OK, so the Chinese call this the Year of the Dragon. But for me, this is the Year of the Zeiss. And it is my goal to push it to the limits in form of creativity. I’ve shown again and again that the Zeiss glass is absolutely stunning with landscape work as well as portrait work. Now I am looking to change up my style to explore these subjects further; not only with occasional strobe work and cross-processing techniques, but also in terms of mood, atmosphere and points of view. I have been looking at a more minimalist approach lately, heavily inspired by the likes of Benoit Paillé, Ibán Ramón, Edward James, Raphael Guarino, Martin Waldbauer, Caras Ionut,Rolland András, Yana Bondareva, Rosie Hardy and more than a handful of others I am sure I didn’t mention here.
I do not wish to duplicate the techniques of those I mentioned, rather I am inspired by their unique view to their photography. The clarity, use of tones and hues, the subtle to extreme processing… it is really a direction that I enjoy looking at – and in many cases I love that they break all “photography rules” and do their own thing. And what better wat to explore this than through some sexy-assed Zeiss glass?
I think it is really healthy for a photographer to get out of their comfort zone and push techniques that challenge their skills. It also helps keep your eye sharp – looking for these new challenges to shoot. And once you’ve gotten the shot – the challenge continues on how you want your final work of art to look. This goes beyond SOOC shooting.
If you notice, a good portion of my latest work employs my cross-process techniques that I outlined earlier. But I have begun to go much more subtle with it. This is something I am exploring quite a bit more right now to give a more dramatic atmosphere to my work. I don’t want it ruling the photo – just adding a subtle “something” to them.
Have you Challenged Yourself Lately?
This is a question I have been asking myself lately. And it’s gotten me shooting stuff like this. A sign in the middle of a field that most wouldn’t take notice of. I love the challenge of, “How can I make this interesting?” But another part of the challenge is finding something worth while to have as a subject. I can’t tell you how many hours I have been hiking and driving the past month, looking for something unique and different to shoot. I have these fantastic ideas in my head – but the locations just don’t seem to exist in my town – or those surrounding me. Time to branch out again…perhaps to NYC again.
Like I said, a good challenge can keep your photography fresh and interesting. I think I have my full compliment of Zeiss glass now. The 35 and 100 are getting all the play though. And I have a decent full-frame camera – so there’s no excuse to not get my ass out there. The only problem has been sitting on my ass, to be honest. So for the past month, I have been making it a point to grab my camera and take it for a drive. I haven’t been shooting much of anything, but I am at least giving it an effort again.
If you aren’t out there shooting – what’s your excuse?