Tuesday, December 31, 2013

KISS For Better Photographs

Color Lamp Abstract - Bakersfield, California
You know the acronym K.I.S.S., right? Keep It Simple, Stupid. A nicer version might be Keep It Super Simple. Either way, I'm finding more and more that simple is simply better.

KISS applies to photography just as much as it does to the rest of life.
Sailboat Race - Oxnard, California
Simple photographs are better than complex ones because it is easier for the viewer to "get it" right away. Viewers will not spend more than a second or two looking at an image unless it grabs them within that first second or two. Complex images may be great, but if the viewer dismisses it before they understand it, then it wasn't successful.
"Photography produces pleasure by simplicity." --Sam Abell, renown National Geographic photographer.
I said, "Refine your composition until you've reached the minimum that you can include to convey your point. Or, put even more simply, less is more."
Wheat Grass - Tehachapi, California
KISS also applies to one's equipment. I used to carry around all sorts of cameras and lenses and such. I find that having just one camera and lens is much more pleasurable, and, because of that, my photography is better. I have a camera with me more often, and I'm not fumbling around with gear when the opportunity is at hand.

So KISS for better photographs. Think simplicity whenever possible. Don't over-complicate your images. Don't over-complicate your camera bag.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Photography Advice: Promote Yourself

Earlier in the month I posted a link to an excellent article over at the Luminous Landscape that is worth reading. I didn't give any commentary, just posted the link.

Since it is better to do something late than never, I'll give my personal take on it. And here it is: promote yourself.

I think that a lot of photographers who are trying to break into the business in some way think that if their photographs are good enough, somebody someday will "discover" them and give them the chance they've been hoping for. While this strategy has worked for a few, most people who try this will die in obscurity, having never been discovered.

What you should do instead is put yourself out there. Let people see your work. Advertise who you are and what you create. A lot of your effort may seem in vein, but eventually you'll see it pay off.

What I've done is, well, create the Roesch Photography Blog, for starters. One reason for doing this is self promotion. And it has paid off, to some extent. I've received paying work as a direct result of this Blog. But more important, it has allowed me to brand myself.

I've gone into galleries and showed my portfolio, which directly led to having my photographs in two different art galleries. I've submitted images for publication in a book, and several were selected. I've even self-published a limited edition book. All of this is getting my name and images out there for people to see and (hopefully) appreciate.

I have an announcement coming in the next week or so that also has to do with promoting myself. Stay tuned!

As an artist, I want others to see my creativity and hopefully in some way it benefits them. But they'll never see it if I don't put it out there to be seen. If I never advertised myself, no one would ever see my art.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

This Blog Is International - Or, Google Translate Is Great

I had to write a short biography for myself (details on that to come within the next week or two), and mentioned that I have an internationally read photography blog. Yes, this blog is read by folks across the world.

By a large margin, most of the readers are from the U.S.A. No surprise there. The United Kingdom is next, which is also not a surprise. Germany and Russia are the next two, and what I find interesting about that is, while there are certainly many in those countries that speak English, neither are predominately English speaking. France, Singapore, India and the Philippines are also in the top 10.

How is it that non-English speakers regularly read a blog written in the English language?

Not very long ago I had a camera for sale on eBay. A potential buyer wanted some further information about it and asked me a question. The problem? He was from South America and his language was Spanish, and he didn't speak English. I don't speak Spanish. So how did we communicate? Google Translate.

Google Translate will decode or encode one language to another. I cut-and-pasted his message into the translator and it told me in English exactly what he said in Spanish. I then typed a response and it translated it into Spanish for me.

Google Translate does something else useful: it will translate webpages from one language to another. That is how people across the world can read this blog. It doesn't matter what language they speak, Google Translate will put my words into their tongue.

And I think that is great.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

A Look Back: Daniel Amos In Concert

Guitars And Drum - Phoenix, Arizona
I was browsing through YouTube when I ran across the video below:

This was from a concert that I attended back in 2011. If you look hard enough, maybe you can even see me in the crowd. Anyway, it is the best song I've ever heard about little league baseball. And it rocks, too.

The band is Daniel Amos, and they've been around a long, long time. Never popular, they've managed to stick around for decades and decades and have even changed rock music. Some big names have called them an influence, including U2 and Collective Soul. 
Greg Flesch - Phoenix, Arizona

But the real reason for this post is that I just like this band, and really enjoyed that concert back in 2011. It was great to find some quality videos on YouTube and reminisce a little.  
Paul On Bass - Phoenix, Arizona
Jerry And Terry On Vocals - Phoenix, Arizona
Rock And Roll - Phoenix, Arizona
Endless Summer - Phoenix, Arizona
Terry Taylor On Vocals - Phoenix, Arizona
Jerry of Daniel Amos - Phoenix, Arizona
Negative Rock Music - Phoenix, Arizona
Terry And Paul - Phoenix, Arizona
Bass Emotion - Phoenix, Arizona
The Mad Scientist - Phoenix, Arizona
Drums - Phoenix, Arizona
Energy - Phoenix, Arizona
Jerry Chamberlain - Phoenix, Arizona
Vocals - Phoenix, Arizona
Electric Blue - Phoenix, Arizona
Jerry, Terry and Paul - Phoenix, Arizona
Terry's Guitar and Ed's Drum - Phoenix, Arizona
Guitar And Amp - Phoenix, Arizona
Terry Taylor - Phoenix, Arizona

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Daily Joshua Project - Update 1

Rest - Stallion Springs, California
Day 5
It occurred to me that my Daily Joshua project is like one of those 365 projects that have been popular lately. In case you don't know, a 365 project is where you create one photograph each and every day for a whole year. Sometimes there is a theme, sometimes not. This project is similar to that, but there are some differences.

First, I am not limiting myself to just one photograph each day. I may have only one, or I may have ten. Second, I'm not sure if I will be able to keep this project up for a year. I hope that I can, but I'm not certain that I'll be able to do this for even a month. We will see.

Anyway, to view the entire project, please visit my set on Flickr. That's where all of the photographs are.
Holding Daddy's Thumb - Palmdale, California
Day 6
Cozy Baby - Valencia, California
Day 4
Brother And Sister Hands - Valencia, California
Day 3
Looking Baby - Valencia, California
Day 3
Baby Tiger - Valencia, California
Day 4
I'm Cute - Stallion Springs, California
Day 5
In The Warm Sunlight - Stallion Springs, California
Day 7
Innocence - Stallion Springs, California
Day 6

Sunday, December 22, 2013

The New Baby - Daily Joshua Project

Sleep Silent Child - Valencia, California
Day 2
I haven't posted in several days. The reason for this is because I have a new baby boy named Joshua, who was born on December 18th.

This is actually my third child. One regret I have with the first two children is that I did not photograph them enough. I have no idea why. I certainly photographed them, but I wish that I had captured them even more.
Sleeve Sucking - Valencia, California
Day 1
With Joshua I will not make that same mistake. So I have embarked on a new photography project: Daily Joshua. The plan is to photograph Joshua at least once every single day. Some days will have more than one image, but I want to create at least one image of Joshua each and every day. It will be interesting to see how he changes over time.

I will be updating this project regularly, so check back often. You can view the entire project on my Flickr page. Not every image in the project is here, so go there to see them all (click here). Also, all of these images were captured using a Sigma DP2 Merrill camera.
Bad To The Bone - Valencia, California
Day 1
Day 1, Hour 1 - Valencia, California
Day 1
Joshua's First Photograph - Valencia, California
Day 1
Resting Newborn - Valencia, California
Day 1
Nice To Meet You - Valencia, California
Day 3
First Bath - Valencia, California
Day 2

Thursday, December 19, 2013

My Street Photography

I don't do a lot of street photography. It really isn't my thing. Sometimes, though, I'm struck by something as I'm walking around with my camera.

Below are some street photography images that I've created over the last few years. A whole host of different cameras were used, including a Pentax K-30, a Samsung NX200, a Samsung NX210, as well as others.
Wrong Way Alley - San Diego, California
Disconnected - Anaheim, California
Window Shopping - Tehachapi, California
Two Fast Bikes - Tehachapi, California
Helen Meredith - Tehachapi, California
Boy With Drink - Surprise, Arizona
Painting The Bank Door - Flagstaff, Arizona
Yearning For Life - Tehachapi, California
Cake Pop - Tehachapi, California
Shadow Thought - Tehachapi, California
Sun Glass Reflection - San Diego, California
Boy Waiting - Surprise, Arizona
Gazing - Tehachapi, California
The World Out There - Tehachapi, California
Mike - Tehachapi, California
Ace Is The Place For Reading - Tehachapi, California
Hoping For Life - Tehachapi, California
Reflecting - Tehachapi, California
Clydesdale - Anaheim, California
Boy On Concrete Steps - Bakersfield, California

Edward - Quartzsite, Arizona
Watching - Tehachapi, California
Cable Wires - Tehachapi, California
Man Walking Downtown - Tehachapi, California
Waiting Under The Light - Tehachapi, California
Perhaps not technically street photography, but closely related:
Man At Shoshone Point - Grand Canyon, Arizona
Fisherman - Pismo Beach, California
Amtrak Train - Pismo Beach, California
Surfers - Avila Beach, California
Soaked - Morro Bay, California
Man, Preparing - Tehachapi, California
Filming The Train - Tehachapi, California
Morro Love - Morro Bay, California
Standing Paddle Board - Morro Bay, California
Three Kayaks - Pismo Beach, California