If your on the Nick Exposed Facebook page at all you’ve probably seen the awesome interviews I posted of wonderful photographer and teacher Chris Orwig! If you haven’t seen them head over to the Facebook page right now and check them out! (Hit the like button while your there to be in on the excitement next time) Back to the main topic.. In those interviews Chris discusses his inspiration from photographer Rodney Smith. So naturally I went on a search for his work in hopes of finding my own inspiration, and man did I find it. I would have to say Rodney is a Master when it comes to story telling with his images! His photography speaks the words of a brilliant poet and has the imagery of a chart rocking cinema. His scenes draw me in and encapsulate my imagination bringing me back to my boyish beginnings as I try to make sense of it all, asking question after question.
Its been interesting lately, as I have been more and more inspired by the work of those who only use film. Theres a bit of unspoken truth and boldness in those who stick to the origins and create stunning pieces such as Rodney’s. It proves its not in the equipment, but in the hand and eye of the photographer. Rodney as a person seems to be a very truthfully spoken individual as well, which may be why he relates with film so well. In reading through his blog a bit, he’ not afraid to speak what is on his mind. At the same time seems to know the power of his words and how to use them to better both himself and those around him, which I also feel shines through in his work. There seems to be a wonderful consistency between the photographer and his work. Jay Maisel often says “In order to take more interesting pictures, you must become a more interesting person”, and Rodney is definitely an interesting person. He has a wonderful sense of style and cleanliness in his personal life resulting in wonderfully clean photos that have a style of their own. Continue reading
ISO 1600 50mm f/5.6 1/80sec
The beauty of shooting more and more at iso 1600, is when the situation truly calls for it Im no longer intimidated to get the shot. Originally if I had to go anything higher than 800 I would typically avoid shooting, thinking the quality would be absolutely horrid. But I’ve conquered this fear, and can honestly say Im comfortable with 1600, as you may have noticed with more and more of my shots recently. I think its obvious to say its grown on me, and Im completely fine with that Continue reading
Due to the rapid growth of fans here at Nick Exposed, I thought it would be a good idea to create an additional medium where I can continue to serve creative inspiration in between blog posts. There’s been so many times where I’ve wanted to share a sudden burst of inspiration but thought it wouldn’t suit for having its own blog post, so this is where I will be doing so. I will be sharing behind the scenes pics, more photographers that are inspiring me at the moment, interviews and vids that are inspiring me and all the other creative goodness that comes to mind as well.
However my goal with this page is to create an environment for creative growth! A playground with followers sharing their inspiration and expression as well! So be sure to chime in when you have an idea on a certain topic or idea!!
Enough chit chatting about it, head over and join in on all the fun! Lets see how fast we can grow this thing
P.S. Be sure to share with you other photog and creatives on facebook, I love hearing whats inspiring creatives all over the globe!
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ISO100 109mm f/16 1/8sec
I won’t lie, the recent snow fall has me a bit bummed, let alone chilly. I had gotten so used to the warmer weather that I about forgot it was still winter. With the flop of temperature I’ve been somewhat longing for summer time to arrive and have been gazing over to my summer wear the last few days in hopes it would warm things up a bit. So to somewhat express my mood I decided to shoot some of my summer shades to add to my simplistic approach on fine art. Continue reading
ISO 1600 55mm f/5 1/250 sec
So I had gone on an adventure to capture last nights sudden snow for my daily exposure today, and some where along the line lost my sd card with all the pics on it. Not sure what happened to it, but it was no where to be found when I returned home. Luckily it was only a cheap 4gb card and not one of my better larger cards. So with the sun already resting past the horizon of the earth I decided I would take the opportunity to share some of my other shots from yesterday. Now obviously I don’t typically share more than one image at a time, but with the special circumstances of losing a card I’ve decided I would cheer myself up by sharing more than the usual. Continue reading
ISO100 50mm f/5 1/1600 sec
Walking around downtown today was a bit chillier then it has been the last week, yet despite the bitter cold I was able to find some warmth with this scene.
Finding this was a bit of a surprise as it was a major contrast to the dull surroundings of the immediate peripheral cityscape. Everything else had been grayed and muted by the city life. Like its lost its soul long ago, and now only reminisces of the good ol days. But not this wall here! Its like the new kid on the block trying to bring the fun and excitement back into the streets. Its the kid thats banging on the door as soon as the sun is up trying to bring everyone out to play ball, and then keeps the energy going till the sun goes down. With its vidid colors is not afraid to make a bold statement, and is just waiting for the rest of the street to join in on the fun.
ISO 1600 50mm f/5.6 1/250sec
Walking around downtown I come across a few homeless “shelters” tucked into cubbies on the side of abandoned buildings and into alley ways. But none are as well equipped as this one. If there was such thing as homeless elegance, Im sure this would be one of the defining situations. This adopted area was fully equipped with sleeping bag, mini book shelf with tattered books, a blender (despite having no plug-in) and a few signs with various messages. Unfortunately most of the scene was lost into the deep shadows cast by the partial cover of the wall to the left.
I find scenes like this extremely interesting, and instantly find myself in a state of gratitude. I couldn’t imagine living in a situation like this, and cant fathom the situations it would take to get to that point. But at the same time find it interesting in all the things that the homeless can find interest in themselves. It often leads me to asking genuine questions as to why they may do something, like what is their purpose with these signs? Why are they so pro credit unions? What happened to the extra 1%? Are they apposed to that single percentile? Are they only 99% for credit unions? Random questions continued to pop into my head while originally observing the scene. It was actually almost like a fun game to browse from a distance (Im not into invading anyones home with out asking) and find things of intriguing values. Is it all just a collection of worthless “junk”, or does this stuff hold a certain value to its rent-free owner?
Be grateful my friends, for when times get cold we have sweaters to wear, thermostats to regulate. We are contained in the comfort of our homes, shielded from the elements. We have cars to take us to our next exciting adventure, and friends and family to bring the adventure to us when we get lonely. Don’t take life for granted! Live life to its fullest, but don’t forget to love the life you were blessed with!
So unfortunately the Guest Writer portion for this week kind of fell through. However I have excellent guests lined up for the next couple weeks and they have all confirmed their posts will be ready So in place of the Guest blog section I thought I would share with you guys another one of my inspirations when it comes to master photographers. This is one who most probably haven’t heard of, yet he has such astonishing work that continues to inspire me each time I browse through his brilliant portfolio.
His name is Chema Madoz, and he is a Spanish Photographer now in his mid 60′s. He does surrealist fine art photos with old cameras like the Hasselblad. His work absolutely blows me away with the level of creativeness and ingenious sarcasm and humor he implies as he sets out to prove that not everything is what it seems to be. Every single photo he has shares a significant story, which draws you in until you realize you’ve been starring at the same image for the last 45 minutes. His images bring to mind the mystery and enjoyment of an old vaudeville act, where only on this stage would you see something so absurd yet so beautiful. His work brings together elements of elegance, mystery, magic and humor to make some of the most outstanding and interesting fine art Ive ever came across. He focuses on simplicity, and often times leaves me with the inevitable thought of “why didn’t I think of that”. Continue reading
ISO200 37mm f/11 1/200sec
I wanted to wait a bit before I posted a description about this photo. Im currently reading “Photographically speaking” by David duChemin, and in it he talks about creating images that speak for themselves. He mentions that if you need to start the conversation with your own words then the picture isn’t strong enough to speak for itself. And this is only a chapter or two into the book… its going to be a good book So this has me thinking more about my images Im taking and sharing with the world. Im trying to approach with a message in mind, not so much for me to share through my words, but through my photographic expression.
In this case it was really just sharing my experience for coming across such an extraordinarily textured and vibrant wall. I bracketed for HDR in order to capture as much detail as I possible could, because it was the detail that originally drew me into the scene in the first place. And with the vibrant highly saturated red the wall was sporting, it was certain this wall was making a statement. The funny thing is this is the side wall to the local Subway restaurant (You know.. “Eat Fresh”). On the other side of the wall are un-energized clock watching sandwich artists that cant wait for the day to get over so they can get on with their lives. Isn’t that crazy to think about, on the one side of the wall you have Bold Vibrant Excitement, on the other you have a mundane and monotonous lack of energy. I felt like a completely different person outside looking at the wall versus what I was feeling not a minute or two before while in line hungry for a sub but being fed negative energy from the workers who had 50 other places in mind where they would rather be. Completely different environments, yet only a foot of concrete wall apart.
Its in my nature to find not only creative, but personal inspiration in the various things I come across throughout the day. And this reminds me that far to often we choose to sit in an energy draining environment wondering why we aren’t getting to the places in life we want to get to, when what we need to do is change our environment to one that is full of energy and excitement. Often times the better environment isn’t that much further away.
Upon popular demand I took some time today to put together the LightBox tutorial I’ve been promising for a couple weeks now. I have been using my lightbox for various different projects over the last month and have found it extremely useful for getting creative macro and product shots. This is the same Box I used to create a number of my previous Daily Exposures, which we will discuss in a second. When building mine I tried to keep flexibility in mind to prevent from limiting myself in the future, and Ill explain all of this in the tut.
So what is a LightBox, Light Tent, Macro Tent? Ive heard it called many different things but they all do the same thing, creating a seamless back drop with diffused lighting to create beautiful product and macro photography. Its much like the product over at ezcube.com which can range anywhere from 50 bucks on up to even a couple hundred for some of the top name products. The beautiful thing about making your own is you probably have most the materials laying around at home. Even if you had to purchase everything it wouldn’t cost you much more than $15 which includes the lighting.
So as they say… “Lets make a LightBox!”… what thats not a saying.. well it should be! Continue reading
ISO100 50mm f/11 1/30sec
I’ve been really inspired by extremely simple fine art lately and have been meaning to give a go at it. Having been in Cutco Cutlery sales for some time I knew just the subject and was quit enthused about bringing my passion for the worlds finest cutlery to my passion of creative expression.
Usually when I come to a creative project like this, I only have a general idea of what I may be going for, however with this project I had the end result in mind and went to town setting it up to get just the right outcome. I actually originally had this idea to shoot a dog on a seamless white back drop and have the front half to one side and the back to the other. I still look forward to creating that, but found the same inspiration for this project. I think I may turn it into a series eventually.
ISO 400 50mm f/11 1/160sec
I decided to take a trip over to the middle school I went to today to get capture some scenes to possibly invoke my inner child. It was fun strolling around the premises reminiscing on the days of 7th and 8th grade. Most of the photos I took weren’t really graphically pleasing, being the only subject was my own personal memories. I often caught myself standing still just gazing out into the baseball fields or at the bleachers where our class picture was taken. I can still remember who I was sitting next to and where abouts we were sitting. As I came around the front of the building I remembered the time my Mom surprised me and picked me up in a stretch limo, which as an 8th grader I felt on top of the world. I remembered walking over the bridge that connected the school parking lot to the local park, and every day in the winter standing on the ice to test how strong it was. It was only ever on shallow puddles, but there were times where we would break through and have to walk home with frozen feet and shoe laces sticking out to the side as they had frozen solid (Hey I never said I was smart when I was a kid).
I was very art minded back then, drawing every chance I could get. I remember I would try to sell my drawings to get some extra cash for what was probably video games at that point. I was constantly getting in trouble for drawing in class which resulted in the counselors signing me up for multiple art classes to express my creativeness in a constructive manor. It was also around this time that I started taking notice of texture and appreciating colors. I loved the texture of brick, which I still do, and would take paper and crayon and capture the texture by scribbling on the paper as it was on the brick surface. I also remember with being fascinated by the texture of the tennis court. I would pause briefly and absorb it as I made my way over to the path leading home. I loved the darker colors contrasting all the bright yellows and red on the rest of the campus, and how the cement would break through and bring more character. A year or so after I graduated onto high school they had re-painted the court and I was somewhat disappointed, because everything I had liked about it was suddenly covered.
Now, over 10 years later its back to how I remembered. The colors have been darkened by the fading paint and dirt that has been massaged in by the tennis shoes that use the court on a weekly basis. The pavement has founds its way back through to the surface adding the extra ingredient that texture lovers adore. It brought me back to my days of admiring it as I walked through the court on my way home. It may or may not be as pleasing for you, but what your looking at is literally one of the building blocks for the foundation I build my work on now. I still find it inspiring, now that it has been restored to my original memory of it.