Sunday, January 1, 2012

Reasons To Love Photography

Happy New Year guys!  Welcome back.  Thank you for continuing to read this blog.  It does'nt matter to me if you're reading this because you like it or just to have something to read while lying on bed waiting to recover from last night's party hangover.  As long as you read this blog, I'm happy with it.  Assuming there are other people reading this blog aside from my wife, relatives and friends ;).

Thank God for the past 2011.  For the light that continuously guides us towards this journey.  May this 2012 be a safe and a blessed one.  And that love continue to pour frome one's heart to another.

Photography our new found love.
First, let's find the definition of photography.  Photograph came  from the Greek words photos and graphos.  Photos meaning light ang graphos meaning to sketch or to write.  Photography is the art of capturing light.  That's what separates a photographer from a trigger happy point & shoot birthday shooter.  Though once in a while this trigger happy shooter gets good images. A photographer is like a craftsman equipped with tools creating a masterpiece.  Like a painter, a photographer uses light as his brush to create vibrant images being recorded by his camera's sensor.

But before we go technical about this profession or new found hobby, let's talk about love.  Yes, melodramatic huh.  I believe it all started with love.  We often see things that we love so much that we want to keep records of these.  Just like our mom's photo album (which is a compilation of our every "first", first step, 1st bday) lying beneath the center table.  It's love that drives us to create a lasting image of these important people, things, events, places, and several more that touches our hearts.

As with any other art, photography's beauty lies beyond the eyes of the beholder.  Some shooters may argue the need to learn the rules or guidelines if you may.  Why is there a need to learn the rule of thirds or the sunny f/16 rule perhaps?  Just shoot it as you like.  Nope.  We, as photographers, must create masterpieces right?  In order to produce outstanding images, we must know these guidelines.  Almost every blog or forum discusses the need to educate ourselves with these rules to know when to apply them and to know when to break them.  We will go through these rules in order to equip ourselves with teachniques and styles.  Remember, we have the light as our paintbrush so we should learn the various strokes to use in order to paint a thousand words on our canvass we call sensor.

To quote from one of the world's most famous innovator, Steve Jobs, "Stay hungry, stay foolish".  This quote came from a 1974 edition of Whole Earth Catalog.  If we stay hungry for knowledge, then we never stop learning new things.  Same principle applies to photography. We dont point the camera on a same angle of view over and over again. It get's boring if we do so.  Photography is an art.  And an art is unique... that's the reason we love seeing these masterpieces because they're different from the usual things around us.

Now, how do we produce these unique vibrant extra-ordinary images?  What are the rules to follow?  Just like following recipes of our favorite food, photography pros have developed and created guidelines to help us cook good photos.  Hotcakes are easy to cook but not all hotcakes taste good.  Same goes with a photo of a landscape.  Several photos of Mt. Samat (a mountain in Bataan, Philippines where the Dambana ng Kagitingan or Shrine of Valor lies) can be made but not all may look good.  So, rules will help us think of better ways to capture this landscape.  The rule of thirds will help us position the subject in the frame in a way that appeals to our "food tasters".  The curves, lines, shapes and patterns that leads our eyes to the subject are like salt and pepper that we add to taste.  I write this way because I also love to cook.  Most of the time, Monet likes the food I've prepared.  I often come across this situation where I ask her, "normally we don't add this ingredient to this meal but I want to, is it ok?". The usual response is, "By experience and with the knowledge passed on by our ancestors it is not ok.  It may ruin the dish.". But occasionally I hear her say, "There's no law that prohibits you to do so.  You can give it a try but there are no guaranteed results.". Same applies to photography.  The rule says so and if we follow them, results are good but there are times we want to try things that are out of the "norm".  No guaranteed results but worth trying.  

For now, let me publish this post while I think of creative ways, if not boring, to present the basic rules of photography in my next post.

Love.  Light and sensor. Hello 2012.

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