Sunday, September 11, 2011

"Old Bates Hotel"

Hotel Room by
Hotel Room, a photo by on Flickr.

There's this abandoned place on US12, not too far from my house. It's one of those places that I've always wanted to stop and photograph, but I worried someone might see me.

Last year I photographed the back of the hotel


but I never worked up enough nerve to go up front for pictures.

Yesterday I took a second to pick my fear apart. What was I afraid of?

Cops? Not really... there aren't many cops out there, so someone would have to CALL the cops, and by the time they got to the hotel, I'd probably be done. And even if I wasn't done, I'm *pretty* sure I'd just get off with a warning. Worst case senario is that I get arrested, I suppose. But... are they going to arrest some lady out taking pictures of the outside of a building?

Probably not.

Vagrants living inside? No. Too rural of an area, and the place is too dilapidated to provide good shelter.

Owner/Neighbor coming after me with a pitchfork? No.

People driving by on US12 and seeing me? Yes.

But that's a dumb thing to be afraid of.

So I finally went and took pictures!

When I first walked up to the building I could smell something. My first thought was, "dead body!". But I'm pretty sure it was just mint or something aromatic growing in the yard.

Yes, I realize that dead bodies probably don't smell minty.

If you know anything about this place, or even if you cant point me in the direction to learn on my own, let me know!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Do It

Look Up by
Look Up, a photo by on Flickr.

I have a hard time understanding how some people can't take good pictures. I mean, I know a lot of it is technical stuff: shutter speed, ISO, etc... but a lot of it is just a matter of looking for cool stuff.

Particularly with landscapes. You don't have to worry about shutter speed, because typically, nothing is moving. You don't have to worry about aperature, because DOF is irrelevant, ISO can be set at whatever you want.

The worst that could happen is that you get an image with noise (due to high ISO).

Any point and shoot camera will automatically adjust to the ideal settings, particularly if it has a "landscape" mode.

Yes, there are situations where adjusting settings will improve a photograph, but I believe that in most cases, it's pretty straightforward.

But people don't do that. Most people take pictures of their kids running around, their cats sticking their paw in the bath water, etc... yet when they see my landscapes, they appreciate them, and often say, "oh I wish I had a good camera like you".

(which is annoying, by the way)

So if it's not the camera, what is it?


Was it talent that made me notice this cloud sitting above the copse of trees?

No, I don't think it was.

It was just a matter of looking around with an open mind, and noticing things. I don't think that's a talent.

I will drive around for an hour, taking pictures of different things. I do it like it's my damn job. I have no idea what drives me. It's not money, since I'm making none. It's not that I want to be lavished with praise (although I don't mind).

I guess it's a matter of doing justice to the world by appreciating everything around us.

I wish more people did this. I feel sad when I think that most beauty goes unseen.

Even if every photograph you take is mediocre, the very process of being out and looking for interesting things will expand your mind. You will notice things you've taken for granted.

It adds value to every minute of the day.