Something New / by David Veldman

The first thing I ever thought to shoot as a photographer was landscapes. 

They seemed ideal to me. I value solitude, and they provided that in abundance. I absolutely love nature, and they gave me an excuse to spend hours wandering through forests and fields. I took to landscape photography immediately, and over time I like to think I became mildly proficient at spotting and capturing beautiful scenes. 

The only downside I found, was that Landscapes require considerable time commitment and patience. You cannot merely find a beautiful location. You must find the location, and if necessary, return when the light is ideal. 

Unfortunately I do not always have time. In many cases I found myself to shoot in sub-optimal light. Even worse I found myself traveling further and further afield in search of new sights. Today I often travel up to 4 hours on a Saturday just to scout a new location. This also results in a rather high gas costs. 

As I considered these issues, I realized that I would need to find another source of material to shoot. I needed a way to practice my skills geographically closer. And that was when I began to consider finally moving into photographing people.

I don't live in a large city - it's only 24,000 people. Even so that provides me with literally thousands of opportunities. After some thought I decided to refocus my efforts. I sold my Canon DSLR and purchased an X-t10 with the express intent of photographing human subjects. 

Despite that move, it took me some time to work up the nerve to begin looking for subjects. I'm not known to be shy, but over the years I had let myself slide away from human interaction, and as a result had become a bit anti-social.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My first shoot was with a young family in the next town. It was a challenging experience, mostly due to the setting sun being blocked by trees and buildings. However I managed to capture a few shots I enjoyed, and the family were more than happy with what I produced. I felt far more confident after the experience, buoyed not only by my results, but also because the family seemed to really enjoy working with me. It turned out that despite my anti-social experiences I was still capable of connecting with others - and that's the most important part.

Next I got to shoot a local artist that wanted some images for her portfolio. Once again we had a great time working together, and I was pleased with my results. Looking back now, I see mistakes that I could have corrected, but of course I'll always have more to learn. 

 

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I was fortunate enough to have fantastic light during the shoot. The sun was peeking occasionally through the clouds, providing a warm, even illumination. 

 

I'm confident that in the near future I'll get many more chances to practice my portraits. I'm highly excited, and hope that I continue to improve my skills.