Things That Attract My Eye! – 2

One of the types of subjects that I have always enjoyed photographing since I took up Photography in 1982 is the ‘everyday things’ that we come into contact with.

Prior to taking up photography, I certainly was not aware how beautiful mundane subjects were. Photography created a new awareness within me and since I took up sketching and painting, this awareness of my surroundings has deepened.

It really is amazing at just how many beautiful subjects there are if we only would take the time to notice.

I’ve included some images below that I hope you will find as interesting and as beautiful as I do. All were taken in 2022.

Till next time!

Written by David Johnson

3 August 2022

Dusk…A Special Time

Earlier this week we were treated to some beautiful colours at Dusk.

I was inside during this time, painting and I happened to glance out of the window at just the right time. The images below were snapped with my phone as often the colours will disappear quite quickly, and as someone once said, ‘the best camera is the one you have on you at the time…’.

I hope you enjoy ‘Mother Nature’s Art as much as I did.

Written by David Johnson

28 July 2022

Moments – The Car Wash

Are we grabbing opportunities when they arrive?

In our lives, there are many ‘moments’ that we have the opportunity to do something different with that moment, but we don’t think of ways how we can use those moments better. I’ve been thinking over time ‘how I’ve used some of my moments?’

I’m talking about those moments when you are waiting… it might be for an appointment, waiting to go somewhere or sitting in your car in a car wash, like I was on late Sunday afternoon.

To be sure, we could just sit and think and watch the spray etc. Instead, I used the opportunity to explore the car wash with my phone camera. I did this before, many years ago with a car wash that used brushes however this was a brushless car wash.

Below are the results.

Next time you are sitting in a car wash, pull out your camera and see what interesting images you can come up with.

Looking forward to my next visit to the car wash!

Written & Photographed by David Johnson

31 May 2022

Light That Inspires!

Over the years, both as an enthusiast Photographer (entering competitions up to International level) and Photographic Judge (up to National level), I have been asked, ‘what is your favourite subject?’

I imagine that people are expecting me to say things like, ‘landscapes, seascapes, people, architecture etc’.

My answer is simply, ‘light and its effect on subjects’.

Light of course needs shadow to create contrast so maybe I should say that my favourite subject to photograph is, ‘light and shadow and their effect on subjects’.

Here are a few images of ‘light and shadow’ that inspired me on our recent trip to Norfolk Island.

Till next time!

Written & Photographed by David Johnson

30 March 2022

Some Old Favourites

Although I have been concentrating on Sketching and Painting in the last 3-4 years, Photography remains very dear to my Heart and I look forward this year to upgrading my current equipment etc and going in a different direction, photographically, i.e. away from DSLR’s to Mirrorless, but the first point of call will be a higher end compact. Long-gone are the days when I would carry 2 x SLR/DSLR bodies, 4 lenses and more.

I was thinking about photography today and I thought I would revisit some of my earlier, pre-Digital images. All the images below were taken on photographic Slides, Fujichrome Sensia ISO 100 rated at 125. I hope you enjoy them.

Written by David Johnson

9 January 2022

Are You Aware?

I’ve mentioned a few times on this blog my love for walking and the reasons I enjoy it, namely:

  • Exercise leading to increased health
  • Idea generation
  • Relaxation
  • Listen to music, podcasts of Nature
  • Time out to think
  • Photographic opportunities

I’m located approximately 60km South West of Sydney, Australia and as I sit here today, we are entering week four of the latest lockdown, this time for the Delta strain of Covid-19.

Walking is a fairly regular activity for me and I generally see a few people out walking in normal times, however, as a friend posted recently on Facebook, ‘nothing spurs people more than a lockdown to take up exercise…’. As a result of the lockdown, there are many more people out exercising.

Whilst it is great to see more people out and about exercising, it’s a shame that it takes a lockdown to ‘spur them on’.

It probably goes without saying, but I carry my phone with me with to:

  • Measure the distance walked
  • Listening activities
  • Photography

Today, I will focus on the photographic opportunities.

As we all know the ubiquitous mobile phone has become an indispensable tool in modern life, sometimes too much so. People seem to be slaves to them. One of its most usable features for me is its camera.

I have an iPhone 8 Plus which is probably getting ‘long in the tooth’ now, technology-wise and we will probably update them in the coming twelve months. There are better camera phones out there for sure but this one is doing ok at present.

The camera I would really like to be taking on my walks is one I haven’t bought yet as I have had other priorities. More on that in a later blog.

For the time being I will make do with the phone camera.

Taking up photography in the early 1980’s increased my awareness of what is around me in terms of beauty and design. Taking up sketching, drawing and painting I believe has increased my awareness even more.

Below are a few examples of the things that attract my eye as I go walking. When I go walking, I seldom see other people taking photos on their walks. I wonder if they are aware of the the beauty and design that surrounds them?

Are you?

Till next time…

Written by David Johnson

19 July 2021

Things That Attract My Eye

As those of you would know who follow my Blog regularly, one of my interests (dating back to 1982 when I bought my first serious camera) is Photography.

Whilst I still enjoy photographing with a DSLR, many photos are taken also with my iPhone. Currently, I possess an 8Plus which is getting a bit dated now but is still handy to have when I don’t have my DSLR with me.

My aim within the next 12 months is to purchase a high-end compact from the Sony RX range for the type of photography below and I’m also looking to say goodbye to me DSLR and go Mirrorless, but that’s another story.

As we have our phones on us nearly all the time these days it is very easy and convenient to photograph interesting things we have come across on a daily basis.

In the past couple of weeks, I started a new album on my Facebook page called, ‘Things That Attract My Eye.’

Here are the first 9 images in the album.

The images were taken when visiting the local Hospital, in my backyard, on walks, waiting for a Take-away food order, visiting an Art Gallery and whilst doing a ‘driver changeover’ on a motorway. All would have been missed were it not for the trusty phone camera.

Over time, I will put up more images.

I hope you enjoy, ‘Things That Catch My Eye!’

Written and Photographed by David Johnson

28 June 2021

The Moment It Clicks!

There was a time when I would haunt the local bookshops where I worked and spend time sifting through all the Photographic books, building a wish list of books that I would love to have on my bookshelf one day.

I still have what I consider to be a treasured collection of Photographic books at home (about 60+), being Coffee Table, on practical and theory etc. Many of them date back to film days with a sprinkling of Digital. Most are on theory, aesthetics, ways of viewing/thought processes, movements and individual subjects.

These days, I’m most likely to not head straight to the Photography section whether I am in a shop that sells new or used books, but I head towards the Art section and Poetry first.

With the introduction of Digital it seems there were far more books being produced on the art of manipulation than there were before, most of them dealing with how to tackle Adobe Photoshop. There seemed less on Photographic aesthetic which I think was a shame. Book after book after book lined the shelves about Photoshop or similar. 

I was in a second-hand bookshop recently and after visiting the Art/Painting and Poetry sections, I wandered over to the Photography section and was delighted to find, ’The Moment It Clicks – Photography Secrets From One Of The World’s Top Shooters’ by Joe McNally.

’The Moment It Clicks’, what a perfect title for me. Even before the advent of Digital Photography, for me, Photography was about the ‘moment of taking the picture’ and indeed the lead-up to it. I used to take Slides and Black & White, doing my own developing and printing in my Darkroom. Whilst the Darkroom was fun and I enjoyed it, it didn’t override the moment of taking the photo for me.

I’ve often had discussions with my fellow photographer-fiends on this subject as they don’t quite understand my view on this. I shoot Digital as well and have a couple of books on manipulation, but that is all.

With Slides, there was no ‘after-process’ if you like, unless of cause you developed them yourselves (which few people I knew did). You just sent them away for processing.

But back to the book, purchased for AUD$3.00, a real steal.

This edition was published in 2008, it covers the following:

  • Shoot What You Love
  • Keep Your Eye In The Camera
  • The Logic of Light
  • There’s Always Something To Bounce Light Off
  • Lighting Tips/Camera Bag/Lighting Gear
  • The Bar Is Open (a collection of 25 further tips covering Attitude; Choices; Aesthetics; Courage and more).

It is packed tips, recommendations and touches on thought processes and it doesn’t even mention Adobe Photoshop in the Index, indeed it only mentions the phrase, ‘photo editors’ once, on page 164. Bliss!

It’s been quite a few years since I had purchased a Photographic book and I am more than delighted with my latest purchase as it is exactly what I look for in a Photographic book.

Written by David Johnson

28 February 2021

My Photographic Journey – Part 3a – Camera Clubs/Photographic Societies

Camera Clubs/Photographic Societies were such a huge and integral part of my journey in Photography and those experiences cannot be summed up in just one post as there were several facets that I would like to cover.

When I walked into a Camera Club for the very first time, I was an extremely shy 23 year old (I can hear Perc Carter laughing now…). I’ll never forget my early visits to Campbelltown Camera Club in 1986. I joined in June of that year.

Logo from a T-Shirt members proudly wore around advertising our Club.
I still have the T-Shirt, though I doubt it would fit me these days!

Apart from ‘not being comfortable in a roomful of strangers’, as the prints started to go up on the print stands, I felt both inspired and inadequate at the same time.

I had been shooting for about 3 1/2 years and was starting to feel a bit more happy with what and how I was shooting. I knew there was room for improvement though. There always is…much more improvement when I saw what was in front of me!

The images in front of me were awe-striking. I had no knowledge at that time of how long some of my fellow members had been involved in photography. I had arrived as a member just in time for the ‘Top Shot’ Competition. I had never even considered going into a competition with my photography. Photography was just for fun.

Charlie Cowell won the overall Top Shot that year with a Still-Life image that had a background where ‘light just disappeared’ into the background.

I had been trying to shoot various Still-Life scenes but my backgrounds were awful. I sat there wondering how he did it and commented so to another member. The member said, ‘why don’t you ask him?’

Summing up the courage, I did. ‘Black Velvet’, Charlie said & proceeded to tell me what to buy and where to buy etc. I still have that piece of Velvet 35 years later…

I started to enter the competitions about a month later. Club competition entries, if successful, were awarded a Merit or Credit by the visiting Judge who evaluated the images on display and suggested points for improvement.

Myself being presented with a Bronze Medallion for 25 Merits in Monochrome c1990’s by then President, Enid Duncan.. I went on to achieve 75+ Merits in Monochrome; and 205 Merits in Slides which was/is a Club record for that medium. Wish I still had the hair!

I learnt so much going along to Campbelltown Camera Club in many ways, the competitions being just one of them.

It certainly helped build up my ‘photographic confidence’ over time and also, being exposed to a new group of people helped start me on the road to ‘general self-confidence’ too.

Over the next few articles, as I continue write about my Photographic journey, I will explore other facets of my wonderful experience of being a member of a Camera Club/Photographic Society.

A few years back, Campbelltown Camera Club changed it’s name to Macarthur Photographic Society. To find out more about MPS and how being a member can improve your Photography, click on the following link. https://macarthurphotographicsociety.org.au/

Till next time.

Written by David Johnson

27 February 2021

Freedom Through Sketching and Painting

I love the freedom Sketching and Painting gives me.

One basically starts off with no image on canvas or paper. You might have an image in mind and then you set about creating it from your imagination or a memory, or indeed a combination of both.

If you are using a reference photo you already have a basic framework though, generally speaking and unless you are into Photo Realism, you will come up with an interpretation of the image at hand.

The Photographer has a scene before them. Certainly, (they can create an image in Photoshop from other images) but they don’t have to create shadows or the image when they are ‘live’ to a scene.’ Many scenes are already presented.

They choose the composition and begin shooting.

The Painter on the hand has to sketch/draw (mostly) the contents of the image, creating the effect of shadows, light, shape, texture and form with essentially 3 things, canvas, brush, pigment and a skilful hand.

Painting en Plein Air is the closest relation to Photography, I feel. Both the Painter and the Photographer have a scene in front of them and it is up to them what they distill from that scene, composition-wise to come up with an image.

The Photographer manipulates through camera, lens, lighting, angle, filter and later Photoshop or similar, using their imagination as well.

The Painter manipulates with their choice of canvas/paper, brush, pigment, line, angle, light and uses their imagination as well.

Back in the studio both can finish off their piece.

I’m not trying to say that Painting is better or is more creative than Photography though as each medium is irreplaceable. Painting cannot replace the immediacy of Photography. Photography can capture that ‘moment in time’ in less than a second, Painting cannot.

On a personal level, I have been photographing since the early 1980’s, although not as much these days. Sketching and Painting has certainly taken over, particularly in the last 2 years.

One of the things that I love about Sketching and Painting is the freedom it gives me and also the challenge of creating an image using basic tools. 

In an article a while ago I wrote called, ’There Are No 36 Megapixel Brushes’ I wrote about how someone can take a photo with something as simple these days as a phone camera and, due to the technology available, come with a technically decent image. Composition/imagination is another story, however.

As a Sketcher/Painter, we cannot go out and buy a Brush and Pigment that will give us a technically brilliant sketch or painting.

Yes, there are electronic Sketching and Painting apps but you still have to have the technical and artistic skill to create the image.

I still love Photography but it takes up a different place in my life these days. Equipment-wise, I’m heading towards Mirror-less cameras and a high-end compact that I can take anywhere.

I’m thoroughly enjoying my journey in Sketching and Painting and I can see myself continuing this journey for many years to come.

Written by David Johnson

11 October 2020