Taking Photos That Mean Something – Candid

This is the second part of my two part series.  It could expand into more, I’m not sure.  But for now, I will keep it as a two part series so my mind doesn’t get discombobulated.  If you haven’t already, please check out the first part.  Hopefully, one or both can provide a little assistance or spark something for you.

When I first started in photography, I took pictures of my adventures.  I hiked a lot on the east coast of the United States and was able to capture portions of that.  I also got involved with a group of friends who liked to explore urban buildings, tunnels, caves, and other crazy things.  I became the “dude with a camera.”  Side note: I’m still friends with these guys and girls and it’s funny how as we get older we do less breaking and entering.

I started as a candid photographer.  Taking pictures of friends, landscapes, or whatever.  It was fun.  And like Forrest Gump, I’d bite into it and never know what I was going to get.  This is why on occasion I go back to these roots.  It’s pure and free to me.  I love my “studio” work.  Don’t get me wrong.  It’s just as fun.  But for the most part it’s all planned.  It’s magazine.  Outside, the sky is the limit.  It’s nice to get away from that and go out and capture anything.

During the summer I went to a friends wedding.  I wanted to bring my camera along so as a present to them I could take my own pictures.  Plus I couldn’t afford that fancy new toaster they wanted.  They still had a professional photographer come to do the weddings shots.  I’m not traditional at all, so I really shouldn’t do them anyway, unless you don’t mind me getting what I want and not so much what you want.  Anyway, I did my best to stay away from the photographer and capture things he didn’t see.

I’ve found the best way to take candid shots is not to be involved at all.  Stay back and let people take notice of you, or not at all.  Notice the small things.  Open your eyes and look at everything.  Some of the most beautiful things in the world are not right out in the open.  And always keep your finger ready to take a picture, because things come and go in the blink of an eye.

And finally, try to take different perspectives.  One of my favorite things to do is shooting at the hip.  It makes people appear taller and thinner.  Find stairs or even a ladder and shoot from above if possible.

A few others tips and tricks to share:

  • Candid shots during photo shoots are usually amazing.
  • Never be afraid to try new things
  • Watch who and what you are taking a picture of.  Don’t want to make anybody angry.
  • If indoors, watch your lighting.  Natural light works best so hang out near windows.
  • Join in on conversations.  Makes those pictures extra special.
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10 Irises or How To Make A Painting Your Own – A Tutorial

Janis Zroback

by Janis Zroback

Just a quick blog to direct your attention to a tutorial from one of RedBubbles most fantastic painters, Janis Zroback. She was dear enough to write this fantastic tutorial on painting and how to view and perceive the subject. From an artists journal.

touched by fire – features for week of January 3, 2010



Writing Features

Our Dance by Pajaro del fuego
You were a vision in your flowing gown
Pressed tightly against me in my formal tails,
Aglow in the night, a princess in the arms of her prince
We danced

We swirled and we swirled on the starlit floor
Oblivious to the night and the gazing moon
With private orchestra, the whispering wind
Our dance could last forever

You never noticed my two left feet
I never noticed your lack of rhythm
For the night we were Fred and Ginger
In heaven, dancing cheek to cheek

Two swans gliding with grace on the lake
With barely a ripple in time or space
Everlasting, the dance was ours
Unforeseen, evermore

Mixed Colors by Willow Wyles
I observe and soak ,
like water color
on a canvas.

U observe ,
like a couch …
to a T.V.

I look with my eyes…
see pleasures,
in small things.

U look through my eyes,
to pretend u even care…
about what I see.

I read books ,
gaze at Picasso,Van Gogh,Leonardo,and Dali.

U yawn ,
scratch your head…
stare at the T.V

I see colors past the primary stage,
mixing them…
my thoughts, my lonliness…
searching for passion,
like “crimson red “

U take your “black”,
smear it into my thoughts,
my dreams.

Sadness and a heavy fog,
looms…creeps,
soaks into every pore.

U with one moment,
of silence,
turn my vibrant…
into a mixed mess of emotion.

I am passion …
u are not.

© 2009-2010 to each artist – you do not have rights to use their images or writing in any way without permission.

Redbubble Artist – Cerphotography

Hopefully everybody has read what the Touched By Fire group is all about on redbubble by now.  PJ wrote an awesome description of the group and what its purpose is in the first paragraph in the description that I need to share with you:

“This group is open to all genres with a focus on art that very distinctly touches peoples soul and shows a creative and unique voice that inspires and urges us to look at our world in new and exciting ways.”

My favorite part of that is, “very distinctly touches people’s soul.”  When I go through the moderation of the group I try to keep that in mind.  Not that I wouldn’t accept anything if it actually didn’t reach my soul, but I like to think of how it might touch the artists soul.  And what affect that might have on people.

Just a few days ago I came across a certain picture in my activity feed.  If any of you happen to dig through my favorites or see my work, you’ll notice I have a passion for whimsical women, crazy pictures, and romantic mumbo jumbo.  Occasionally though something really stands out and actually does take hold and grab my soul and that I fall in love with.  And that’s this:

I instantly favorited it.  And then I dug through the rest of the artists work.  And of course I was shocked by the complexity, emotion, thought, and mood of all the images.  Technically, I’m no genius with picture quality, tones, and blah blah blah.  I don’t care.  I don’t judge peoples pictures at all.  And I’m certainly not a critic.  I know what I love.

Once I made it through Cara’s (cerphotography) work, I jumped back to her profile page and was stunned to learn that she was only 18 and still in high school.  I’ve stumbled across a few young artists here that are so filled with talent that it makes me sick, in a good way of course.  And every one I’ve told the same thing.  Cara – I wish I had a quarter of the talent you have at that age.  Ok, well now, I’ve told all of them.

Please, be sure to check out Cara’s work.  She has two pictures featured this week:

She also has a handful of written works that you all may enjoy as well.  My personal favorite of her written work:

A Voice For The Innocent

I am a memory untold and me living is too bold
They say a mother naturally loves
But here the doctor puts on his gloves
It was for her own good, I am told

Perhaps if she saw me smiling at her
Perhaps she would changer her mind
Perhaps if she knew how much I would love her
Perhaps she would change her mind

But my voice is confined, not even defined
My love is declined by all of mankind
This my death wish she will not unbind

With me her life will be made uncomfortable
She never even thought of buying a cradle
She never considered that when I smile I might have her dimples

The doctor says I will not feel.
He tells this to my mother in hopes that her tears he may conceal.
But I feel.

I am scared, no mother to hold me.
I am sad, no mother to love me.
When all becomes dreary
And she feels so guilty
I ask for her love but she keeps me lonely.

My heart undeveloped breaks before it is made whole
I will never be able to look upon the face of my mother

Without a memory to keep me
Nobody fights for my justice
This indifference seems cureless

Because though I existed within the depth of my mother
Who was my fortress overtaken in battle.
She thinks she’s done nothing wrong

She opens the doors of the fortress
For death to seep through
And she thinks she is blameless
As I’m being killed
She allows this
Not loving me enough to keep me safe.
She is told this murder is harmless

She tells them to murder me so never will she have to behold me
To her I mean nothing, I’m just the nuisance in her belly
She beholds as if a leach who in this world deserves no entry.

And perhaps she is right
Perhaps it is my life that doesn’t matter
And though I never looked upon her I already love her
And though she has done this I forgive her

But should I forgive her?
And is this right?

To kill me which is innocence
To keep her life

The doctor sticks the tube into the cervix
and sucks away my life.
I’m the victim that was not reckoned as ever being alive.

musings of a passionate gypsy – 2010

To the dreamers and mythmakers
that reside in two worlds like myself
half in their dreamland
of mists, leprechauns, and tigerlily thoughts
and half in the ‘other’ world full of
screaming shards of half-dead lacklusters

living the life of an artist trips a person up
it gives us solace and comfort
yet a restlessness with the outside
this year ends for me with piles of poems
and pieces of images urgently whispering in my head
the warehouse is full, my thoughts
are overwhelming
opening up like a sabled fountain spray
of ideals and indigo wishes

it’s a new universe in here
this quiet place of mine
to be one with oneself
a pixie
a goddess
a wellwisher
to keep going, restlessly
muddling through the thoughts
and images that disallow me
to see things through ordinary glasses
and be like the ‘others’
through trials and grief
the contoured days and sunken nights

while those with empty minds
give me the luxury of
being forgotten once in a while
like an abandoned little
piece paper, insignificant
unless they remember on it is written
something they need for a while

so here is to having lived
and living
a life of being a poet, a visionary
an artist, and magician
an orchid amongst the heads of lame wheat
raise your magic pens and paintbrushes
my creative wonders
and cheers for those like us
and for those unlucky enough to live
in the ordinary, the mundane
and least not forget the
weary and poor
the sick and the lost
the souls with nothing left in this fragmentary world
and to our mother Gaia

here’s to imagination
here’s to me
here’s to a good fuck
here’s to being a fugitive
sane in an insane world
let us drink in the madness of the constellations
my dear friends
for we shall start our next phase
with our eyelids on fire
and fumes from our magic fingers

I hear the stars smiling

(c) ShadowDancer 2009