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Posts Tagged ‘tripods’

Since I had a few days off, we decided to take a road trip.  My assignment here is almost complete, so we are trying to squeeze in as many adventures and outings as possible before we leave for our next location.

Since I am a little camera-crazy – we usually plan trips that give me the opportunity to practice a little photography.  It’s funny how I can always manage to cram in a bit of ‘homework’ where ever we are – I guess that is what makes photography such an addictive hobby.

As many of my readers know, I never meant to do more than the usual touristy snaps – but necessity forced me to become more and more adept, to illustrate my writing, and visually document my  interviews and observations.  As I’ve progressed from project to project – my writing style has evolved, my detailing has become more precise – and I’ve refined my picture-taking.

In the most recent months, as I begin researching the next project, I’ve started practicing by trying to expand my range, beyond the casual snapshot – to fast-motion, low-light and a variety of other conditions.

So we headed off to Shreveport, for some new scenery and more practice.

Low-light, No flash with a tripod 

captioned, postcard style

captioned, postcard style

I have always lacked confidence in my photo-taking, so I’ve resisted using a tripod for a long time (and missed a lot of great photos because if it).  But, I finally had to face it; it’s just impossible to keep still enough during the SLOW shutter speeds necessary to capture low-light situations..

Even so – the photo still has a lot of noise, or fuzziness..

During our trip, we attended a concert at the Strand theater..  Surprisingly, both the theater staff, and the performers explicitly lifted the usual rules to permit photography – which was just fantastic, even if only to get photos of the restored theater.. But it was even nicer that the performers invited us to take pictures.

(More about the beautiful and historic Strand theater in my next post.)

The freehand photos from the concert stage demonstrate this lack of definition (and noise) even more acutely.

shreve2 184

If you don’t take a lot of photos, than this post is probably boring beyond belief – but you also don’t know the frustration of seeing an image in your mind’s eye, and then struggling to capture that image with your lens.

But then too – comes that satisfaction when the shutter clicks and the image is immortalized – in your mind, and on file, forever.  (or at least until I crash the hard drive.)

With the help of several friends, amateur and professional photographers – I’ve learned a lot, in my efforts to move the image from my eye to the camera.  I’m not always successful, but I seem to be getting better and better..  But there are other issues in photography.

For me, that struggle is two-fold; it’s both accuracy and providing perspective. Accuracy seems like an oxymoron for photography – but it’s not.  The next photo is a good example of what I mean..

a country lane?

a country lane?

Accuracy in photography to me means depicting a person, place or circumstances as honestly and straightforwardly as possible.  Now, in a movie, I recently watched – “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel“, a group of English citizens decided to retire to a residential hotel in India based on a brochure, and the photos of the hotel in the brochure..

this 'romantic' backdrop for my lovely model is actually the corner of a somewhat dirty, beat-up parking lot in downtown Sherveport.

this ‘romantic’ backdrop for my lovely model is actually the corner of a somewhat dirty, beat-up parking lot in downtown Shreveport.

(I bet you can see where this is going.)  Of course, when they arrive in India – the group quickly finds out life in India (and their hotel) isn’t quite as cute, contained and photographic as the brochure led them to believe.

This isn't a great photo - but it does show the size and scale of some great art.  A mural, 14 stories tall, that is so detailed you can visualize the fabric of her dress..  (Note the size of the reference man walking on the sidewalk).

This isn’t a great photo – but it does show the size and scale of some great art.  This mural, 14 stories tall, is so detailed you can visualize the fabric of her dress.. (Note the size of the reference man walking on the sidewalk). It’s not crazy to want to be able to accurate capture that image just as it is.

With my style and type of writing, equally accurate photography is essential.

I also want to give perspective – whether that perspective is from peeking over the shoulder of a surgeon hard at work, the view from outside the operating room theater or even just the view from down the street.. (or even from really, really far away..)

washing a fire truck

washing a fire truck

That doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy the sweet, or romantic photos – like these pictures from the sidelines of a recent parade.   (I was across the street – quite a distance away – but just watching from behind a camera – really did seem to tell a story.)

court'n

another photo from the same St. Patrick’s Day parade

little Eviel Knievel jumping his bike while waiting for the parade

little Evel Knievel jumping his bike while waiting for the parade

I’ll post some more photos of Shreveport in my next post..

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