More Than a Click was created to share with you my journey in using the Digital Age in expressing myself as an artist using Photography. This blog also shares my process as a photographer. Once photography turned from film to digital so much changed for me. There were far more choices in setting up the DSLR cameras than there was for film cameras. No more darkroom but many different applications to use in processing one's images on a computer. All of this can be overwhelming and for me using the DSLR was very hard in the beginning.
Please don't let the technology hold you back. Don't worry about all the settings. Just go out and shoot. Develop an eye, understand that photography is painting with light and concentrate on composition. Remember you can delete delete delete with these cameras! You won't be running up a bill on developing and film.
Once you have grasped that and become comfortable take time to learn the basics and maybe take more control by learning shutter and aperture priority.
Regarding editing, all photography is edited to a degree. Our eyes see differently than the camera and an adjustment of tonal contrast after a digital image is taken is a must. There is an excellent article which explains some of the differences of the way a camera sees and the way we see on B and H website
There are so many editing programs available. Some are even free. Find one that works for you and maybe try others later. I certainly don't consider myself a purist as a photographer. I can take pretty pictures, actually anyone can take pictures; however not everyone can create a photograph. I believe the best image is one that tells a story and or one that translates an emotion.
I'm getting ahead of myself here. Enjoy the blogs and please feel free to leave feedback.
Okay let me say that I will be talking about the gear I use and why. If you ask me tomorrow or in a month my gear might change. Gear or photography tools is a very personal thing. It is like carpenter tools. Some hammers are wooden, others metal and they come in a variety of weights and sizes.
The same applies to pilers, wrenches, tape measures and the list goes on. We choose the right tool for a specific job and one that we can control and feel comfortable using.
The tools that photographers use are cameras. The right tool can make a difference in getting the job done, but what is almost as important or more so is the person holding the tool.
Years ago I used two nikon film cameras, a host of prime lens, tripod and photoflood lights with reflectors and stands. I carried all of that (except the lights unless I needed them) with me. Fast forward to someone no longer a teenager nor in their twenties and the gear has changed.
I have the necessary TTL flash, stands, backgrounds, reflectors tripods and cameras. My lens are no longer prime as technology has improved and some of the fast (wide aperture such as 1.4 or 2.8) zoom lens are great.
What do I typically carry? A micro 4/3 camera with about four fast zoom lens and a macro lens. I might only take two lens with me and a tripod. In addition I have a smaller point and shoot as a back up camera. The important attribute of a camera for me is a screen which tilts so I don’t have to be on the ground for the low angle shots and a view finder. No way can I see what is on the LCD screen in bright sunlight. I might also have a flash and bounce card.
In undergraduate school we had to get a Diana camera and shoot with that. That is the plastic film camera. Instead of getting hung up on a manual camera we were taught how to see. I saw a stunning exhibit in New Zealand in the 70’s in a gallery all shot with a Diana camera.
So putting all the gear aside it is the person behind the camera. Whatever you shoot with learn to see and have fun!
Monday, November 7, 2011
My Dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. I don't have to tell you how devastating it is and how a person mourns at each stage the patient reaches. For the first two years of his illness my parents still kept their home which was five minutes from me and continued to go to Florida for seven months out of the year. The decision was finally made to sell their house in New York and be in Florida full time. So now I was faced with traveling down there at least three times a year if not more around my full time job. I took my nikon D70 which was converted to infrared and took pictures every time I was in Florida. For some reason when I looked at the images I had a visceral reaction and wrote down words to the images. I was connected on an emotional level and for me the pictures represented the turmoil I was going through and perhaps that of my Dad's now confused world. By themselves the images stand alone as mostly false color images of Florida; however with the visual poetry they are powerful pieces which depicted my journey and maybe some of his.
Part of life is not having control and learning how to respond (not react) to the unpredictable and challenges we face. Certainly Alzheimer's was totally out of anyone's control. Our only control at the time was to prepare for what we thought was to come and to make arrangements for his care. I like to compare it to hearing that a hurricane is coming so you might stock up on food, evacuate or make sure everything is secure. That is all you can do. I think of Alzheimer's as a train which you are trapped on. In the beginning it takes you to different places and stops once in awhile. Soon after, it becomes a runaway train in which there is no slowing down or stopping it.
The idea came to me to self publish a book of the images and poetry. To exhibit the images and sell the book with the sole purpose of raising money and awareness.You can preview the book at
Whether you are challenged with an illness, transition in your life such as divorce, empty nest, being a caretaker for someone who is ill or grieving the loss of a loved one; finding a medium to express your feelings and thoughts can help you go through the process. You don't have to have a "challenge" in life to do this, rather you can use photography (or any medium) to connect to life.
A popular exercise many people do is A Photo A Day or as is commonly known on the internet PAD.
A man who had a terminal illness took a Polariod a day and wrote on them. They were then posted on the internet so people could follow it. So a published book doesn't have to be a goal. Images can be posted on a website. Whether you use your struggle to help others in their's or just use it to help your own journey without sharing it, the process can be very powerful and transforming.
Feel free to share your comments and experiences in using photography as a therapeutic tool.
© Terri Pakula