Seeing Photographically

What do I shoot when I don’t photograph people in the street? Anything that moves me. More often than not I’m drawn to ordinary objects that look extraordinary to me. Why do they look extraordinary? Sometime it’s the way the light wraps them in a golden glow, other times it’s the story revealed by the colors and textures or simply the memories they evoke. I can find myself in the most mundane of places and that’s usually where I see beauty in still life. Seeing photographically is also training your eye to remove distracting elements from the frame and making compositional decisions in camera before you press the shutter. Taking control of your camera and expressing your vision with intent is an essential step towards honing your photographic skills and one that I love teaching on my workshops.

Next time you’re out and about, slow down! Stop looking and start seeing, there is something extraordinary near you…

I recently wrote an article about seeing photographically for dPS, you can read it here.

(See note about the gear at the bottom of the page)

©Valérie Jardin

©Valérie Jardin

©Valérie Jardin

©Valérie Jardin

©Valérie Jardin

©Valérie Jardin

©Valérie Jardin

©Valérie Jardin

©Valérie Jardin

©Valérie Jardin

©Valérie Jardin

©Valérie Jardin

©Valérie Jardin

©Valérie Jardin

 

A note about gear: I’ve been shooting exclusively with mirrorless cameras for almost a year now. I don’t miss my DSLR at all.  Of course, I now have the luxury of shooting for myself exclusively and that’s the best thing in the world! Since I travel a lot for my photo workshops, being able to use smaller, lighter cameras without sacrificing on quality is priceless! For me, it’s never been about the gear. I just never felt the urge to acquire the latest and greatest. I enjoy the familiarity of my camera.

So what do I shoot with today? My mirrorless adventure started with the Fuji x100s which I adore, especially for my street photography work. It was not an easy transition because my Canon 5DMrkII was so familiar, I could change settings with my eyes closed! There was a bit of a learning curve at first, I never even thought I would stop using the view finder and rely on the LCD only, but I did! Then last Fall Samsung USA asked me to become one of their US Imageloggers. It’s been a fun adventure so far and I feel like I’m working on a 365 projects with the Samsung gear. After trying different cameras and lenses, I think I found a great combo for me in the Samsung line with the NX300 paired with  the 30mm f/2.0 pancake lens. It’s a fine little camera and great value too! All the images above were shot with either the Fuji x100s and its 23mm lens or the NX300, most of the time with the 30mm f/2.0 pancake lens. Those are the two cameras that travel with me these days. On most photo walks I just take one or the other.

9 thoughts on “Seeing Photographically

  1. When you say the NX300 is a great value you get my interest. Especially with the quality of these photos. I just looked online for prices and it certainly is a great deal. But for me, it IS about the gear! How will anyone take me seriously as a photographer if i don’t have a zoom lens the size of my thigh? You’re asking me to give up a major symbol of my masculinity! I’m not sure I’m secure enough in my self! Maybe I could have my wife carry it around and I can still carry my 100 pounds of gear? Yes, that might work.

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  2. While expressing my gratitude for the extra ordinary work and wisdom being routinely shared by you on different platforms, I feel even if a few individuals in every country drew inspiration from your approach, the world will turn a better place. Regards: Sandeep Datta, a journalist from India.

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  3. Valerie, I love your writing style as well as the beautiful pictures you post. Your prose is elegant, concise and so expressive. This is a wonderful tool wrapping your great pictures with your insights! Carol

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  4. Great stuff Valerie, I love how you so often talk about the simplicity of photography. I am definitely not a working photographer, but I have learned through you, and some other key photographers, that it really isn’t about the gear at all. I mean, there are exceptions, but a good photo is a good photo regardless of the make and model.

    I made the direct transition from a point-and-shoot to using a mirrorless camera, and I love the portability and image quality that these little units have. It’s also nice to see so many pro photographers making the jump to mirrorless. I think it shows the rest of us that you don’t need to spend $3000 on a kit that has more features than most of us will ever use.

    Thanks for sharing such inspiring posts.

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