things. Whatever you’re going through or been through we all have Phases.

Open letter about Eric Kim

Without a doubt, Eric Kim is a photographer that pushes people’s buttons. Some people find inspiration from him, others find a reason to roll their eyes. But one thing that is interesting is he came from nothing, and now he is living his dream, a dream to teach others about photography.