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Catching the Spark

Its easy to get hooked on image collection. Anyone can pick a camera, especially today and take a photo.

Our phones do this with incredible ease. So easily in fact that we entire sites of images that have no rhyme or reason as to why they have been taken or any sort of emotion or story that is associated with the image. Its just an image, bland and without emotion.

In order to get away from just megapixels, and lens choice, there has to be someone behind the camera. You need to have someone with an eye for story telling. Someone who can put some thing that we can emotionally invest in to. We need to have someone that is going to look through the lens and attempt to tell a story.

When we see something that elicits an emotional response, our attention is held. We tend to find ourselves wondering and gazing at the details that are within. We see both the story and the story within the story. We feel something. Our senses are heightened. Our awareness is raised. We are, in a sense, transported in to the image in a way that words fail to explain. Other times we are simply engrossed in an image for its simplicity. The crisp, clean lines the vibrancy of the color, the clarity the subject. When you have an image that is as much of a feeling as it is a snapshot of a memory, you have something, amazing.

When I started my journey in to photography, I had a simple question. What makes a good image? What is it that makes an image of a glass of water impeccable verses what makes an image of a plane landing or a beautiful model, flawed? As of today I still dont have an answer. What I do have is a journey that is as much fun to follow as it is informative. Color and light in combination can be as informative as a black and white book. You only need to look as far as a novel and any early photographs to see the feels that were captured with the earliest of tools. It is here that we can see what was able to felt and how it was captured on to the page. It is here that we look in to the mind of the author (photographer) and we see what he/she was feeling.

The image above is just a simple shot of my first entry level bicycle that I purchased with my own money. I used to only ride mountain bikes., Being a new father, a mountain bike seemed like a strong pickup truck that I could use to get around town and get what I needed. It wasn't until that time in my life passed that I grew in to road biking. My first bike was this one. A beautiful 2009 Giant Defy. This bike took me over roads, state highways, up hills and through many rain storms. It was the first road bike that I rode with my son. It was the first road bike that I took out at night in my new city. It had arguable more commuter miles on it then my car. Equipped with my first carbon fiber seatpost and fork, I was amaze with how muted the bike felt over the terrain. It wasn't pillow smooth like I had been led to believe. It was, muted, in that the sharp sting of the road that only a cyclist would feel, was removed. The best way to describe it is the difference between jamming the tip of a knife in to your finger verses, jamming the flat end of a knife in to your finger. Yes the pain is present but the sting, the cutting sensation, the initial pain, is gone. Sadly this bike came to its end, by way of an early more traffic accident. A driver caused the bike and I to topple over bending the fork and the front wheel in to a taco. The image is the last good almost peaceful shot I took of that bike leaning against a park bench. We were only 5 miles from home, on a peaceful, quiet evening , watching the sun set in the distance, I remember feeling invincible and defeated both at the same time.

Now it could be argued that the image is bland, without anything interesting, sexy or exciting. It doesn't contain the passion of a flirty gaze, the sex appeal of a new car, energy of a surfer on a wave or the technical mastery of the latest greatest gadget. What is does contain is a quiet serenity, a peaceful vibrance, a victorious calm. Something that, if you look close enough, you can also feel. This is a good image. Not because of a camera, but because of the photographer. This was taken with a cell phone camera. Not an Iphone or a whatever filter social media is offering. This was taken with just my cell phone and more then enough light.

If I could tell a new photographer anything. Someone that wants to do more than see them selves in the viewfinder, someone wants more than just to see their face on screen, someone that wants to have a memory as opposed to just an image, this blog is for you. I hope to see you on this journey.

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