Thursday, 8 March 2012

Up until now....

Hi there! 

I've had so many thoughts and ideas whirling around in my head this last week.  My new found addiction to Twitter takes a lot of getting used to but I'm gradually learning the concept and all the etiquette required for interaction between Tweeps!  I am purposefully following mainly other photographers but also anything to do with photography and that way I'm hoping to gain as much knowledge as possible from them.  I am new to this lark as and I'll probably say that a few times before I've convince myself otherwise.  The label of "Photographer" gives me a sense of responsibility to the creative obligation but I don't really look at it like that, I mean what gives me the right to call myself a photographer anyway?  Well, for one thing I take photographs and although I may not have all the technical stuff down, I do (and always have had) an artistic eye, and mind.  Someone passed a good piece of advice on to me a few days ago and that was "First of all you have to learn to see, then all the technical aspects will follow soon after".  It's stuck in my head ever since I heard it.  

I go back to my first memories of photography and its impact on my life.  My Grandad was an enthusiastic Photographer, Artist and Structural Engineer.  I suppose photography and drawing / painting were his hobbies, but I saw such beauty in his work, I could watch him paint in his study or sit and flick through the photo albums.  On holidays, he would get us to look into the distance and point as though we were spotting something of great interest, a forced candid shot of his family discovering some amazing view!  He did spark my very first signs of interest in photography (and art for that matter) and I would always make a beeline for the photo albums when we went to visit, even more so if they (Nan and Grandad) had been holidaying somewhere exotic or cultural.  I reveled in the fact that I could be swept to that land just by looking at the images my Grandad had recorded (for me, I told myself!)  When I discovered  that there were other photographers out there I wanted to learn more about them, their work and from that my love for artistic resolve in everything began to unfold.......and it still is! 

So I'm allowed to call myself a photographer, not only because I take photographs but because I like to produce an image, an image where I am trying to convey my vision of a subject not only through the lens but from within me.  Yes I'm still learning, but I truly believe that all photographers are always learning, as they try to perfect techniques, try new ones or push boundaries and gain knowledge.  Ok, so I am at an early stage in all of this but then again, I don't expect to ever know everything....that way I know I will always be working towards perfecting my style and I will enjoy sharing any gems I discover along the way.  In that vein, I can share a little editing that I've completed in GIMP.  I wanted to express a dreamlike quality here which I have been influenced by Michael Orton - see - and I have attempted this using layers.  The first layer is the image which has been set with the Gaussian Blur setting and blown quite high, I then added the Soft Glow option which further blows out the highlights giving the whole image a soft and fuzzy feel.  I then opened a duplicate image in layers and set the contrast a little higher just to pick up some harder light in the details.  By bringing the opacity down by about 50% I could start to see the blurred version of the image showing through, giving it almost the dreamlike quality I was after....I then merged the layers and could have added more if I wanted to.  I am getting the idea of an image that I want to see and by playing around with these layers, hopefully I will get the image I am seeing in my head, and learn some more about layers and their attached functions whilst doing so!  

Soft Glow Gaussian - Orton
I'm always happy to answer questions about my images or anything really, so please go ahead and ask me! 

Some connections I've made so far include Twitter connections @davidmlansdell @richcovephoto @Mike_Meggiato @MichaelB961 @annemckinnell @RCNaturephotos @UpClosePhotos and @VivecaKohPhotog I will mention more in future blogs and elaborate on my influences and brilliant new finds!  Have a good weekend and I'll share some more rambling soon!  Sara x

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