Custom Pictures of  Fort Pierce, Vero Beach, Port Saint Lucie and the Treasure Coast of Florida 
Build it your way - See it my way               



Custom Photography: Fort Pierce, Vero Beach, Port St. Lucie and the Treasure Coast of Florida

Photography Workshop training with one on one hands on teaching.

Photographer rambles some more

      It took me many years later to discover how wrong I was and that photography required the same process of any other artistic endeavor. You first have to master the fundamentals of your craft before you start to think of the pictures you are going to create. You have to walk a fine line between technique as the driver of your creations and technique as a final destination of pro like pictures that move no one.( yes you can get so wrapped up into getting definition into your highlights and shadows that your picture becomes all technique and no content.)  As a photographer you are a creator but only within the realm of what techniques you have mastered.  Pushing the button is only the start of a process. Yes your picture needs to be in focus where it needs to be in focus and exposure and contrast should be adequate, but what are you trying to accomplish with your photograph, what do you need to get rid of(sometimes a simple crop may be all you need.) and what do you need to change or add ( if you're someone like me you might decide to make every face pink, because pink faces will convey your message.). I have likened it to writing a novel, when you know you can't go further with the picture than you're  finished.

        My career as a photographer started as an amateur photographer in Maryland. Like a lot of other amateur's I took classes developed my own film(boy nothing was better than Tri X at 400ASA) and had an enlarger for making prints. At that time I was working as a offset photographer in the printing industry. Some of my earlier experiments involved the techniques in this industry for making prints with very little tonal gradients. But even at this time I wanted to create photographs where I controlled all the elements put into the picture. I would have to wait decades for the right types of software ( a word I had no knowledge of at the time.)

    I also looked at all the big time photographers of the period like Richard Avedon, Edwin Weston and ( tried to learn his zone control procedures but newer got good enough to make use of them.)Dorothy Lange and her work with the 'Farm Security Administration'. Older photographers who understand they are part of an artistic link to the past should remember her most famous picture, 'Migrant Mother'.  This was a picture of a stoic mother with no clue on how to escape her circumstance being framed by her children clutching to her. The sad part of all this is that Lange became famous because the picture clearly showed the plight of migrant families during the 30's. Other people made a lot money on that picture, but what of the family and particularly the mother whose picture made us all say, there for but the grace of god I would be. They went on with their lives no better or worse because of the picture. That is the other side of photojournalism. We get so wrapped up in what a great picture was taken that we sometimes forget about the person(s) in the picture.

    I also liked the photo journalist Cartier Bresson. He was the one who coined the phrase: 'The decisive moment'. If you have every taken a picture a second later then you should have than you know the meaning of that phrase.

    I also looked at conventional paint artists like Rembrandt because I liked his use of natural light in pictures. And unconventional artists like Salvador Dali and Picasso who created pictures that made the viewer come up with answers about what the picture was about or whether the picture was about anything at all.

   During that period I also looked at Cinematography and looked at directors like David Lean(Lawrence of Arabia,Dr Zhivago) and Ridley Scott(Blade Runner) I like how they showed mood and made the environment almost like another actor in their stories. They were also good at showing how the environment framed what was happening in the story and sometimes even showed a relationship between the actor(s) and their environment. These directors had an enormous influence in the direction I wanted to take my pictures. A film is nothing more than thousands of single pictures. Each picture has a large contingent of writers, a director and cinematographer,  make up artists and set designers and other people more numerous to mention all doing their best to tell a story with every shot. 

    As a photographer that should be the goal of any significant photograph that you craft. Every part of your photograph should be working toward the goals of your picture. If not then you have to ruthless in getting rid of the parts that aren't working.

     Eventually I felt I had learned as much as I could in Maryland and moved to New York City to attend a Photography School: The Germaine School of Photography. And for a couple of years after that I worked in a commercial studio in Manhattan.

     I started with a wish to become a photo journalist and a lot of my earlier pictures especially the black and white pictures you see on my slide show were part of a pursuit to find truth. To take pictures that expressed some part of life whether it is joy, sorrow, anger or the acceptance of life.  In short a little story in one little picture. The early days, especially in New York City whenever a event was happening I was out snapping pictures, looking for that one picture that expressed everything. The beginning of the end of this period occurred when I took a picture of a young lady who was deeply saddened, this contrasted to the couple next to her who looked like they were making plans for their future together. Unfortunately for me as I snapped the picture with all my youthful Cartier Bresson decisive moment determination, she looked at me with intense feelings of hurt mixed with anger.  I thought about that moments for years after and wondered is there a point where you shouldn't take the picture. How much of a person's life can you exploit for your own artistry or money?  I'm sure most photographers, especially photo journalists, will get a little uneasy at the question. If there was a hundred percent answer to that question: someone would have answered it by now.   During this period I took another thing from Cartier Bresson: when I composed my pictures, I composed with the idea of shoot full frame, In other words there would be no cropping with a Hemingway. I did this for many years until I stopped making my own prints. When you order your prints online full frame 35mm doesn't work with the conventional prints sizes offered by the average print maker.

    Afterwards I took few pictures as the demands of a new career as a peace officer for the NYC hospital system(HHC Corp) and getting a college education at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice took me away from photography where I had failed to develop(pun not intended) into a Photographer who made enough money to stay in the photography field. I took few pictures during this period and concentrated mostly on landscapes. Whatever reality I was trying to explore I did it mostly with forests, lakes, mountains and city scences of light, shadows and tall canyons of skyscrappers that passed along cold torrents of wind during the winter months.(Alright I lied about the last part, but it was something I would have done if I wasn't getting drunk in bars during that period.)

    I did a few creative things like creating a newspaper for peace officers. The paper was short lived but successful. I created a paper that looked at peace officers from several different areas including legal, political and the all important how we can become more professional. Like the novel I later wrote and the creation of several websites, including this one, if looked at whatever I was covering from several prospectives. At some point I got it into my head that I could produce something interesting in these endeavors and once that occurred it was full speed ahead.

  Finally a few years before I retired from public service, I started creating pictures that were far more interesting than anything I did in my early years. Instead of creating a picture that reflective a decisive moment of reality, I decided to create my own reality. Maybe I would never be the director of my own five star movie, but I certainly could create my own picture with whatever message I wanted to put forth. Perhaps I would incorporate a little of the surrealist movement into my pictures. An iffy proposition when you try to link subconscious motivations to the immediate of what you are trying to photograph.

    If you are one of the few people who have gotten this far on this page, than you should know what to except from one of my workshops.  Hopefully you will look at yourself and realize that if you want to make it as a photographer than you have to spend time and money and make yourself open to making pictures that are a little better than you are currently making.



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 Is it time for a 
Learn new ways to create pictues, photograph some of the best scenery on the Treasure Coast or even a lively photo session with a  model.  Finish the night celebrating at one of the many watering holes in the area.  PhotoWorkshops