Tag: amateur


Just a few days ago, I did something I have not done in years: I added a new category to the photoblog. It may not be a big deal to many of you, and you certainly may not care about something so trivial, but for me, it reveals a further clarification of my approach to photography.

I have been thinking a lot about why I shoot. It could be the frequent reminders from my wonderful wife to keep my priorities in check (Wouldn’t it be horrible to have a wife who adored photography and did not ever question my over zealous investment of time in it?). That helps, but I do not think that is it. It is a long progression of thought, beginning a decade or so ago, and now leading me down this interesting new path.


Last night, I waited up till midnight (well, I guess that is a little misleading, sounding like I regularly go to bed before then) to go out and record a sound I wanted on the short experimental video I am working on. I was out at the front gate of the factory here, and saw another story sitting right in front of me, just waiting to be told.

As I said before, I am tired of shooting one-shots day in and day out, disconnected photographs, maybe speaking to an overall theme, but never delving into the story in progress. I want to tell stories. I want to learn how to dig deeper and put together an overall story. And instead of crying about not having enough time (too cliché, anyway), I decided to keep my eyes open to the stories around me and start telling some of them.


I keep thinking about cool stories to tell in photos: the folks living in shacks behind my apartment and what their lives are like, the life and belief of a typical Thai Buddhist, or any number of other story ideas. I envy photojournalists, whether they are given assignments or have the accomplished privilege of choosing their own projects, because they get to tell stories for living: meeting people, grapling with the issues of a given situation, and trying to portray that story in photos. SOOO cool! So, I have to wonder if it is possible to tell my own stories if it is not my job to do so.

I am going out on a limb this time. One, I really have no idea where this post will end up…I have just started and am hoping for the best. And two, there may not be anybody out there who feels the same way. So, I might be talking to the wind, but if for nobody else, I think it will be good for me.


This post is for a friend of mine, who, like many of us, really wants to improve his photographic skills, but cannot seem to find the time to do so. How do we improve our photography when we already have a busy life? Well, I am in the same situation, really: just another amateur who wants to improve. Here was what my friend said:

I took the camera out to Big Lake with us Saturday and saw some really good shots, yet somehow, I took no shots. There is going to have to be a shift for me to do more shooting. I don’t have extra time on the weekends to go out and shoot like I would like to. So, I’m thinking that as I go and do the many things that have to be done I need to set in my mind that I’m going to have to slow down and take some shots. There was a town that we passed through that was like we just stepped out of Texas and into Old Mexico. The building architecture shifted. Would have been some great shots, but alas, I was in too big a hurry to get home.


My wife is from Thailand. Thailand has a king. And the king likes photography. I saw a gallery with his shots…very nice. Think about it, though, how many world rulers can you think of who carry a camera around their neck on a regular basis? I can think of only one, the king of Thailand. That is awesome.

Another interesting thing about Thailand is the love Thai people have for their king. If you have been through Thailand at all in the past three years, you probably would have noticed the inordinate number of yellow-shirted citizens walking around. Do they just like yellow or what? And what in the world does this all have to do with photography. Stick with me, I will pull it all together in a minute.