Other media.

I find that I will discuss something that seems almost taboo. This weekend I photographed my last pro bono wedding. What I've found over the years is that photography can be both a creative outlet, and a valuable learning tool for:

- composition
- observational skills
- decision making
- color and the effects of light (value, temperature, and the use of light in composition)

For most people with a standard use digital camera, these topics can be explored and learned at family functions, weddings, social events, etc., when one would not normally think of studying. Everyone will be expecting you to take pictures. Might as well learn about composition and light while you're there, your family and friends none the wiser.

Getting to know the functions, limitations, and application of your camera is useful, but basic lessons in composition and value can be conducted with standard automatic settings. I've been conducting trial and error studies, reading, and looking at other work off and on for several years, and I find that the understanding I gather from studing light in photography feeds into fine arts, and studying fine arts feeds into photography.

Here are a very small selection of some photos I took at the wedding this weekend. I use a Canon EOS 30D as my digital camera for anyone who's interested, and all are straight off the camera, with no computer editing or photoshop work of any kind (I use basic internal and moderate customized settings):

For those who haven't tried, I feel that composition is the best place to start. You are limited to a set output ratio, so within that frame find the best composition you can for whatever subject you're using. Digital cameras provide instant feedback, which is great. As a next step, black and white settings can be used to study tonal range and value structure, without the complication of color. Thirdly, whether your camera has temperature settings or not, understanding the type and quality of the light your subject is in, how this affects color and color relationships, and the ultimate value range are all great things to study. Having this understanding of light will carry over into painting with some practice and observation.

I am not a proponent of painting from photos. I am a proponent of learning from them. So have fun, and take your studies with you to the park or on vacation.

If you know me, and you would like to see the rest of these photos they will be on my facebook.
Thanks for visiting.