The Story Behind an Image, Part 5

For the past 14 years, I have a passionate love affair with photography. And I’ve come to discover that I have a fondness with photos that comes with a story. Over the years, I have shot a few of them. Here’s the next installment in my “The story behind an Image” series.

Part 5: This too shall pass

Despite all of its future importance to me, I couldn’t tell you what clothes I wore, what I did at work or what the weather was like on August 16, 2004. But what I can tell you about that day is that someone broke into my apartment and ripped my newfound passion away from me. Thankfully I was at work when it happened. Looking back, I remember walking up the first flight of stairs, then turning to see the door of my apartment. Which was slightly open but with every progressive step, more of the disturbing scene was revealed to me. The sturdy steel frame of the door was peeled back from the wall like an orange and the door itself looked like it was violently punched in by the Terminator. Absolutely dumbfounded by what I was looking at. I remember saying to myself, “What the hell was someone trying to do to my door?” As soon as I walked through the threshold, it was as though a switch was turned on in my brain and I realized what had happened. I got robbed. And that feeling of safety and security at home was instantly eroded.

Walking through my molested apartment, seemingly in slow motion like from a poorly edited B movie. Of all my possessions that was taken from me, my TV, home theater system, it was what I always kept at the foot of my bed concerned me the most, all of my photo gear. Which included my new Sigma 50-500 mm lense, which I had only used once at the Thunder over Michigan airshow a week before. Along with my first DSLR camera, Canon’s Digital Rebel along with two other lenses. Gone. The thought that a person would carelessly force their way into someone’s apartment or house, someone’s home and selfishly take whatever he or she wants, left me rattled to what seemed like forever. I’ve never endured such a feeling of violation in my life.

Feeling shattered and especially vulnerable, I called the local police. To my youthful ignorance, unless you catch them in the act, most break-ins go unsolved. And the only helpful words of advice for getting any of my beloved gear back, would be to check the local pawn shops. The officer told me that most stolen goods end up there, sold for quick cash. I couldn’t imagine the humiliation of going from shop to shop searching for my stolen gear and dealing with the unknown challenges of proofing ownership. I never had the courage to search for my missing gear. I just wanted to get away for that apartment and to move on with my life. At that time, I felt that my passionate love affair with photography was dead and over.

I never stayed another night at that plundered apartment. Oddly enough, the thieves didn’t touch my computer that stored all my precious photos. And thankfully I was able to find a new place to live fairly quickly. After a few months, I was settled in and got back into my work/life routine. During that time, I feverishly saved up enough money to not only replace but upgrade my gear. At the time, I purchased Canon’s new 20D and the 400mm F/5.6L lense. That body/lense combo vigorously rekindle my love affair with photography. I would go on to shoot some of my most memorable photos with them.

I find it ironic that sunsets can be symbolically viewed as an ending of something along with the passing of time and that the final image I took with my Digital Rebel before it was stolen was a sunset. It was the end of one chapter of my photographic journey and after that dark event, the start of a fresh and newly energized one. The image associated with this story was shot two days before that personally devastating day. This disturbing event in my life showed me that most things that we struggle with, are just moments in time. And that with time and patience, we can come to terms with and cope with our hardships and continue on with our lives hopefully stronger and wiser. Similarly, with what’s going on with the world now, “This too shall pass”.

part 6 image

Be sure to check out

< Story Behind an Image, Part 4

New site announcement

Adventure in Awesome: “Hey!? (Searching around) Where did he go? Did he ditch us? Oh man, not again”

Me:(Like Obi-Wan from Revenge of the Sith) “Hello there.”

Adventure in Awesome: “Where have you been? You were posting pretty regularly than you dropped off and now nothing. I got worried.”

Me: “Did you read my Exploring my Creativity series, you know my creative outlets are not limited to writing and photography.”

Adventure in Awesome: “Yeah, I read it. But what does that have to do with you not posting?”

Me: “You know with the Covid-19 Pandemic still going on, traveling and going on new adventures just isn’t possible right now. And since I have a ton of time on my hands and nowhere to go, my creative attention shifted to modelmaking along with spending some time in Photoshop working on some new aviation profiles.

Adventure in Awesome: “I forgot how creative you are. (Enthusiastically interested) I want to see what you’re working on. Where can I find your work? You got a website? Are you on Instagram?

Me: “I do have a website. And it has been occupying a vast majority of my time lately.”

Adventure in Awesome: (quick reply) “How so?”

Me: “My old site sucked. The web service was out of date, poor customer service and I lost a few major pages trying to update it. After that level of frustration, I had enough and quickly switch to a more reputable and reliable web service provider. And the past two weeks, I’ve been building a newer, fresher and more up to date looking site. The domain name just transferred to the new site a short time ago.”

Adventure in Awesome: (super excited) “Cool! What is it? I can’t wait to go and check it out!”

Me: (rapid sound of keys being pressed on keyboard) “Click on the banner and enjoy!”

far148studiobanner

Like I said, the domain name just transferred.  I’ve noticed on while cellular service on my mobile device, it goes to my old site but if I switch to WiFi, it goes straight to my new site. The cellular networks should catch up soon. You can also keep up with what I’m working on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/far148studio/

Adventure in Awesome: So Dope! I’m definitely going to start to follow you on the gram. Thanks for the update!

 

Until next post, stay safe and keep busy!

Steven

A Study in Color

Years ago, for my birthday I got myself at the time was Canon’s new 7D. And was itching to play with it. My plan was simple. Set up a subject, take a shot and change the background. All the while, getting familiar with functions of my new camera. I went out and bought two small bouquets of flowers along with five sheets of different color of art paper for backgrounds. Looking back, this exercise taught me more than the functions of my new 7D. It showed me how colors effect the mood of an image. Along with the importance of composition and spacing.

Color_0048

The exercise is easy to set up. Here’s a list of needed things.

  • A camera with a shutter release and a tripod. You can use the timer if you do not have a shutter release.
  • A table for your subject. Along with a vase or something to hold your flowers up right.
  • Colored paper. Any non glossy color paper will do. I used Canson Colorline art paper because it’s inexpensive and large enough to use as a background. You can find it at most arts & crafts stores. Also, tape to hold up them in place while shooting. If you want to have a black background, I suggest using a piece of felt cloth.
  • Flowers. I just picked up whatever was in season at the local grocery store. Get whatever catches your eye. But be sure to pick out the healthy-looking flowers you can afford. As you don’t want to have to heal damage petals and leaves in Photoshop.

Me being a natural light shooter. I set up my exercise inline with a window to the outside. Not next to it yet far enough to softly light my subjects. Set up your selected colorful little beauty closer to your camera then the background. Now, take a few test shots to narrow down your depth of field to just your subject. For now, don’t worry about composing the shot. With your depth of field just covering your subject, this will make your background read as solid color.

With your scene set up, it’s time for the fun to begin! Carefully compose your image and take the shot. Be sure not to disturb your scene, change out your background and re-shoot. Repeat and rinse until you have gone through your backgrounds. You will see what works well and what doesn’t. Along with how a simple color swap can alter the mood of an image. Explore some different yet interesting compositions. Don’t hold back. Switch it up, play around and have fun. This can easily be a lock-down project for photographers who want to keep their skills sharp and honed.

Stay safe and busy,

Steven