me

About

sarcastic.  wonderful. sarcastically wonderful, you could say.

my oldest brother is the source of my interest in photography. a few years ago, he let me borrow his camera to document a move i was helping my fiance (now) make. i was hooked. not that i didn’t enjoy photography before then and certainly i’ve always had a love of art and imagery, but until then i had only used cheap equipment and took photos the way most people do. with his camera, i felt different. i felt like i had potential as a photographer. it’s silly, really. an expensive camera and equipment don’t really make you anything.

i bought my first digital slr camera in july 2007… again my brother played a huge role in helping me pick it out when he came to visit us in calgary. i’ve been struggling to embrace any hint of talent i may posess since then. whereas most days i feel like i have none, occassionally i take a picture that makes me think, “hey, this one doesn’t make me sick to my stomach.” and then i look at it for a few more days and i realize how many flaws it has.

the first few weeks with the camera were awesome. i was snapping pictures of anything and everything. i was taking pictures to learn how to get the most out of my new camera. and while i was mostly disappointed with the results, i could see progress. this is stage 1.

stage 2 is a depressing and demoralising time when nothing looks good.  you look at other people’s photography and feel you’ll never reach that level. you look at people’s photography who aren’t into photography and wonder how they take better pictures than you. you think about selling your expensive camera and all of your equipment and take up another hobby you’re sure you’ll suck at just as badly. the camera rarely comes out of its big expensive bag and when it does, it just reinforces your belief that you’re not a photographer. photos are flat. they’re all badly composed. “why did i think that would make a good shot?” you continually ask yourself.  and the camera sits for even longer periods in its bag.

and then one day, you’re browsing the internet and looking at other photographers’ sites hoping with everything you have that maybe you’ll find inspiration, a style that won’t make you feel like such a failure. you find something that leads to something else that leads to something that changes how you think about photography and most importantly, how you feel about your own photography.

this is stage 3.

i’m in stage 3. i used to think that the photograph had to be perfect from the moment you released the shutter. i’m sure i read in countless magazine articles and instructional books that you suck if you have to do any post-production work. and then i came across a professional photographer who shares his process with his followers on his blog. one of the most talented commercial photographers in north america with all of his expensive equipment, with masters certification with two camera brands, has a dedicated post-production person on staff. and then i found a link to another professional photographer who not only shows a huge library of his photographs, which are amazing btw, but also often includes links to how the photo looked as he took it. suddenly it didn’t seem like such a sin to edit my photos. i’ve taken photos that look like his originals.  why can’t my photos be turned into something just as amazing as his?  the answer is that they can be.

stage 3 is inspiration. inspiration to take photos again. inspiration to learn how to get the most of your photos. stage 3 is the launch of your own photo blog.

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9 Responses to “About”

  1. Well… I came to this specific page hoping to find a larger image of you that I’ve been seeing as icons in your comments, and found it, but found so much more. That is a terrific photo of you and I love that style of photography for so many reasons. It resembles what I wanted out of my holga and think there is so much more to photography than ‘the perfect shot’. It is about creating memories to me, it’s about expression, it’s documentary, it’s art, it’s hobby, it’s whatever you want it to be, and can be something different to everyone including each photo having a different purpose. I think it’s part of the reason I enjoy it so much is because it is so much, there is so much challenge, expression, freedom, creativity, etc. Just go for it, learn from it, enjoy it, share it, and have it to be remembered.

    Remember it’s your style, you’re definitely finding your own. I also believe it isn’t about the end result, it is the journey with photography and you’ll always learn, change and grow with it.

    Keep up the shooting and sharing, it is GREAT!!!

  2. Hello! I’m here from Rez’s site. I love what you have on here. Can I ask a few questions? If so, they are:

    1.) What kind of camera do you use? Do you recommend it?

    2.) Which post-production program do you use? Do you recommend it?

    3.) I enjoy your work.

    4.) Number three wasn’t a question and neither is this but I wanted to compliment your work and end this on an even number.

  3. cowboy – thanks. and i agree.

    amber – thanks for visiting. of course you can ask me some questions.
    1. I use a canon eos 400D (digital SLR camera) and have a number of lenses for it (50mm, 28-90mm, 70-200mm, 75-300mm). It’s a nice entry-level SLR and has been great to use for the last couple of years. I feel like I’m ready for something a bit more advanced now though, but will definitely be sticking with canon.

    2. I use Adobe Photoshop CS2 as my post-production program. I love Photoshop, but if you’ve never used it before, you may find it overwhelming. It’s extremely powerful and has more functionality than any photographer will ever need. Photoshop Elements is a light version of Photoshop and is better for a beginner (if that’s what you are). And Adobe Lightroom is another, more advanced program that I’ve only ever heard good things about, though haven’t used myself.

    3 & 4: Thanks. I really appreciate that.

  4. Love your new start Doug! Though I had to go thru the annoying task of creating a WP ID just to log in and comment. 🙂 Is your newfound inspiration that photographer you sent me a link to before? See you’re getting into the heavy use of vignetting in your new phase. Look forward to seeing more! I’m trying this posting each day, but finding it a challenge myself. You have some interesting scenery out east to capture, envy that.

  5. Hey Doug – you made me go thru the effort of creating a WP ID just to be able to comment here. 🙂 Nice work on your new phase of stuff. See you’re into the vignette look now. Is one of those inspirations that photographer you sent me a link to his site to a while ago? Will be back for more views!

  6. Hey Doug, like the new place!

    Vignetting, Lomo-style, love it!

  7. hey jaykay – sorry for all the trouble. i don’t know if there’s a way to turn off that requirement of setting up an ID to leave comments. perhaps i should look into that. i wouldn’t say that link is the cause of the new inspiration, though it helped. it was actually chase jarvis and his blog pointed me to david nightingale of chromeasia.com

    i know what you mean about how difficult it is to put up photos every day. i do well to average one per week. but you’re doing a good job so far. i’m intrigued by your faked miniatures phase. very cool.

  8. Ah no worries. Glad you sorted out the technical glitches. Will be back to leave more comments. 🙂

    I am familiar with that site, I had it bookmarked a while ago but don’t check it regularly. Is that the source of some good tutorials/post-processing steps? If you know of any others, drop me a line.

  9. it does have several tutorials. he charges for them, but not that much. i haven’t actually purchased one yet, but probably will. he does some really cool hdr shots and his portraits are really good too.

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