Today is the day! I’ve moved my blog to the new GiovanniArroyo.com. You can check out the entire site with the sidebar navigation or if you want to just continue viewing my blogposts go straight to the blog here: Behind the Shot
This is still a work in progress so please excuse the mess and let me know if you find anything that needs to be corrected.
Teaching others the art of photography is simply one of the most enjoyable things I get a chance to do. Leading classes, workshops, conference presentations or one on one with my daughters; every time that I have taught my creativity is re-energized. I get inspired by students to shoot more, push my abilities and improve my craft.
Thanks to those who have taught me, and for those that I have had to pleasure of teaching!
Contrary to what most blogs and articles are saying I feel the future of photography looks bright and I’m glad to help make that happen.
This week I am featured as Artist of the Week for Reflejos Bilingual Newspaper. Pretty cool that I am getting some recognition from the press for my photography. I just hope this isn’t my 5 minutes of fame.
Don’t leave your camera at home. Your camera should be an extension of your eyes, like a pair of glasses. Without it you should feel like you are missing a part of yourself. I know it is a pain to luge a DSLR with you every where you go, but why not a point and shoot, a film camera or at the least your cell phone. You never know when the opportunity to capture an exciting image will occur. I do my best to always have at the least my Canon G10 or a 35mm film camera with me. As an example of why, the photo above was taken at the Lake in the Hills Summer Sunset Fest. A few miles from my home, I went with the girls and grabbed my Canon on the way out the door. The sky was unique and resulted in a few photos that I love. So…
A few weeks ago I was offered the opportunity to shoot with a wonderful vintage camera, a Hasselblad 500C. I have learned a few lessons with this camera.
Take your time.
There is no rush when using a medium format camera. The 500c doesn’t have an onboard meter, so I used a vintage light meter to check the exposure. Then you focus and then pop up a little magnifying glass to get the focus just right. This while looking down, the image is reversed so you have to really be aware of the direction the lens in pointed. This process takes time, then you do it again to make sure the photo will come out. Remember a tripod is your friend.
6×6 is a challenge.
The challenge of composing a photo in the square format is a lot different than trying to do the same with 35mm film. If you want to have good photos don’t assume that the same type of composition will work.
Shooting film will make you think more!
Only 12 photos on a roll of 120 film. You have to really think about the photo you are planning to take prior to pressing the shutter. There is chance to view the moment after, no delete button. Only the hope that you got the photo you intended. This will make you a better photographer and when you do shoot digitally you will get more “keepers”.
Embrace and learn from your mistakes.
Arrogantly I thought that I would be able to spool and develop medium format film, just like I had 35mm. Boy was I wrong. This was my first attempt at developing 120 film. When I spooled the it on the reel I ended up having it lay on top of itself and not get developed properly. I know I need to get more practice getting the film spooled properly. I will have the chance when I start taking my Yashica twin lens out. It would probably help if I used the more modern plastic reels and tank versus the stainless steel ones I currently have. I did get a chance to embrace my mistake with the shot above. It ended up looking kind of cool with the damage to the negative.
I loved shooting with the Hasselbad, it makes a distinctive sound when the shutter is pressed. I’m glad I had the chance to learn and improve on my skills. In the future expect to see more medium format film photos posted by me.
Last year I decided to enter a competition. Not surprising-I’m competitive. What was surprising is that I entered a nature photography competition. I have never been one to stand and wait for nature to come to me, or really been a big fan of taking landscape or nature photography. The reason I entered the contest was to push my comfort zone. I know where my strong points in photography are, but how could I strengthen my weak points? Could I take excellent pictures of nature? This pushed me to go outside of my typical photography style and learn new techniques. I learned to use a super telephoto lens correctly, how to wait for an animal to “pose” for the portrait and how to compose nature and wildlife shots. After months of waiting and photographing different aspects of an conservation area, as assigned by the contest, I finally came up with this photo. I, of course, had to stalk this green heron for an hour before he or she “posed” for me. Proudly this photo of the Green Heron won second place in the competition. I am glad I went outside of my usual photography comfort zone, and became a better photographer because of it.
A few weeks ago I posted about how much I love to print out my work and why you should be printing your photos as well. This week I want to bring up another way I improve my photography. I let my work be judged.
I have found that entering competitions, exhibitions and juried art fairs are a great way to push my photography to improve. Why is this?
I think exhibiting your work, being compared against other photographers or artists will drive you to improve you work. I have also found the atmosphere extremely pleasant and know that I can ask questions and get critique from experienced artists.
Competitions and juried art fairs also offer you a chance to receive feedback and praise for your hard work. It is a wonderful experience to see a winning ribbon, be recognized, or receive a prize for the hard work you have put in.
I know that the process of entering a exhibition, competition or juried art fair really makes me take a critical look at my photography, much more than I would if I was not showing my work publicly.
If you have never exhibited your photography, you owe it to yourself to try the experience at least once. It is very rewarding and your work will improve because of it.
If you are in the Chicagoland area and want to try your hand at exhibiting check out “4th Fridays” at The Starline Gallery the monthly event has an emerging photographer competition that is great. Not to mention that the Starline in Harvard is a beautiful gallery.