Sunday, January 28, 2018

Why I'm learning how to use a DSLR camera

My partner in a window seat at a restaurant

You ever see a photograph in one of your social media feeds that stops you from scrolling past it? Perhaps it's a picture of an old wooden dock with huge pylons extending into lake, so still it looks like glass with a reflection of a snowy peak in the distance and the sun rising over it. Or maybe the scroll-stopping image is a candid, black and white portrait of an old man holding a half-burned cigarette, staring off-camera back into the years of his life that's left him gnarled and wrinkled.

Isn't it funny that in our world of bite-sized video clips, and the rest of the quick-hit media we consume, we find so much meaning in one still-image? By capturing one moment in time, the photographer tells a story that she sees through her camera. For us, her audience, that story is up for interpretation. While photographing the old man holding the cigarette, the photographer is framing what she sees in the context of that environment. What you and I get out of the photo, however, are our own unique perspectives. It's story that began with the photographer's opening sentence -- "It was a dark and stormy night..." -- and that we fill in with our own imaginations. Those pictures that stop you in your tracks and make you imagine the greater picture at hand are what draw me to photography -- storytelling through a still-image.

Serving the Homeless: A Lesson in Dignity

At the end of December 2017 and beginning of January 2018, some of the coldest temperatures on record in my hometown threatened the lives o...