|Message from Peter Stubley
I apparently as of today (November 18, 2012) have broken 500000 views! Thanks for all the visits and comments. I should be able to think of something deep and inspiring to say in honour of the occasion, but I don't have anything. If you can take a few minutes to suggest where I could have done something better in a posted shot, I love to hear it.
My motto for the year: if you look for beauty, you will find it.
I'm still a sucker for dramatic lighting and contrast, and what I call "beautifully simple." I still try to make sure the image captures what drew my eye. My main interests remain underwater photography and portraits (which I still do not do often enough). Surprisingly, though, practicing with lighting and looking for dramatic lighting, initially aimed just at getting ready for u/w photos, has taken on a life of its own, and I now enjoy it for its own sake. My own personal limit with Photoshop retouching is to things that I could have done in the darkroom (without the nasty chemicals!).
What always strikes me most about great photographs and what I strive for is the sense of light. I'm not entirely sure what I mean by that, but I know it when I see it. The closest explanation that I can come up with is the difference between a b&w photo that is gray on gray, versus one that uses the full tonal range.
I also wanted to say "thanks" to everyone I have stolen ideas from: I always learn a lot by copying others to help give me ideas. I think one of the aspects I enjoy the most is the puzzle part: how to play with light to capture what I visualize, sometimes with natural light, sometimes with strobes.
My 3 main rules for photography:
1. Film is cheap so take lots of pictures (even truer now in the digital age).
2. The garbage pail is your friend. Just because you took it doesn't mean someone else has to see it, so no one else ever has to know about the 2000 other versions that did not work.
3. To take good photos, you need a camera. To take great photos, you need a darkroom (these days Photoshop, or your favorite digital darkroom). Processing of the initial capture to get to the fine image has always been part of the process.