What World Photography Day Means To Me

A couple of people tagged me in a Facebook post because it was apparently World Photography Day. I had no idea but there’s a “day” for everything so it makes sense. Socks and Sandals Day is April 21st, mark your calendars. Being tagged in those posts made me think about photography and what it means to me. Turns out it means a lot.

My kid is my favourite subject
My kid is my favourite subject

I’ve become the person who always has a camera with them . Not a smartphone, a REAL CAMERA. My smartphone has an amazing camera for a phone but it can’t come close to the image quality of a proper camera. This has made it possible to capture wonderful moments with my daughter as she grows and learns. She even has her own camera and we go on photography adventures together.

This is a family heirloom. I spend a lot of time letting it teach me how to shoot.
This is a family heirloom. I spend a lot of time letting it teach me how to shoot

Photography has given me a chance to reconnect with my Grandpa who I lost when I was a teenager. The Pentax SP1000 pictured above was his and I’ve recently restored it using a parts camera a found on a local auction site. Shooting with film teaches me how to use light in a way digital just figures out for you. Using those skills with a digital camera has made me a better photographer.

I love long exposure photography
I love long exposure photography

Long exposure photography is awesome. You’re capturing light over a long period of time creating dramatic photographs. You can use long exposure to capture light streaks, light painting/writing, stellar photography. It’s given me somewhere to be at night that isn’t a bar.

Street photography, balancing art and not getting punched in the face
Street photography, balancing art and not getting punched in the face

Street photography can be a little intimidating but it’s given me a reason to get off the couch and explore the world around me. Not everyone wants their picture taken so it can be tricky. I switch between prime lenses and long zooms depending on what neighbourhood I’m in… You know?

Editing is not my thing but sometimes I make it work
Editing is not my thing but sometimes I make it work

Post processing isn’t my favourite part of photography. My editing (outside of Instagram…) is usually just cropping and straightening. Every now and then I dive into Lightroom to play around and I’ve come out with a few keepers. Overall though I like to take pictures that stand on their own and don’t need hours of work after the fact.

Better than a selfie
Better than a selfie

Portraits are so much cooler than selfies, that’s a fact. The only problem I have with portraits is how critical people are of their own appearance. It makes me turn away a lot of paid work because I don’t like hearing people pick themselves apart over the way they look. You’re hot, I’m hot, let’s take some pictures.

I love film
I love film

I know I’ve already talked about film but it really is a wonderful thing to use. You don’t get to take 300 pictures to get 10 good ones. It forces you to compose better, to be picky about your subject, and to understand the basic functions of a camera. Film cameras are very inexpensive these days because no one likes to do anything themselves anymore. Pick one up and shoot a few rolls of film. It’ll make you a better photographer.

IMG_0708
Fuji X-E1

I shoot with Fujifilm X Series cameras for most of my digital work. I was given an X-A1 which got me hooked on this great camera system. I picked up a used X-E1 body at a local camera shop a few months ago and I have 3 X-mount lenses along with some adapters to use some old glass I have. I also have a Pentax DSLR but it’s too big for most things I like to shoot. It’s a great camera though and Pentax uses a lens mount that gives you thousands of options.

Black and white is worth the fight
Black and white is worth the fight

What does World Photography Day mean to me? Well, nothing really. What does Photography mean to me? I’ll try to keep this short. It means I have a hobby that gets me outdoors, a hobby I can share with my family, a hobby that isn’t drinking beer or eating food in the name of “blogging”. It allows me to be creative, to be sensitive, to show the world the things that make my brain tick. Photography has changed the way I look at the world, it has changed the way I interact with people. When I take a picture I am stopping time.

There it is. You may now set your alarms for Socks and Sandals Day 2016.

Scott.

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