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Old Posted Jul 27, 2014, 6:48 AM
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geomorph geomorph is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Newport Beach
Posts: 2,384
What type of photographer are you?

I am definitely a non-technical photographer, more interested in the experience than the equipment. I have little patience for manual settings so I mostly shoot on auto settings; however it amazes me how much patience I have for editing later, in the comfort of my darkened room. My strengths are with composure and sequential editing (arranging my photos in sets of tour order or stylistic groups). My weaknesses are with setting exposures, action shots, and spontaneity (despite my aversion to manual settings and the time they take, I miss opportunities when I get finicky about composing). I take a high number of shots of subjects at various angles, then edit them down to the essentials for saving, being ruthless with deleting those that are mediocre at times. I rarely hesitate to delete all the photos of a subject if none are satisfactory, even if the subject itself interests me greatly. I have also become a weather snob for outdoor photos, especially local areas: if it is not sunny and bright, I often do not remove the camera from its case. In the case of building facades, sometimes I have passed by one to return later when I know the sun angle will bathe it in light rather than shadow. My subjects are mostly urban architecture and landscape architecture, followed by zoos/animals, followed by museums/visitor centers, followed by plants and landscapes. I am not a people photographer, and as many of you know I strive to omit or minimize people in many of my shots!

What are you shooting with and what would you like to shoot with?

I have a Canon PowerShot SX40 HS (digital camera with fixed lens, not a compact and not a DSLR). I have had it for 2-1/2 years. Its auto settings are not as sharp as I would like, and it tends to overexpose, but it is generally good. I require a large lens for low-light interior shots. The only accessory I have for it is a lens hood. I do not have any future dream camera in mind as an alternative, but since I like to travel light it would be great if I had a smaller camera!

Since editing is important to me, I will mention that I have been using CyberLink PhotoDirector for the past several months since it was bundled with my new computer and the old program (I can't even remember what it was called!) did not have a new version compatible with the new operating system. I do not like this editor (it has so many complications and extra steps) so I am looking for a new one.

Since posting to SSP is important to me, I will mention that the only hosting site I have used is ImageShack. It was good for the first few years I used it, but then it turned really sour, really fast. It started resizing images randomly, sometimes immediately, sometimes years after uploading. Since I like to post my photos in one size, this drove me crazy. Months and months of no technical response from the site left me dismayed. I stopped posting to SSP, praying for divine intervention or at least the energy to look for an alternative! Then earlier this year they unveiled their new interface and transformed into a subscription-only service; paired with my new computer, it has worked like a charm. It is miraculous that I agreed to pay for it after the problems, but has been worth it so far. However, it has not corrected the size issues of the past so my SSP threads before this year's are often littered with problems.

If you could sum up your style in one photograph, what photo would it be?

The following photo is not my favorite but it is one I picked at random that illustrates my typical approach. First, it is of urban modern architecture, as so many of mine are. I like the subject...which is important to me, I rarely document buildings that I find hideous or good examples of bad design. This photo also illustrates my preference for simplicity and detail. Notice that it is a bright daylight shot as well...these are becoming increasingly common in my collection (partly because as I get older I find that I am too wiped out from all-day shooting to continue it into the dusk and night!). It is also a rather static shot with no movement displayed by either the subject or the camera. It does display one of my move away from too many flat symmetrical shots of symmetrical buildings. If you have viewed my thread "Dallas - Downtown - Part 2" in the My City Photos Forum from 2014, you will know that I also shot this building (Museum Tower) from several symmetrical points as well so you know what they say about old habits...

Talk about your inspirations and influences.

The San Diego Zoo and Wild Animal Park were my initial inspiration to enjoy photography when I was young. Big glossy "coffee-table" books on architecture, paired with slick real-estate brochures illustrated with floorplans, led to my first interest in architecture shortly after. It often seems that my shots are striving to mimic some of those early images I viewed. I grew up in an affluent developing suburb of Southern California; although I look back at its blandness with considerable disdain now, I can't help but feel that it still influences me in my affinity for clean and orderly modern design.

Where have you not been that you want to photograph?

Dubai and Melbourne and Singapore top my list currently...often sunny places with many examples of striking modern architecture.

Talk about your most popular (in your opinion) photothreads.

If this is judged by the number of views, "Museums - A Photo Thread" in the Buildings & Architecture Forum is my most popular thread, and is ongoing. It is an additive thread though so it is not my thread entirely; a majority of the 110+ posts are mine however so the number of posts do not indicate popularity. For my non-additive threads, "Toronto - Highlights" in the My City Photos Forum from 2009 has the most views while "Philadelphia - Highlights" in the My City Photos Forum from 2009 has the most replies. The latter thread has many congratulatory replies and some discussion so it seems to be my most popular.

Talk about your photothreads that didn't get the response you wanted.

There are two related threads, posted in 2010, that seemingly received little notice at the time; especially considering the effort I took to visit, the generally good photo results I posted, and the coverage of those cities up to that time. They were "Minneapolis - Highlights" and "Saint Paul - Highlights" in the My City Photos Forum.

Any tips or personal wisdom you'd like to pass on to others?

Don't ask to shoot in privately-owned public places, just start shooting and let the goons speak up if they are going to. If they do, let them know why you are leaving the property without spending any money there (in the case of places that have businesses) and that you will not be promoting their property by mentioning it in any way to your extensive network of business associates! It's also fun to wonder aloud as to why their sensitive secrets are so plainly visible and poorly hidden from public view.

Any advice that you would like from others?

A suggestion for photo editing software!

Who should we ask these questions of next?

Danny. Congrats and greetings from San Francisco, United States!
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