(Black and White)

Back to the Basics

Upon reflection, that is reflecting on my past work, I realized that I have been forgetting to focus on the most important part that make a good photo. So I have gone back to the basics, reading and studying composition, from different sources.

Some are from past greats (Bresson, Bourke-White, and Adams), and some are new professionals and writing books on composition techniques. Each time I look or read about great composition, it points back to simple ideals. A clear subject, and a strong contrast. Sure there is way more that goes into composing a masterful photo, but sometimes the most simple composition can compete with the greats.

So I have challenged myself to look at the mundane around the house and focus purely on composition techniques. Subjects that are prominent and don’t fade into the background (or foreground), clear and clean leading lines, and prominent framing.

Here are some of the results from my perusing around the house.

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This was a challenge, but it forced me to stop, and consider my entire shot. It slowed me down and made me consider the surrounding elements (leading lines, focal planes, contrast, etc.) rather than just the subject. It was a wonderful experiment, and I learned some valuable skills for when I go out into the field to capture other wonderful moments.

It goes to show you that even the everyday household objects can create some interesting subject matter. So I challenge you to take out your camera (it doesn’t have to be any fancy dslr, just check out my other photo challenge) and start shooting away! You’ll be amazed at what you find!

P.S. if any of you found this interesting and would like to learn along side me as I explore composition techniques, or would like this to be a new subject, please vote on the poll! This allows me to get your opinion, and helps me know what interests you! Thanks again for the support and remember to stay creative!

Let’s Get Magical!

What is creative? Is there a straight definition for it, or is it more like “guidelines”. Webster’s Dictionary defines creative as, “4,to produce through imaginative skill”, and “1, to make or bring into existence something new”. I bring this up to discuss a recent happening in my life, a photo contest of sorts that I participated in at my photography club.

As an avid photo hobbyist, and competitor, I had to put my best work forward. The Contest consisted three separate categories; Color, Monochrome, and Creative. All great categories, but Creative is very broad. So with that, problems were bound to happen. What can a judge say makes a photo creative, whether its made prior to the exposure or only in post production.

Creative means to me, a new or innovate self expression, that cannot be judged or explained but only by the creator. The reasons why an artist creates a subjet that or not symmetric could have a significant meaning for the creator, and could me a completely different thing for the viewer.

Therefore, I was extremely frustrated at the outcome of the creative category. It seems photographers get lazy, only using photoshop filters to get “creative” shots. Although the contest defined the creative category as, “a clear departure from reality” I feel that limits creative to only surreal, or abstract. The only reason for my disagrement is their “definition of creative” and wished they would chose a different category. Maybe a rotating unique categories from month to month.

Enough ranting for this post, and if you feel the same way or disagree , please comment, I am open for discussion. I would love to hear from everyone that follows!

P.S.  Here is a creative Post-Production Image for y’all to get lost in.

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The Best Camera 10.5

“Photography reproduces an image from what God has made for all to see.”

Today is now the second week in a row to start off with crazy snow flurries. Last week as I drove home, I past this old pasture, a rundown plot of land that is nestled next to bustling suburbs.

I have passed this area far too many times over the past twenty years, never thinking twice about it.
That is until last week.

The scene was set up perfectly, fresh glistening snow, bone chilling air, and grayscale encapsulating the world. As I drove by I saw a lovely pair of horses, huddled next to each other.

I cursed myself for forgetting all of my cameras, and missing such an opportunity.

So today was a second chance, the snow was falling all around, the crackle of frozen ice underfoot and whistling wind edged me own ward.

Unfortunately the horses were being feed and holed up for a chilly nights slumber. So I missed my golden opportunity. A hard lesson to learn…

“The best camera is always the one you left at home.”

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A-1 Analog

Self Portrait

Super 70's

Patience. Many know of it, but little practice it. Patience is performed by the few diligent souls that expect greatness out of their own work. From athletes to actors, and many other professionals, many reap its rewards.

Since I started shooting film I have learned a lot about photography as a whole. Film can be a really hard teacher, with its limited amount of exposures and its lack of live preview (no screen to review picture), patience is necessary. Each shot requires the photographer to consider everything that lines up in the viewfinder. Due to the small exposure count, the photographer is pressured to make each shot count, to not squander the film on meaningless subjects.

Patience. It is require even after the shots are taken. Developing the rolls generally takes an hour (sometimes more if the machines are down) which can seem like an eternity. One can sit there in his/her own silence second guessing themselves. The shoulda, woulda, coulda’s come about, constantly nagging the brain.

After the hour is over, the results are in and victory smells so sweet. The overwhelming joy of flipping through printed paper, full of life, is second to none. The doubts and fears are pushed aside when a subtle surprise comes popping out. Patience is necessary to capture golden moments, and hard work always pays off in the end.

-dont be your own antagonist, this hinders your own creativity.

I Dream Of Pie

Sigh

The Best Camera Challenge #10

It has been a while since I uploaded some photos from my faithful little Ipod. I have been exploring a lot of various tools for capturing images, mainly sticking to more technical devices ( analog and digital slr’s). I find that they are easier to rely on, especially when a split second is all that matters. So whenever I find myself in pickle and in need of camera I turn to old faithful(ipod). So here are a few that I have captured, spur of the moment and edited after the fact. Enjoy!

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Doors Open Denver 2013

I recently joined a photography club near my job (ski shop, not really hard work, but who says work has to be hard), mainly to meet with like minded people and learn more information about my hobby. For any native Coloradans reading this (whats up 3OH3) Denver Photographic Society is a tight knit group of avid photographers, with a plethora of knowledge (over 65 years of active service). The club has multiple lectures and classes, as well as site field trips each month. As a new member I was overwhelmed by the large amounts of new opportunities laid before me.

Anyhow, after our last meeting I learned from the club of a event being held in Downtown Denver. Doors Open Denver, a weekend long event where numerous Architectural buildings (both public and private)  were open to general public. The kicker… a photo contest for the best architecture shots of the wonderful downtown scenery.

I couldn’t resist the challenge of pushing my creative juices to their limits. So I stuffed my day pack with both digital and analog cameras and headed out to capture the winning photo.

I journeyed all over the city for half the day, from walking down bustling streets, to desolate back alleys. Snapping anything interesting that came into the view finder, I realized how much fun I was having at little to no cost. Along my travels I met interesting people with fantastic stories to tell.

Although the sun was not cooperating with me, I found that with a little post production magic I came away with some great black and whites. As they say, a photo is worth a thousand words.

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After editing several photos, a few stuck out, and with a little more work I put on the finishing touches. Here are the four photos that made the grade and will be heading to the cutting room floor. I hope that you enjoy the photos, hopefully you are told a tale, or at least taken away to a special place for a moment. If so, please head over to Denver Arts Interactive and please vote for any of my photos. It is greatly appreciated.

Sincerely your fellow photog

Philip Mondeau

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The Passing of Time

It has been to long since I last posted anything. I could give you all thousands of reasons (Excuses) of why I have been absent from the blog world, but I don’t want to bore you.

It’s funny how life is, it seems just yesterday that I was ten and learning how to snowboard and inquisitive, and now I’m an “adult”. I use that term very loosely, because sometimes I forget to act like one.

However when ever I feel creative I think its best to act childish. Well, not childish but like a child. To perceive the world as a child does, with awe and wonder, open to explore and to never take no as answer.

I have taken this “child” like mentality with my photography and explored my local surroundings. I found so many interesting subjects as well as stories to be told.

I leave you all with these few images, and a challenge….

Think like a child, and lay the worries of adulthood aside for a moment.ImageImageImage

First Roll of Film with the New Analog SLR

Amazing Mistakes

Here are some of the first shots from my analog SLR (Konica).

I loved the outcome of these shots, since the built in light meter doesn’t work (I have been using the Light Meter app on my Ipod). With a few tweaks on the computer, these shots came out great. A few surprised me (seeing that they were a double exposure) but added to the feeling the photo provoked.

Classy

Digital Power Horse

flame on

Abstract imagery

Bokehlicious

Kickin Oldschool

classic

Introducing friends to photography

Denver

Coolest Shop Ever

Ill Style