Create Courageously: Why Photography Is For Everyone

Before I get started, I want to make it clear that I’m not referring to photography-as-a-business here. I know that certain jobs require certain tools (Need a giant print? Need a hi-res file!) and photographers working in certain fields actually do operate under strict guidelines (Hello there, photojournalists!).

What I’m talking about here is art. Pure and simple, beautiful, experimental, joyous, throwing bits of your soul out into the world in the form of pictures, art.

create courageously why photography is for everyone BLOG

You talkin’ to me?

If you’re a pro photographer who carries a mobile phone around in your pocket but have never taken a photo with it, I’m talking to you. If you’re putting off getting into photography until you can afford a dSLR, I’m talking to you. If you think you need to use this type of camera or that kind of lighting to be a photographer, I’m definitely talking to you.

Moi? A Photographer?

A photographer doesn’t have to make money from what they create and they don’t have to have been published or won awards. A photographer is someone who takes photographs. And there’s no reason in the world why that can’t be you.

The best tools are the ones you have

There are so many tools out there for taking photographs. Don’t wait until you can afford the best of the best. Work with what you can pay for now. Work with what you already have. This might be a top of the range dSLR or it might be a mobile phone or a biscuit tin with film taped to the inside.

What about processing and editing?

There are plenty of tools available for processing and editing photographs. If you have access to Photoshop or Lightroom, great! If you don’t but you’d like to process your photos digitally, there are free alternatives like GIMP. If you’re working completely on a mobile device, get your hands on an awesome free photography app like Snapseed or VSCO.

Get educated

But what you if you have absolutely no idea what you’re doing? If you’re pointing your camera at things, pressing buttons and hoping for the best, it’s time to get stuck into some tutorials. Luckily you’re in the perfect place to do that. The internet is packed with loads of free photography tutorials that you can learn from. The basics of artistic photography are the same no matter what camera you’re using and once you’ve learned and practised all those rules, you get to have fun breaking them!

Now go!

So what are you waiting for? Grab your dSLR, compact digi, mobile phone, vintage twin lens reflex camera or biscuit tin and film and create courageously. Photography is for everyone – and that includes you.

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Idle Idol

Idle Idol

He who must be worshipped, AKA Pablo, having a snooze in the sun. In my next life, I am totally coming back as a cat.

This photo was taken with a Sony Alpha a550 dSLR and processed with Adobe Photoshop CC 2015.

Prints of this photo are available here.

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New Horizons

Things have been a bit quiet around here lately because I’ve been busy moving house. My husband and I had been looking for a new place for a while and it was difficult because accessibility is a major issue for me so we had much more to consider than simply price and location. The flat we’ve just moved into was a bit of a surprise and we went from looking to signing to moving in the space of about two weeks.

As well as packing and moving all our stuff, we had to get flooring and appliances ordered and delivered, plan decor and get all the relevant supplies for that, as well as making arrangements for transporting two cats and an axolotl. As this is a really busy time for both my work and volunteering, taking proper time off to do anything was pretty much impossible so everything feels very up in the air and a bit crazy. Unpacking has barely even begun.

Needless to say, photography has not been high on my list of things to do but I did manage to capture this gorgeous sunset while on the move. For once I was a passenger in a car instead of the driver when I noticed the view in the wing mirror. I grabbed my phone, opened my camera app and snapped the picture all in a matter of seconds. It’s full of motion and excitement and beautiful imperfection and hope, which pretty much sums up how I feel right now.

The photo was taken on a Sony Xperia Z2 and processed with Snapseed.

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Because She Blooms

The rose is without an explanation; She blooms because she blooms.
– Angelus Silesius

Last week, my husband arrived home from work with a lovely surprise for me – a big bunch of red roses! I’m not massively into flowers as a thing (the smell of flower shops freaks me out, which is apparently weird) but I do love red roses. There’s something about the richness of the colour, the velvet-soft petals, the way my cats don’t seem to want to eat them (my cats eat everything) that makes red roses all-round perfect flowers in my eyes. Even as they start to wilt and fade, they turn from scarlet to burgundy to black. My inner teenage goth still influences a lot of my taste.

I wanted to photograph the roses in a way that showed off their colour and softness so macro photography focusing on one part of one flower seemed like the obvious choice to capture those details. To add a bit more light to the picture, I freehand painted silver glitter onto the edges of some of the petals and took the photo under bright natural light from a window.

The colours are what they are. I haven’t enhanced them at all because although I often process my photos in a way that plays on the vibrancy of colours, I wanted this rose to look exactly how it actually looks (apart from the minor loss of image quality that has occurred in uploading the photo to WordPress, but such is the nature of the internet). I shot the photo with my Polaroid macro lens attachment on my Sony Alpha a550 dSLR, my favourite combination of tools.

I hope you’re having a wonderful week filled with beautiful things <3

Prints of the image above are available here.


See more July beauty in Jesh St Germain’s Seasons linky.

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Ello’s New Android App Is Lovely!

Ello is my favourite hidden gem on the internet. It’s a social network (without advertising!) for creative people, or at least that’s the idea. It has a beautiful, clean interface that’s perfect for showing off visual art and I love sharing my photography there. Because it’s still quite new and doesn’t have a bazillion users yet, it feels like a tight-knit little community and I love it. Sure, it doesn’t have Facebook or Twitter’s frenetic rate of new content posting but what is there feels really well thought-out and worth looking at. Maybe Ello will one day become a place filled with random chatter, but it isn’t that yet and I hope it manages to stay how it is even as its user base grows.

I’ve been waiting for Ello to bring out their Android app for a while so I was super excited when I opened my email today and found that it was now ready to download and use. Obviously I headed straight to the Play Store and got it immediately. I haven’t spent much time playing with it (yet) but I really like how the site’s minimal look and intuitive function translates to a mobile app. Everything makes sense, instantly, and it looks gorgeous (that’s my profile screengrabbed on my Sony Xperia Z2 up there). I expect nothing less from Ello but it’s always good when something lives up to your expectations!

If you’re on Ello, come and find me at @rockstarvanity. If you’re not there yet, what are you waiting for? Sign up and share your creative wonders with a new audience!

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