This is the first in a series of answers to photography questions submitted by friends/readers. Today’s questions is: What blogs do I read for inspiration?
The only photography blog I read regularly is Irene Suckoki’s. I love how she uses a tilt-shift lens to give focus to her landscapes, and how peaceful I feel when I see them. I feel they should be storybook illustrations or children’s bedroom decorations. I have one of her prints in my room that was given to me for Christmas last year.
Other photographers that I’m currently fascinated by are Michael Kenna and Akos Major. Michael Kenna has been taking pictures for about 40 years. Akos Major is a former designer who was influenced by Kenna and started taking pictures just 6 years ago. They both take long-exposure landscapes with a medium-format film cameras. I just discovered Major this week as his photos were featured on a sample Squarespace website, as I was looking for one for my new blog.
Those medium-format cameras are expensive, but they make me want to get into film to copy their style. You can try this style with a camera on a tripod. Long exposure of water gets you the smooth peaceful water effect, but not in the same way as their camera would. I”m not sure of the exact differences - I would love to try my camera side by side with one of those.
I like how they use empty space and how lonely their pictures are. I love taking portraits - it’s a beautiful challenge to capture a person - but I can sit in a swamp for hours at night, in the cold, using my shutter timer for long exposure photographs and pressing the shutter again and again. I try to not follow other photographers too much so I’m not tempted to copy. I want to develop my own work, my own way of seeing things, and so I take the photos that I’m interested in taking and not the ones that I think will please others but don’t feel like my work. I also take the photos that I see but then think - oh that won’t work. I take it anyway to teach myself to not take those judgements whilte shooting. At a desk is where judgment and evaluation comes, not outside. Outside is for play - that’s when I play. You may play inside, in a studio, at night - anywhere.
Currently I’m playing with using Suckoki’s way of seeing buildings in Europe with the Texas countryside as a new way of seeing my environment with a technique used in a different way. That’s how I like to get inspired. But everyone is different. Imitation is a great way to start, especially for portraits and landscapes, but your child, your countryside, your backyard is like no one else’s.
Do you have any photography questions? Send your questions and/or a photo you would like help improving to miahorenphotography(at)gmail(dot)com and I’ll see if I can help!