Monday, December 2, 2013

More Tools...

So here it is, almost the new year. Man, did this year go by in a blink or what?  I vote for "or what", but that's just me.  I believe my last post was about tools in the toolbox, so let's talk about that a little more, then I promise I'll shut up about it...


When a professor was asked by one of his students what the best camera was, his response was not the name of any particular brand, but rather, "the one you have with you".  I agree.  It's not always about the latest and greatest , but the one that gets the job done.  (Though I feel compelled to admit that I am lusting after a 40mp medium format DSLR right now!)  I don't know about you, but I don't always (gasp!) have all my gear with me - mostly because of the weather extremes where I live - negative numbers in the winter and triple digits in the summer.  So what's my "go to" tool in most circumstances?  Well, my iPhone, of course.  Yes, I said it...my iPhone!

Here's the thing...the camera isn't terrible and it gets the job done.  I believe it challenges me to be more cognizant of my image composition, light and shadows and makes me a more well-rounded photographer.  Since it doesn't have all the bells and whistles of my DSLR, I have to improvise and stop to think about what I'm doing.


What story do I want this image to tell? Is it abstract?  What app am I going to run it through to get the results I want? Do I even want to use an app or leave it alone?  There are so many things to think about, all before I release the shutter.

All of these things are more "tools" I have access to and use as needed.  I love having the option to use whatever I want to use to create my art.  That's what it's all about, right?  Art and personal expression?  Say for the sake of argument, we told a painter he was only allowed to use the color blue; one shade, no variation, to create his masterpiece.  What would he do?  He'd probably use a few well placed hand gestures,

tell us it couldn't be done,walk away and think we were crazy for sure. And he wouldn't be far off.  So why, pray tell, would anyone want to limit themselves to only one set of tools as a photographer, as an artistic soul - when there are so many wonderfully creative options available to us?

Bear in mind that this is an old argument that has been going on since photography's inception.  Many of the greats thought there was only one way to do things when photography was in it's infancy.  Many artists wouldn't even acknowledge the medium of photography as art!  We've grown so much since then - as photographers and yes, as artists. We're so much better than that now.  Better than narrow mindedness, better at seeing the potential we all have as artists, better at helping and encouraging one another. And all because we have a very cool toolbox to play with.


My advice (not that anyone asked) is come out and play and have some fun!!!  And by the way, all the images in this post are 100% iPhone.  Fun right?


Have a fantastic holiday season and I'll see you in the New Year...with some more tools...  Just kidding!  



Please stop by and visit my galleries at www.kathleenmessmer.com, http://twenty20.com/kmessmer53 and http://kathleen-messmer.artistwebsites.com.  I'm also on Facebook www.facebook.com/kathleenmessmerphotography and Twitter @kmessmer53.