Charlane and I collab together, and that has allowed me to get to know Char and her photography pretty well. She has a vintage feel to the way she composes and processes her photogaphy. Char is also a blogger and writes beautifully. I hope you enjoy learning more about her.
1. What do you shoot with?
I’ve always been a canon girl. I started out years ago with a little 35mm cheapie and then confiscated my brother’s film rebel about 15 years ago. Then for some reason I put it aside until 2007. Then one Saturday I was looking at catalogs for wall art and thought, “maybe I could do this myself”. I picked the film rebel back up. And was reminded of processing costs. So I upgraded to the XTi…and then last year I upgraded again to the 40d.
I also shoot mainly with prime lens – 50mm, 85mm and 100mm macro. There is something about stepping to recompose that I enjoy.
2. What is your favorite photo on flickr? (one of yours and one other photographer)
Wow. Difficult for another photographer as I admire so many. After looking back at 22 pages of favorites…yes, 22. I decided to go with the first shot I ever favorited on flickr.
It’s from my friend, Kurt. Kurt and I go a way back being old blog friends from the days when I used to myspace (I no longer do). He doesn’t post to flickr any more and I think it’s a big shame. He is one of the most natural photographers I’ve ever met. His eye is flawless and I admire his compositional choices.
My favorite shot of mine? Well, normally I would pick a family member but I think I’m going in a different direction for this interview.
This is the first landscape shot I did after I started classes. It’s the first one where I really paid attention to composition and color. I was so excited when I processed it.
I just favorited this today. Look at the color and detail in this shot. It is gorgeous.
3. What would be one tip for someone new to photography?
Well, after fiddling with my camera and stumbling around for about a year before taking classes, these are my words of advice. Take the camera OFF automatic. Play with aperture, play with shutter speed, learn the basics of white balance and ISO. Learn what turns YOU on as an artist. Anyone with a point and shoot can take a decently focused photograph on automatic. But…challenge yourself to try and reproduce the same results not on automatic. (It’s harder than it looks)
Then I would definitely recommend classes if you have access or can afford them. The leap you make in classes will astound you. If you don’t have access (or funds) for classes – read, read, read and then shoot, shoot, shoot. Shoot something from many angles and study the shots. Look at how light hits the subject. Learn the basic rules of photography like the rule of thirds, leading lines, depth of field, the golden mean. Know them and then know how to break them, if need be, to satisfy your artistic eye.
Develop a critical eye towards your own photography. Discernment, what works, what doesn’t work. If you take 57 shots of berries (like I did this morning) – learn how to tell which photograph is better than the rest.
Sorry, that wasn’t one was it? I get really excited about photography and love to talk about it. Just remember, photography should bring you joy. Do what makes you happy regardless of anyone else. that being said, take your camera everywhere.
4. If you had to choose between stills, macro, portrait, landscape, what would you choose?
Difficult question. I’m so all over the place with my photography. Right now stills are making me happy…but, I’m excited to have a model lined up and I’m about to begin working on portraits. Wish me luck as this is one area where my experience is very thin.
5. Who’s photography influenced you the most in the beginning stages of your own photography?
Dorothy Lange and Ansel Adams at first. Their images are just so powerful and beautiful. Ansel’s use of light amazes me to this day. And Dorothy Lange, iconic. She captured feelings so very well. Then as I started studying photography, Henri Carter Breeson – his “moments” are just perfection. He’s a great one to use as an example of breaking compositional rules as well as saying not every shot has to be in absolute focus.
Then, my favorite instructor at Samford – Carl DelFavero. He has years and years of experience in photography and is an avid nikon shooter. Very inspirational and kind. He pushed me to learn how to handle critique and how to develop my critical eye. He doesn’t flickr but he does have a few shots on JPGMag.
6. Where do you get your greatest inspiration now?
Flickr is my greatest inspiration as far as learning and growing as a photographer. There are so many talented people that are so open and generous with their art. I have learned so much about processing from flickr.
I’m also inspired by nature, my family and whimsy. I love the whimsical moments in life where you just happen upon something so amazing that you must take a shot that instant (a good reason to always have your camera with you). The way the light hits something, a cloud formation, a heart shaped rock, a blue balloon skipping along the sidewalk. My family – my nephews and nieces especially. I never want a day to pass without seeing them smile. And nature – what beauty and detail, the reoccurring psi elements, perfection and imperfection.
7. Who are your top five favorite photographers on flickr right now?
This is like asking a momma which child is her favorite. She loves them all and on different days she may just love one more than the other, until the other comes back around with more kisses and love.
Sew Fab Martha
Oh wait…that’s more than five isn’t it? Sorry – I couldn’t pick just five and I actually about at least five to ten more people that I just adore.
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