Friday, January 24, 2014

What is the end point?

If this arrived as an email I suggest viewing this post online. Click on

Thanks to everyone who responded with feedback on the last post. The beige tree was unanimously the most unpopular. The other images sparked lots of interesting and thought-provoking comments... which is just what I hoped for!!  And from the technical side, I'm pretty sure the 'comments' section below each post should now work. 

What is the point of taking photos, anyway?
There is the actual pleasure of taking images (I love the click my camera makes), selecting and tweaking on the computer ... and then what? What do I do with the resulting images? Some of the more satisfying end products of my work have been...
Photo-a-day- FUN!
  • My gallery show at Vancouver's Zack Gallery which also travelled to a Toronto gallery. See images on my photo blog
  • Several books I've created. Sample books
  • Submitting (and selling) stock images for use in hotels and public spaces. I actually earned money.Yay!
  • Printing and framing images to use myself or give away. Creating canvas works. Greeting cards. 
  • The photo-a-day app on my iPhone where I was forced to be post something daily. Relentless but fun! 
  • Getting a photo printed in the Vancouver Sun a couple of weeks ago. 
Thankfully, I also know what I don't want to do. No weddings or events where people have expectations of me. That's when I'm most likely to fall over my tripod, accidentally delete the good ones, mess up the exposures or do something equally silly. 

Lessons learned 
Clearly, I like/need to share my work with other people. Creating something physical feels good (as opposed to just sharing online).  
It's particularly rewarding if someone pays me actual money for what create, but not absolutely crucial. 
It's also fun and interesting to have a project on the go, like the photo-a-day. 
Meantime, I can't resist the visual stimulation of things I see around me.  This week, for instance, I went for one walk in the fog and another in the snow (see below). And still I love urban scenes. And let's not forget about people. 

In summary then, I'm starting to realize that there is some photography that I will always do because it's there for the taking and I'm stimulated to do so. But maybe I need to find a genre or a style or a subject matter that I can develop into a meaningful project with a physical end product - like a gallery show, or a book or ????? Based on what you know of my work, do you have any suggestions or ideas for such a project?

Here are four more images. Again please pick ONE and give your reasons. I'm hoping that presenting a range of what I shoot and getting feedback will help me develop a direction so please bring it on. I'm really interested in your comments. And thanks again! 


1. Boundary Bay in the fog

2. Lisbon street 'Lady in Red'

3. Snow crystals - a rare and gorgeous sight

4. A whimsical take on pregnancy

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Smart editing might help

Welcome back to my journey. Thanks to all of you who've shown an interest. Much appreciated. Remembering that the point for me is to try to find a focus for my photography, I thought editing wasn't a bad place to start. 

Learning to keep the best....
Ever since I started taking photography classes I’ve been pushed and pushed to edit each group of photos down to a handful of the best. As I’m rather a prolific shooter (clicker), I try to follow this very good advice. Just as a simple example, I took these 106 shots of my grandsons on a climbing wall and ended up with SIX, and then selected the ONE below that I liked the best because it showed both boys and was a bit more creative. I'm now comfortable forcing myself to make these decisions within one set of images. 


Next step? Making decisions about which kinds of images I should select. 
Ah... well this part is harder. Why cant I make editing decisions about different subjects and types of images? Some thoughts
  • Maybe I’m too attached to the works to reject them.  I think I’d be sad to leave some behind. I mostly like all the images I've kept.
  • As I mentioned before, perhaps they’re just too diverse to even consider comparing them. Can you compare apples and oranges? 
  • And then there’s a difference between the shots I take of my family, the assignments I do for a class or a competition, and the images I shoot because something inspires me visually. 
  • I might be scared of rejecting something really good but what does that say about my judgement? Am I the only person who finds it hard to critique my own work? 
For now, I'll ignore the family photos and the snaps at golf tournaments etc. because I'll always want to be doing some of that for me and for others and for FUN! 

No, it's the more creative work that is at issue here. Well, I could go on musing and making excuses about my indecision, but it's time to get some feedback from you. If you can relate to my dilemma about how to choose your best work, and you've got some advice, PLEASE bring it on!

And here are 4 quite different photos. Tell me which ONE you like best and why. I'll try to put up some images with each post.  Just give me your comments below or send me an email. Many, many thanks. J

# 1 Portugal Church with birds layered into the image

# 2 Character on Main Street, Vancouver

#3 Intentional Camera Movement - Rose Hip

#4 Experiments with tree skeletons

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Let's go exploring together...

I was with a small group of friends on New Year’s Eve musing about what 2014 might bring for us. I said that this was the year I was going to find some kind of focus for my photography. I was quickly reminded that I’ve said that before and then was challenged to actually do something about it.  I love a challenge!

See what I mean?
You may have heard me compare myself to a photographic hummingbird… moving quickly from one pretty flower (or interest) to another.  Am I into macro, portraits, landscapes, urban street, nature, long exposures, minimalist, architecture, abstract, travel or sports? Yes, yes and yes – all of the above and more. It seems I have a twitchy photographer’s eye – always roving and finding interesting stuff to click.

So here’s my idea. I’m going to write this blog as a way to organize and share my thoughts and images, as I figure out where I want to go photographically.  I realize that this is an extremely egotistical thing to do, but one thing I have discovered is that I work better with an audience and feedback. (I’m just being honest, here.) So I’m hoping that you might be interested enough to come along.

In return, I’ll try to make my posts interesting or educational or entertaining or all three. I will post images, of course. After all I am a photographer. And yes, I definitely do want feedback/comments/discussion because this is an important part of the journey. Oh, and I won't be one of those bloggers who bother you every day. I'll just post when I have something to say. And this project won't go beyond 2014, so you're not signing on for life.

Here’s how you can participate (or not). If you sign up by putting your email in the box labelled Follow by Email (right side, follow instructions) you’ll find out when I add a post to the blog. You are free to read it (or not) and comment (or not) or unsubscribe (or not). That's it!

And if you want to get started on the comment part, click on the pencil at the bottom of the page. Tell me:
  • if you think this a good idea or kind of lame
  • what would make the blog interesting for you
Well... thanks for reading this far, anyway. Hope to hear from you...