one message ive heard many times is that if you are motivated to study on your own, prep classes have little to offer other than the books and practice tests. their main benefit is an external obligation to follow a regimen.
In August 2012, just starting photography, I challenged myself with a 365 project. I brought my new point’n’shoot everywhere I went to snap photos of old things in new lights. My first interesting shot was #82, “A Street Reflection.”
Through this photo, I gained a newfound appreciation for the timing which created the soft shadows on the buildings and the orange cottony cloud, Still, the shot had a busy composition and was technically sloppy, an aggressive crop on one of twenty tries.
Over the months, I paid attention during golden hour to aspects like the direction and tone of sunlight. I sought to simplify landscapes and let rare colors rule the composition. Soon, it was my camera bringing me to new vistas. My last week in Boston, I was determined to watch the sun rise over the water, so I made 25-mile bike ride in the dead of night to capture #260, “Twilight Pier.”
I moved to California, bought a fancy DSLR setup, and started a new job. My macro lens opened up a whole new world of subjects, and incidentally I started a bit of portraiture. Still, with casual landscape photography, I had a simple strategy: be in the right places at the right time. For instance, I made a frantic 400-mile drive to catch dusk in #356, “Golden Golden Gate.”
Considering 2013 was the majority of my photographic career, there wasn’t much searching to be done. I chose one shot from each type of photography I favor: macro, urban bokeh, single-shot projects, landscapes, minimalistic night.
Thank you for following me on my journey through the world of photography! Here’s to an even more spectacular 2014!
well guys, this is it. i hope this picture is a fitting end to one whole year of posting photos on tumblr. for those of you who have enjoyed watching my photography evolve over the last few months, thank you.
(single exposure, no editing besides color and detail enhancement)
This is a piece I wrote for my applications, where I reflect on my year of photography and how it has changed me. Included are links to some mentioned photos that are especially close to me.
Special thanks to all of you on Tumblr, who made this journey possible and so wonderful! I couldn’t have done it without you.
One year ago, I was not a visual person. When I walked, I stared at my feet and let my vision drift out of focus. When I talked, I didn’t even think to hold eye contact. Therefore, when I obtained my humble-point-and-shoot camera as a graduation gift, I realized that I had wasted four years in Boston hardly appreciating my surroundings. I vowed to take a picture a day for a year to see if it could open my eyes.
I began to notice the beauty of familiar scenes, like the striking autumn trees towering above Harvard Yard that I walked through thousands of times yet somehow failed to appreciate. To better utilize my camera, I read about photographic concepts like white balance and bokeh, and then pored over others’ photos to see how they applied those concepts. Angles, shadows, the daily rhythm of light, I gained a subtle awareness of them all.
Thus, my little camera has turned me into a wanderer, forever chasing the next intriguing shot. At some point, perhaps between braving one of Boston’s harshest blizzards and biking 30 miles at 2 AM, it stopped being about the pictures and more about the adventures. I love the exhilaration of the excursions I embark upon to discover these beautiful moments, and the photographs I capture become the perfect mementos.
Now, I own professional-grade lenses and act as official photographer at work. Exploring the morningfog of SantaBarbara, my first project with the new camera, has been the most exciting and successful yet. Even without my camera, I notice how people’s eyes twinkle when excited and how they crinkle when smiling. Pursuing photography has, quite literally, changed how I see the world.