Creativity in an already creative industry|Atlanta, Georgia Photographer

Being creative is one of the hardest things to do in photography. Being original is even harder. One can be creative, but how creative. A lot of that has to do with originality. However, originality in the business of photography is almost non-existent in this day and age. But what makes things original in this day and age?

Originality in the photography industry is a hard one to create. Take a railroad track image for example. For those who are beginning in the hobby of photography, later possibly a business, it is one of the most widely used. I was even looking on my Instagram account this evening (you can follow me at @davisonwheeler) and saw a leading lines image of railroad tracks! It was definitely a good picture, but it proves my point of how widely used, especially with leading lines. Also, railroad tracks are a very widely used backdrop and or theme for portraits of people.

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However, railroads are honestly just one of the many widely used themes. There are a lot of others. If it is Spring time and one goes to a public park and you walk around and almost at every “spot” in there, you will widely see many being used. I am guilty of it myself so this is not a “shame on you” type of thing. I go to any local park, Piedmont Park for example, and it is filled with photographers taking photographs on a nice sunny day. It’s a common thing for one photographer to be using a spot, and one move in to use it as well. Alas a lot of that has to do with the location that one chooses to use.

Choosing a location is critical when it comes to taking a photograph. Especially when comes to what we have been talking about through this article. With so many things having already been done, originality is hard thing to come by in this industry. Not only is the location critical, but it’s how you shoot at that location that can make all the difference, along with what you do with the particular image after the fact (in post processing and such). That’s where good and or bad locations come into play.

Deciding on a good location takes planning, scouting and a lot more before you actually begin to shoot. A photographer needs to be that game changer, that one that has no rhyme or reason to think about what anyone in the industry has done before or is doing at the time. Try and succeed at doing something different, without taking those ideas and copying, take those ideas and make them your own. Put your name on it.

I have ben struggling as to what I would write about in this post as I have been thinking about it for probably weeks now. I don’t know why it is a struggle, as this is supposed to be just a blog regarding the happenings of my life. I think though, honestly, it was a mere fear of what people would think of me when they read so many of these entries that are associated with this blog. I mean hell, if you take that mouse in your hand or the track pad on your laptop and scroll down, what are you going to be reading? You’ll be reading a LOT of whining and “whoa is me” crap.

Lets be honest here for a second, I have gone through through a lot since September 11, 2012. That was technically for me a D-Day for me. By D-Day, I mean Destructive Day. Yes, I put the specific day cause that was when my world turned upside down.

I have been dealing with a lot, dealing with things on my own,  not really with much help. I went through the period of going to a shrink to try and help me figure things out which it did. It was a simplistic explanation that i probably could have never figured out on my own and thats ok. Anyways, most of the stuff I have been dealing with in the grand scheme (again lets be honest) is a lot of my own doing. I have put SO much emphasis on the interpretations and perceptions of other people. But what good has that done me? Not much, the fact that I have grown so emphatically concerned about what the hell people think of me has corrupted my own general thinking of whats right and wrong for myself.

I was sitting down with my best friend yesterday over lunch and we were talking about everything going on with ourselves. He and I are in a relatively same place when it comes to our lives so it’s not hard to bounce Idea’s off one another especially if it may help the other.

When I left that lunch. I felt kind of bad. Why? Because honestly anything that he had said I was just acting so negative giving unintended excuse after the other. To be quite frank I was doing that because its all I have known for these past 2 and half years. I have been so concerned bout what others have thought about me these past few years because I had no idea who I was after loosing one half of me that i was and possibly still am trying to frantically figure out who in the blue hell “Davison Wheeler” is. And, I’ll be honest with you, coming to that conclusion is a bitch. Behind closed doors when i am by myself, or around people I am super comfortable with, I am a completely different person (my true self) then when I am around people I only slightly know. Why can’t I be who I am just on the regular basis? Why do I care about what people think of me. What makes it so detrimental that I care so much? I think thats one of the biggest things that I am trying to figure out. But I also think that I am slowly beginning to basically give the middle finger to that mentality.

I shouldn’t have to TRY to be who I am, I should just be who I am, right? I know that sounds stupid and more then likely if anyone ever reads this, the day I decide to possibly open this up for the bored mass public to read. Hopefully that day, I will already be the person that I am supposed to be, and AM vs the person that I have tried to be for other people.

A review from me: Fuji X100 – The “Noisy Cricket”

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Ok, so I have never really done this before on the blog, writing a review that is. But, I about fell in love with this camera so I thought I should. Now, I want anyone who is reading this blog (as you hopefully have been for some time now) to understand that I am and always have been, a Canon user and a Die-Hard one at that. I have had friends who have basically converted over to a four-thirds cameras, panasonic to be exact and while they are amazing camera’s I just can’t seem to do it.

With that said, the camera I want to talk about today about the Fuji X100. Granted ok this is not going to be a  massively in-depth review, you have to cut me some slack. i just wanted to write my take on it as a person who uses a professional camera to make a living. Now I know this has been done before. There are people out there that have put this camera though such a rigorous review that they practically took the camera apart down to its circuit boards, I on the other had, did not.

Quite frankly, all I did was call up my shooting partner from my wedding business, The Photo Collective, and ask him if I could borrow it for the day while I was down in Atlanta with a friend of mine taking some pictures of him that he wanted. Then, as i was driving down there, I said to myself “I am going to do a review on this camera!.”

Anyway, here goes. So yes, I borrowed the Fuji X100 from my friend. Decided on the drive down to Atlanta to give my take on it, and that I will do. With that said, I LOVED this camera. OK, so there were a few problems at first, the idea of the camera is to go back to how camera’s once were with the basically full manual control. Yes, granted its still a digital, you can change exposure settings and such through the actual digital menu, BUT you have the knobs on the outer body of the camera that is giving you the ability to do it as you would an older style film camera. I will admit, at first, I was perplexed as all get out. I think it took me half down to Atlanta to begin to figure out it. But, once I did, I fell in love quick with the quality.

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The pictures that you see above you are in order of the pictures that I took. Yes, I have show these before in a previous post i did about going down to Atlanta. The one of my buddy is the one I took right after I figure out how the hell to use the damn thing an not be taking consistent dark images. Granted there is a little bit of editing done to them, but not that much. The quality that comes out of this camera, right straight out of it is fantastic. I was stupefied of how good this camera is camera’s image quality was IN the camera before it is even put into an image processor. Granted it made it that much better after it was run through Photoshop and Lightroom.

Another great thing is that it as able to be used with my Canon external flashes and Yonunguo flash triggers when I was doing the photoshoot so being able to use external lighting equipment would be no problem when you are taking pictures with it. My favorite thing though is the exposure of this camera. You don’t have to do much to make the exposure right, I mean honestly, I only did slight adjustments through out the whole time I used it, and that was mainly for the depth of field that I want to maintain. When you used the external lighting, it just made it THAT much better. like you see below.

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All around this camera is by far one of the better smaller “point and shoot” style camera’s that I have ever used and will definitely be picking it up as soon as I can. However, be advised that it is in fact a little pricey, this base model is around 600 dollars new. Granted I am sure that you can find one a little bit cheaper used. But, I don’t see many people parting with this little guy. The “Noisy Cricket” as a photographer friend of mine calls his is a great find definitely suggested.

Just a little RAK: Random Act of Kindness

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For the longest time, I never really understood this abbreviation “RAK.”  I kept seeing it all over the internet for a while; both on Facebook and other thing such as blogs I randomly followed. I really started seeing it the most on a fellow photographers Facebook news feed. He would go out at random times during the week and walk around the city, giving helpful things to the homeless or people that just flat out needed help in some shape or form. I thought it was cool, did i do it myself? No, I didn’t Ill admit it. Not that I didn’t want to help people out but at the time, I wasn’t really able to and quite frankly probably needed the help myself.

So what does “RAK” stand for? Well, as I stated before it’s an abbreviation for “Random Act of Kindness.” Basically, you just help someone out, pay it forward, no questions no expectations of something in return, you just help! Honestly I have been that type of person these past few years. I began to tip well to servers, stopped questioning why to do something that may be good for someone else, and just did it. I have always put someone first, but now-a-days, its become kind of a second nature thing to me.

A couple of weeks ago, I had a fellow group member of a local Atlanta Chive Chapter reach out to us to possibly preform a RAK of a girl that she met off of the couchsufing.com website. This woman whom she was wanting to help, is an aspiring actress and was from Kentucky. I heard from the woman, and we set up  time on Saturday afternoon. We got together down in Atlanta and walked around Piedmont Park for about an hour an a half and got her some nice head shots!

Helping people out is what I love to do, and I hope these photos make it a little bit easier for her to get towards the goal that she is trying to obtain. Good luck Dusty!

Test…Test…One-Two – A day of testing

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It’s a hard thing to kind of fathom when I look back on where I started over 8 years ago. When I started doing photography, honestly all I wanted to do was shoot cars. Come to find out, 8 years later after getting pushed in the direction of going to school and obtaining my degree, I would be at the point where I would do some testing for a modeling agency.

Back at the end of February I reach out to a local model agency to see if I could possibly do some test shooting with them. I had actually done some photographing of their models back at the end of 2014 when I attended a photographers meet up at a local studio. Thats where I originally got introduced.

It took a few days but I got a response back and they were more then happy to send me some models for some test shoots. Kristen, their booker and I set up a day in the middle of the month of Match. So, I contacted a local studio and set up a block of time that I could rent it out and do some shooting.

Shooting day came, and I won’t lie, I was a little scared. Ok, well not scared, nervous. It was the first one that I had done. I was prepared and knew how I wanted to shoot, but you know how that goes, most of the time even though you’re prepared, your scared to fail. But, I went through the motions, believed in myself and just did the do! I came out of that that day very confident and after two weeks of working on them (coupled with a very busy schedule and crappy internet service, I sent them off.

I got word back fro the agency letting me know that they loved the images, and a few in particular. That was a good reassurance to the fact that I have indeed come a long way. I can’t wait to do it again.  I would like to give a shout out to Gene Pennington and his studio Atlanta Photoworks as well as Ursela Weidmen and all of her models!

below are a few examples from the day.

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