Tuesday, March 11, 2014


John Marine | 3/11/2014 04:52:00 PM | | |
(UPDATED: March 18, 2014)

On Facebook, I asked my friends and fans for any topics they would want to see me blog about. Among a suggestion, one regarded photography. One specific element of photography was suggested. Commentary on that is forthcoming. For the most part, this is a commentary piece on photography rather than something real detailed.

In Case You're Interested...

I blogged about photography in fashion previously. My fashion blog, "StyleSpace by JBM" features a look at photography in fashion. You fashion lovers can read that post by clicking on the link below:

"Photography" (StyleSpace by JBM)
^ This post takes a look at photography in fashion.


MAR 18 2014 - made various edits

Let's begin with this topic!

--- Photography ---

Anyone can take pictures of anything, ranging from "selfies" to professional-type pictures. Being adept in photography involves more than just taking pictures. People today are involved in social media with the likes of Instagram and Vine. They whip out their smartphones to take pictures and videos to share with others. While taking pictures can be fun, there is a proper science to taking memorable pictures.

Photography: Amateur vs. Professional.

There is a difference between taking casual pictures and professional pictures. Is there a difference between someone who casually takes pictures and someone who takes professional pictures? In no way am I someone who is any professional at photography. My mother tells me I take excellent pictures when she saw pictures of mine from certain events like the Houston Auto Show.

What is the difference between someone who just takes some casual photos and those who is a professional? If you ask me, the answer depends on the philosophy of the photographer. Does he/she feel a picture is more than just a picture? Does a picture have to be like its own song or its own book? Does the photographer feel pictures have to be able to tell its own story or make you think about something a bit further? I feel just like the finest musicians, authors, journalists, and various other professions; photographers have to be able to tell a story through the means of photography. You may be familiar with photojournalism- where the pictures tell the story. One who is adept at choosing pictures to tell a story are the ones who know the value of photography as a means of expression and engagement... which proves true this saying:

"A picture is worth a thousand words."

-Napolean Bonaparte

I think another aspect of casual vs. professional photography is in audience. Is a picture going to be seen by a bunch of friends and family or to a vast audience? Friends and family are likely going to enjoy professional-type photography, but what if you are trying to showcase impressive photography for a publication or a blog? You obviously want to give a vast audience a quality image with quality imagery.

Look at it this way- you obviously know I am a blogger. I blog about things for the world to read about. I don't just post material so friends and family of mine can read my material. No. I feel the world (and the world does view your material online) has to be interested in whatever I post. So because of this, I feel whatever I post has to be of value to as many people worldwide as possible. Same philosophy applies to photographers. Various photographers take pride in their work and want to provide the best-possible pictures to the masses in hopes of showing incredible pictures off to others. Who wants to photograph something that doesn't have any value or lacks appeal?

What qualifies as appealing or enticing depends on the photographer himself/herself and whatever kind of picture is taken. Something like a "selfie" is very casual, and thus doesn't require any serious dedication or detail... unless you just have no life and feel completely obligated to make your "selfies" as artistic masterpieces. A picture you feel holds massive value obviously has to be treated as if it had massive value. So your attention to detail really depends on the picture and what you want to share and convey.

There are some obstacles in being a photographer, both casual and professional. That's the next section.

--- Obstacles of Photography ---

With some pictures I've taken, I can properly demonstrate some of the obstacles faced in trying to take pictures. Before I discuss what makes certain images appear poorly, let me show you one of my better photogenic pictures:

^ from: (my Past Houston Auto Shows album on Facebook) - I took a picture of this CL Class Mercedes-Benz at the 2007 Houston Auto Show. Look at the angle and what I tried to capture as best as I could to make this a great picture.

And now... [some of] the obstacles of photography:

Blurriness and/or Discoloration.

blurry image

discolored image
^ both from: (my Houston Auto Show 2012 album on Facebook) - Even though the picture is clean, its discoloration makes it.

To me, nothing really hurts than for one to have blurry images or discolored images. Having a certain white balance can make the difference between a great-looking picture and something completely forgettable.


poor timing!
^ from: (my Wings Over Houston 2010 album on Facebook) - .

You want to take a picture at the best possible moment. Sometimes you get it right; and some other times, you get it wrong. Sometimes ABSOLUTELY wrong.

Photo Bomb!

photo bomb or photobomb
^ from: from my Houston Auto Show 2014 album on Facebook - Anything or anyone can come along and ruin an otherwise perfect picture.

Photo bombing is when something (usually unexpected) comes into what would otherwise be a perfectly good picture. For example, you may have a beautiful picture of an outdoor scene... when a grasshopper somehow appears on the lens of your camera, thereby screwing up what would have been a great picture. You may be taking a family photo or taking pictures of your friends when suddenly... someone or something comes along to screw up the image. Sometimes, you can even photo bomb yourself by having your fingers or something get in the way of an otherwise lovely photo you're trying to take.

Photo bombing isn't always bad, however. Some photo bomb moments can actually make pictures better. It all depends on the situation and the image.

These are among the various obstacles photographers and photography involve. How one gets around these issues depends. They are all proper and legit issues in trying to get the best possible pictures.

--- Photography: Cameras ---

Do you prefer proper cameras, devices with camera functions, or professional-type DSLR cameras? This is one of the first real things to consider when talking about photography. You can pop into a retail store and buy a one-time use camera for about $30 US dollars. Some devices have cameras and camera features- like smartphones. The best-possible pictures can be taken with either high-end cameras or DSLR cameras. What's best for you? I'll try to explain as best I can with as much as I understand the whole thing.

One-Time Use Cameras.

Some cameras are one-time use cameras. That means you can use them for one time, have the film developed, and the camera can't be used again. Why would you want one of these cameras? You basically get one of these in case you don't have a camera and want something to be able to take pictures.

Proper Cameras.

proper cameras
^ Any number of proper cameras can deliver amazing photography.
Most of today's cameras allow for multiple uses as well as multiple storage options. Such cameras have such a compact size which allows them to easily fit into pockets. Those who purchase carrying cases will be able to comfortably and safely carry cameras wherever they go. Proper cameras offer any number of features like incredible zoom angles, video capability, auto-focus, and even Wi-Fi capabilities. Needless to say, the basic camera has come a long way from being bulky to a more pocket-friendly device.

Video Cameras and Camcorders.

A camcorder is primarily designed to take video rather than be any proper camera. However, most of these devices can evenly and easily take on both camcorder and camera tasks. The clunky camcorders of the 90s or so probably won't take that spontaneous picture you want to snap. Also, some video cameras and camcorders can be on the bulky side. You won't be able to keep some of them in your pocket and whip out to capture certain pictures.

Devices With Camera Features.

Devices like smartphones and tablet PCs have cameras to them. A lot of them may or may not offer features like zooming or flash, but some devices with camera features are just as able to take quality pictures. Don't expect them to replace any proper camera, though, because they likely will not be your camera replacement. I even use my Samsung Galaxy Player 4.2 and my Hisense Sero 7 Pro tablet for taking pictures. Most of my pictures are taken with my SGP 4.2 for quick pictures. And since this is no proper camera, I don't even take pictures beyond 640×480 resolution.

DSLR Cameras.

DSLR cameras
^ The serious photographer who wants serious pictures need only discover DSLR cameras.

DSLR cameras represent the omega of photography. DSLR stands for digital Single-lens reflex. Let me offer this quote that explains it better:

"DSLR stands for digital single-lens reflex: the word reflex refers to the action of the mirror, which flips upwards whenever you take a picture to allow light travelling through the lens to reach the sensor."

-from: www.digitalslrphoto.com (links to article)

DSLR cameras offer the crispest and most detailed images. Professional photographers usually tote around DSLR cameras to take some of the best-possible images at the greatest quality. Even those who are not professional photographers may have DSLR cameras for their images. For example, my blogging friend Lily of "Imperfect Idealist" has had her more recent pictures taken with a DSLR camera.

DSLRs are also capable of recording videos. YouTube vlogger and tech junkie Khanh Nguyen (better known as "akaKhanh") does her videos with the Canon T3i DSLR camera. If you have about 11 minutes of time, you can see this video either here or on YouTube. In fact, take a look at this video to know if you really NEED a DSLR:

^ "Why I Chose the Canon T3i"

DSLRs are worth the investment for those who want the best quality pictures.

From one-time cameras to DSLRs, I've essentially covered the alphas and omegas of cameras and devices with camera features.

--- Photography: Final Thoughts ---

When you want to capture a moment forever, look no further than cameras. It takes skill (and some luck) to snap the finest pictures. Photography is all about capturing visual moments and immortalizing them forever as an image stored in a camera or camcorder. Technology and methods have changed, but the main aspect of capturing moments in a picture still has its allure and its charm. Not everyone is photogenic or is able to take the absolute best pictures. Some photographers feel a picture is more than a picture- a picture should be a story being told and is paced like any good book or movie.

The level of dedication and purpose in taking pictures far outweighs whatever device you have. Finding a camera or camcorder to suit your needs has no real impact on how well and how motivated you are in taking pictures. Some people do just fine with a simple camera or some sort of video camera. More professional types feel the need to get it absolutely right, which constitutes the purchase of a powerful DSLR camera.

No matter what your level of dedication is and how important pictures are and taking pictures are to you, mastery of the art of photography is key in turning a simple taken picture into something special. You can be an amazing photographer even if not posting pictures online (like Facebook or Instagram) or for blogs or websites. Taking pictures is not just about taking pictures- the finest photographers are able to take pictures to help tell a story and even provide perspectives words can not express... or at least, not to express completely and definitively. Proudly showcase your shutterbug skills no matter what level of photography or dedication you have!

Cross-Promotion/Other Reading.

More posts from me related to photography...

"Photography" (StyleSpace by JBM)
^ This post takes a look at photography in fashion.

"Model Material" (StyleSpace by JBM)
^ An aspect of photography involves modeling.

"Selfies" (John's Blog Space)
^ I made mention to "selfies" in this blog post. So what is a "selfie?" Read my post on that.

Here's something to think about in case you want to comment:

What do you think is the difference between good and bad photography, and does it matter if experience and craft are factors in quality photography?

The next section and your involvement are optional. You can skip it if you choose to.

Thank you so much for your cooperation! If you want to support my work after reading this post, you can do so by taking a look at these items. I want you to be able to maybe jump start your own photography career or even look into buying a new camera. I would appreciate your business if you found something you liked here based on what I've posted. Just like in my other blog posts, your shopping involvement is voluntary- meaning you don't have to if you don't want to; but your business would be vastly appreciated.

Help yourself (or someone else) to a camera, as part of my thanks to you for reading my post. Take a look (NOTE: Availability of each item varies):

For cameras:

For video cameras and camcorders:

For DSLR cameras:

Happy shopping, and thank you for supporting my work! :)

I hope all of you enjoyed this blog post and my efforts to explain and expose photography to you all. Feel free to share your thoughts if you found my material of interest. Thank you for reading!

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Lyosha Varezhkina said...

I love photography so reading for me was very entertaining

John Marine said...

Wow, great post, I really enjoyed and loved your effort to expose photography to us! Thanks for sharing John <3

John Marine said...

Thanks for commenting, dear!
Love bleu car!!

John Marine said...

I want to buy new Canon 70D. What do you think, John??


Wait Until The Sunset said...

Some great tips! Thanks John!

Harija said...

Great photos and thank you so much for your lovely thoughts on my past post!!
Deeply appreciate it ;)
My Lyfe ; My Story

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