I have read them all, the rules of photography. You have probably heard of most of them: The rule of thirds, placing focus on the eye closest to the viewer, focusing on your main motive, placing the negative space in front of the subject and not behind it, using a tripod when practicing macro-photography so you don’t get the picture unfocused because of your hand shaking and so on. I am guessing that you to have read at least one or two blog posts about these as well.
I know most of the rules of photography by heart. I use them when I take pictures, and knowing them makes me more comfortable as a photographer. Maybe it’s true that once you know the rules you can break them, but I´m not so sure. Because the theory only works if the viewer also knows the rules and knows that you’re breaking them. How do I know, that they know, the rules? If a viewer sees a blurry picture do they stay long enough to understand the picture or do they just ignore it as another picture that is lacking focus…
From my point of view there is a thrill in pictures that play with the rules. I like the idea of breaking the rules, and making “the wrong” – right! When I look at photos, I like looking at pictures that are hard to read, and I love to try to figure out if the photographer intended it to be that way, or if it just happened, by chance. I like it when a photographer intentionally challenges me and makes it difficult for me as viewer to get in to the picture. Not knowing the rules and just breaking them doesn’t intrigue me, but doing it on purpose makes me want to dig deeper in to the work of that photographer. I have a hard time finding toy-photographers that work with that idea of making “the wrong” – right!
I would like to see more toy-pictures break the rules and make a point of it, but I haven’t found many yet. Maybe you know where I should look. If you do, please let me now.
The other day I wrote about motivation and how to find it (or keep it). One example I used was experimenting with a funky lens, the other was getting new subject matter, like new toys, to photograph.
This past weekend was our local LEGO convention BrickCon. This is the one weekend a year when 20,000+ people try their best to look at hundreds of LEGO models in 12 hours over two days. It is sheer madness! I escaped the chaos this year by working for my local toy store, Math ‘n Stuff, in exchange for store credit as well as a pass that allowed me to gain access to the merchants on Friday and avoid the public hours on the weekend. (Think about that for a minute… I worked for trade to gain access to the other merchants so I could buy LEGO. I told you it was madness!) Continue reading The Future is Now
I think it’s interesting that Kristina wrote about inspiration yesterday. It certainly plays nicely into the closely related topic of motivation, something that I tend to think about a lot. Personally I don’t think inspiration is magic or that talent gets you anywhere. For me it comes down to the very real, and often very boring job of working on my photography every single day. Continue reading Keeping Motivated
On friday evening I saw the opportunity to work in the golden hour, so after I finished my dinner, I took the camera bag and went out. Not far from my house is an abandoned railway track that I often use for my toy-photos. So with the camera bag in one hand and my toys in the other I went up to the tracks.
The light was perfect and I tried my first idea for a photo, it did’t work so I had to move and try once again, well aware of that fact that the light and time was working against me. Finally I got the toys in a position I wanted, and I laid down on the ground to adjust the camera. It was about then that I spotted the police car that seemed to slow down, and then I realized that it was going to stop on the road not far from me. Continue reading My first thought was: I can outrun them
I have thought about this question for some days now after Shelly asked me if I would write a piece about “Why?” do I take toy photographs. So why do I do it? Continue reading Why?
When you take a photo you are making a choice. Or more precisely a series of choices; the subject, the location, the lighting, the angle, the depth of field. You are constantly fine tuning each of these choices with each photo taken.
Each minor adjustment can create a huge change in the final photos meaning and look. Continue reading Choices
I was asked the other day to recommend a female LEGO toy photographer to feature on one of the toy photography curatorial sites. This seemingly simple question brought me up short. Who are the women LEGO photographers? For that matter, who are the women toy photographers? Continue reading Women in Toy Photography
The other day when the StuckinPastic group was chatting during one of our (in)frequent hang outs, one of the group revealed themselves to be a metrics watcher. It was a subtle comment, but as someone who also watches my social media metrics, I recognized myself in that comment; and frankly I didn’t like what I saw. Continue reading The Problem with Metrics
If you have been active in the toy photography community for any length of time you have been exposed to the meme #wienerdipping. It is a long standing joke that has taken on a life of its own. Continue reading #Wienerdipping
The other day I got a call from my gallerist, Bryan Ohno, and we had one of our usual spirited discussions. Among the many subjects we covered Bryan asked me to pull back from social media and limit my posts for a certain period of time; several months to be exact.
My first reaction was not only no, but hell no. Continue reading How much is too much?