Adam Stevens Photography

January 11, 2009

Personal direction…

Filed under: Personal, Rant's & Raves — photobby @ 12:52 am

I got one of those cool Christmas gifts that I asked for not really knowing what I was getting.  National Geographic is kind of the crown jewel of assignment photography.  There is a long time shooter for them Joe McNally, who recently wrote a book called “the Moment it Clicks”.  It has had rave reviews, mostly by people who should probably say that it rocked, even if it kind of bombed.  I have seen some of Joe’s stuff, on his blog, and in Nat Geo so I asked for it, and my loving parents, ever willing to help me peer down the “road less traveled by” got it for me.  I couldn’t have loved it more.

It’s not so much another f-stop and gear-head book as a “this is what I have done, this is what I have seen, this is what it has cost, and this is what I think about that” book.  Some of his stuff is amazing, the photos are cool too.  He really has lead an incredible life and doesn’t seem to have let it get to his head (very much a “lucky > good” person).  Some of the most choice items for me were the more personal stuff.  The rabbit head (it’s not gross, it’s s fuzzy thing one of his daughters gave him), and some of the other stories about his kids and what he has missed shooting for a living really hit me.  He really understands what he missed.

The book really made me look at what I am shooting differently.  He stressed several times to shoot what you love.  Find inspiration in what surrounds you.  Coming from a guy who seems to have done it all (photographically) the impression that he wishes he could have been just as happy shooting his kids birthday’s really came through to me.  Not that I was really thinking of quitting the day job and roaming the world with my Nikon and a extra pair of socks, but the romance of it seemed, well romantically enticing.

I have had so much fun shooting what’s in front of me thanks to Joe.  All the fun, boring, normal stuff of my beautiful daughter and wife  And no, you are not going to see thousands of “family picnic” photos of the same people.  I’ve been shooting the weather, we have lots of it here.  Our farm, that kind of thing.

Then God dropped a cool opportunity on me.  Some of you might have seen the photos of some show damage to a barn on my Face Book page.  I was also able to visit the horse at the vet’s (natural disasters seem to be following this poor guy everywhere) as the Pilchuch river threatened to bust through it’s levy.  I am hoping to get some more photos once he gets back home (the roof is all fixed up now) and then put together a photo-time line that I can post here.

I have been working on some personal stuff too.  I have a gazillion photos of our daughter (To honor my wife’s requests I have really limited the photos of our daughter here).  I am working on a book chronicling my daughters life up till she became a big sister.  Mostly photos, with some small descriptions.  I am also shooting for our house.  We live in Eden, it’s so beautiful, and my wife pointed out that we hardly have any of my photos here (that aren’t of our daughter).  I am very excited about all these things.

I am still looking for opportunities to shoot other people.  It’s fun to get to know people as I spend time with them.  And it hones my skills so I can shoot whats around me on a daily basis better too.  But thanks to my day job (which I love) I don’t have to kill myself or leave for days at a time to shoot something that doesn’t mean anything to me.

So on a non-personal note, perhaps that’s the take away for folks who have contracted me for an event.  If it didn’t mean something to me, I would not do it.  If it’s there it’s because I want to be there.

-Adam

Here are some links to some of the stuff I yammerd on about above… (if the link is dead you should be able to cut and paste the text)

Joe’s Blog.

http://www.joemcnally.com/blog/

“The Moment It Clicks”

http://www.amazon.com/Moment-Clicks-Photography-secrets-shooters/dp/0321544080/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1231663440&sr=8-1

A must see You Tube bit on Joe shooting the light bulb on top of the Empire State Building (his girls names are written up on the tower..)

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December 3, 2008

Looking for lightning..

Filed under: Nature & Landscape, Rant's & Raves — photobby @ 11:57 pm

Does that make sense?  It will.  The shot below was taken at the Center For Wooden Boats last fall.  I took my lunch there (worst part of the day for shooting) and was lucky enough to actually find some people working on some of the boats.  Really cool stuff.  My wife’s grandfather was a boat builder.  Incredible guy, WWII vet, boat builder and a photographer!  I like this shot in part because of the reflection.  It’s a little busy but I only had about 15 minutes before I had to head out to an appointment.  The CWB is also where I grabbed a shot of some boats floating on the water in High School.  My photography teacher urged me to enter the photo in the Washington State High School Photo Competition.  I did and much to my surprise, won “best in show”.  So here I was wondering if lightening would strike twice.  I don’t think so, a bit cloudy maybe but no massive flash…  So here you go!

:28-70 @ 55mm f4.8 1/90 iso 200:

Adam

November 21, 2008

Annie Leibovitz Interview…

Filed under: Rant's & Raves — photobby @ 7:14 am

I heard an interview with Annie Leibovitz on the way to work today.  She has a new book coming out (today in fact!) and is promoting it.

Amazon link

Amazon link

Annie is probably best know as a celeb photographer, with a portfolio to die for.  Recently she was in the news for the photo of Mile Cyrus, but has also shot Demi Moore, The Queen of England, and many many others.  I would love to read through her “little” book (240 pages).  But her interview I think probably summed up what many photographers I need to keep in mind when I am shooting, thinking about shooting, or talking with people about my shooting.

In a nutshell she said that the three things

1- Learn to see (or how to show other people through photography what you see, she also said that gear doesn’t matter)

2- Work hard (or it’s hard work.  I don’t exactly recall.  I think I drop the ball here when it comes to prints.  With digital media being the most distributed medium, I tend to forget that lots of people still like to have prints to look at.)

3- Shoot what is important to you, or shoot what you like.  (This is key for me.  I have not quit my day job, and probably won’t.  I am lucky that way.  I can shoot how I want and when I want.  I like to think that I am not pushed in a specific creative direction because I don’t have to shoot what sells.  There are some great photogs out there who do both, what they like and what pays Chase Jarvis is one.  I can’t find the vid now but he did an interview where he showed what he shoots that pays and what he shoots that he likes.  Both different and very impressive.)

Food for though.  Simple, but I think people make stuff so much more complecated than things need to be.

-Adam

November 16, 2008

Water Water everywhere, and I wouldn’t drink a drop!

Filed under: Rant's & Raves — photobby @ 6:22 pm

Bonus points for anyone who can guess the very lame attempt at a quote from a famous poem.  Bonus bonus if you know the author.

It’s been a bit wet lately.  Nothing like an extra 45min each way for the commute.  Here we go again!  Can’t wait till it starts sticking in the mountains.  At least then it stays dry till spring!

No, I don’t have his ground clearance.  But once I was started, it’s not like I was about to stop!  Here’s a view in the rear view mirror of the folks following the fool driving my truck.

I didn’t stick around to see if the car floated.  I did drive by a few days later and there was no sign of any cars in the bushes.  Still no idea why the cop didn’t stop folks….

-Adam

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