Monday, February 16, 2009

What Makes Me a Photographer

Perhaps almost anyone can be a photographer, in the same way that almost anyone can be a carpenter or a librarian. But, in age where almost everyone owns a camera, what separates one's work from others. I think our work is separated because we have chosen Photography as our profession, and merely that. Whether we are good or bad photographers, we are photographers because that is what we want to do for a living. We normally don't call ourselves carpenters just because we build a single shelf. It is only if we continually work and strive towards carpentry, do we then call ourselves  a carpenter. I feel it is the same with photography. 

One may also say that what makes us photographers is that we intend to have our work viewed beyond the context of our friends and family. It seems that photographers wish to have their work seen in galleries, films, schools, websites, and other areas where we may find displayed art. This is certainly not true in every case, although I think it is most generally found to be true. 

These photos were taken for my documentary class. I was assigned to photograph three complete strangers. All three of these guys were very willing to have their picture taken. The one standing on the porch, was standing outside of a Juvenile Delinquency Courthouse. 

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Shooting Without Film

Our latest assignment in my documentary class is to go out and photograph without film in the camera. I used my Minolta TLR camera to "photograph" around the streets and alleys of Delaware, Ohio. It was an interesting experience because of the strange people you run into when you're just walking slowly.

A couple people stopped me to ask about the camera that I was using. I took pictures of a couple strolling their child down the sidewalk, a couple of kids playing in the street, a man getting his haircut in the barber shop, two men loading a mattress into a truck, and two men taking money out of ATM machines.

It was actually very difficult for me to do this. Not very many people walk in downtown Delaware, and the few that do, immediately notice me and my camera. I have to say, I had less and less courage to press the shutter button, even though I knew there was no film in the camera. I only photographed people from behind because I was afraid that they would get mad if they saw what I was doing.

It was harder than I thought it would be, and more terrifying. I had brilliant chances to take photographs, but I passed them up because I was so close to the people and they would have seen me. It would be easier if I photograph where there are a lot more people, so that I do not stand out as much.