Long Time No See

•January 27, 2010 • 1 Comment

Just a quick update for my faithful (and also occasional) followers: 

I have consulted Craigslist for completing the purchase of my replacement lens. NIKON offered to fix my broken one for a price greater than the cost of a brand new lens. Thanks NIKON, but no thanks. Once again, the moral of the story is to treat your camera like a fragile child that is very expensive to treat if harmed (boo current healthcare system in the US), and NOT like a piece of machinery to be dropped, ever. 

Tomorrow, I hope to see my camera back in its tip top, complete shape. So hold tight, and more pictures will be well on their way in a few days. 



Technical Difficulties

•January 5, 2010 • 4 Comments

There now stands a hurdle between me and my New Years resolution to increase my photo output. After about 3 months of Nikon 300o ownership, I am already facing a potential lens replacement. Turns out cameras are much more fragile than I thought. That hardy exterior is very deceiving. After what I deemed to be a very mild contact with the floor, the camera lens became destabilized and now needs to be serviced. So it looks like I won’t be using my camera for a month or so, which is a huge bummer. ALWAYS KEEP CAMERA IN ITS PROTECTIVE CASE. Lesson learned. 

While I wait for Nikon to fix my lens, I’ve been looking at some of the pictures I took with my point and shoot before my DSLR came along. Here are some I thought were decent.

Just a small dose of the mundane

•December 25, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I have a fascination with photographs that document ordinary objects and moments in an extraordinary way. Such photographs force us to reexamine our surroundings and extract beauty from unexpected places. A simple shadow, or light hitting a building in an interesting way, or certain colors blending together harmoniously. The key is in looking closely at the world. 

These are just some of my stabs at photography of the mundane.

The Trials of Portraiture

•December 23, 2009 • Leave a Comment

You don’t have to spend much time with your camera in order to realize that its most challenging subjects/objects to shoot are not buildings, landscapes, cats, dogs, pigeons, lions or the like, but PEOPLE. People, in their natural habitat, are extremely difficult to capture. I’ve come to understand that the photographer must take one of two forms in order to effectively take naturalistic, convincing portraits. The first form is the “fly on the wall”. The photographer must lurk behind bushes or hide behind furniture in order to go unnoticed by his subject(s)…. kind of like a paparazzi, except more subtle and less creepy. Key to success: relative invisibility. The second form entails actual and conscious interaction between the subject and the photographer. The photographer’s presence is acknowledged. The key to success in this case is making the subject feel comfortable within the presence of the camera and shooing away those contrived smiles. 

Personally, I’m not really close to mastering either, though I feel that every now and then, I do manage to catch  genuine moments or facial expressions. I am posting some of my better efforts here. Most of the pictures are of my friends of acquaintances….I still can’t get myself to start pointing away at strangers. In the near future, I hope to do just that.

I’m not crazy about the way I framed this shot, but my host grandmother looks just darling here, so I wanted to include it. 

Selections from Semester Abroad

•December 22, 2009 • Leave a Comment

While spending 4+ months living in St. Petersburg, Russia, and embarking on some travels in and around its vicinity, my camera and I never really took time apart. Subsequently, by the end of the semester, I had some 1500 photographs. Naturally, the overwhelming majority of my shots turned out average at best. These handful of photos, however, seem to stand a little bit above the rest. 

Please enjoy! 

In retrospect…

•December 21, 2009 • Leave a Comment

These are  first images that I took with my DSLR camera. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. In fact, I was so utterly clueless about my new semi-professional piece of equipment, that after first unwrapping and proceeding to turn it on, I was horrified, because all I could see on the display screen were some numbers and stats on a blue background instead of a live display. It took me some seconds to realize that having graduated from a point-and-shoot, I would now have to make friends with the view finder. 

Surely, these shots are perfectly pedestrian. But in a strange way, I am also pretty fond of them, because they represent THE starting point for me, naivete of the medium and all.