How My Eyes Opened to the World of Photography

Getting Into Photography

In this blog, I am going to go over how I got into photography. How I thought I wasn’t “good enough” for art. And how I overcame that idea and where I am now in the world of photography.

Sometimes I take cool photos
Sometimes I take cool photos


What is Art? 
The best part of art? She once told me, that you can’t be “bad” at art. For art is as good as the eye of the beholder believes it is. That really struck a chord with me,for I was the guy growing up that had a handful of artistic friends that could draw in perfect detail Edward Scissor hands or was a musically talented natural. I always, felt as if I wasn’t adequate enough. Because in comparison, I literally couldn’t draw a fucking stick figure. Plagued with self doubt, I never took art as anything other than another skill to have. And either you have the luck Juju or ya don’t. I couldn’t draw a stick figure and I tried to learn just about five different instruments in the process of attempting my musical skills. I quickly realized I was not great at either. I was actually quite terrible.

Until I met my current partner, Taylor.  I won’t get too into details about our love life or how we met or the places we explored on our first dates; cause thats all boring and no one wants to read about that.

The Backstory
Shortly after Taylor and I started dating she introduced me on Christmas morning to photography. Not the photography I was use to. Ya, I’ve shot before, but, not like Taylor had shown me. Not actually enjoying nature while simultaneously taking photos. Or as Taylor said back then and still does to this day, “creating art”. This idea completely shifted my mentality of photography. It wasn’t all about portraits, or landscapes, or astrophorography or street photography, film or digital. It was about enjoying your surroundings, capturing in your own aspect, life. We were wandering this park, and she asked me to take a photo of her as she posed on a bridge. I literally was laughing because all this was so different for me. What the shit am I doing taking photos I wondered, I’m no photographer.  I was intrigued, confused and, completely loving every moment. She tried this pose, tried that pose, I even started to ask her to pose differently. I was getting into this!

From there on. That moment, wherever we would go. She let me use her Nikon D40 as she had it as a backup to her Nikon D7100. I was hooked.

I realized that I couldn’t be bad for my art, was my art. And no one can take that away. Taylor always said to me and it has stuck, that there is no “bad” art.. I was in love with this Nikon D40 and well, with her. My only real creative outlets were playing video games, deciding on which build (awesome nerd talk for, equipment I would use) in the game, and some of my work at the time.

Leveling Up
From that moment in, I spent hours on Youtube. Scouring the web for more and more content that would teach me the basics. For me, I am a “doer”. So I had to do things to learn. You know you enjoy courses? I stumbled upon this course on udemy (use promo code BREAKTHRU to get it for $10 instead of $200 – ends February 28th 2017 – sorry if you missed it). So I did things. Non…stop. For I wanted to fully understand that Nikon D40. What the shit is a shutter? Aperture, whaaaat?! ISO was just a random number and focal lengths meant, oh, it close and clear and now, blurry and far away. I was a complete noob. But the fun part of being a noob is always in the beginning, “leveling up” is so much fun and a lot easier. The intro skills, yes took time, yes, I would watch Youtube on Sundays for literally hours while setting up test objects on the floor to figure out what hell I was doing. I was “leveling up” you could say and aperture, shutter speeds and focal lengths were my “bosses” I was trying to conquer. And as in anything, with persistence, I figured it out.

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After much time and a lot of experimentation. Taylor and I wondering around the streets of Philadelphia late night because she can’t sleep one night, or I can’t sleep another. Heading to the Fishtown roof to have night shoots as it snowed on us or, as we attempted to shoot the moon and fail time after time. It was an absolute disaster most of the time looking back, but we had a fuckin blast and that is what it is all about. We constantly failed forward pushing one another’s photographic boundries.

A great aspect of photography is that you can continuously learn. I feel even though I know so much more than when I started, I still want to learn so much more. Example.. Infrared Photography.  Ya google it or, click here, because you’re too lazy to google it. That form of photography is so dope in my opinion and I’ve been trying to learn it slowly.

My attempt at Infrared Photography. Want to learn more? Let me know in the comments!

 

Opening My Eyes
I quickly realized, photography opened my eyes, as if I never saw before. Every moment in life, was as if I never saw it before. I started to pay attention to detail in all the little things. Started to appreciate even more things. The flowers, rocks, snails, every minuscule object that you could see if you frame of reference. For I realized, life is but just a daily piece of art. I started to follow other artists and their styles. To see which ones I liked to shoot the most personally. Continuously leveling up. An overpass became a hot spot for Taylor and I. Smoke bombs became a hot commodity and tripods our new best friend. A random street corner was now the spot of our improv photo shoot. We continuously taught one another. For we both realized we had so much to learn. And we still were developing our own styles. To this day, I still am exploring my “exact style”.

Everything in life, becomes a potential spot to shoot. Or how you can potentially create in that space. What is crossing through your mind and how can we bring it to life through a photograph.

Taylor had this great idea before I left for Thailand about a shoot in a wedding dress as she wondered into the forest alone. It portrayed one thing to her, and another to me. But the idea is, we went on a search for a wedding dress, got one from a thrift store for $26 and carried it down the streets of Fishtown for us to head into the woods to make this vision possible. Not only did we get some funny looks while carrying it, but while shooting we were told congratulations about a dozen times.

Side note; these are moments that wouldn’t occur normally unless photography was involved. And believe me, I have dozens of stories about moments where it if we weren’t shooting, it just wouldn’t make sense & even then, it still doesn’t make sense.

It is a beautiful thing to execute something that you imagined and have it come to a reality. Photography is my medium for doing such a thing. I now see life completely, and utterly, differently than when I first started shooting just a short two years ago with Taylor that Christmas day in the woods.

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Since then
I have brought my love for photography everywhere I have gone. Which makes me enjoy it even more. Last year, while packpacking through Europe, I was really able to capture moments that spoke to me. Created what I visually found stimulating and enjoyable. Took trips alone instead of partying to see certain aspects of the cities I stayed in for they sounded interesting, but; also looked like a potentially great opportunity for a photography. Over the past few months while in Thailand, I have brought my camera to every spot I could. Seeking the beauty I might not of been able to see before I opened my eyes.
So, to wrap it up. I hope I explained how photography has opened my] eyes and has changed my mentality of who “can” and “can’t” be an artist. For we are all our own artists. And if you believe that, then that is the greatest gift I have gotten from photography. From what Taylor has shown me. I now have decided to pursue other creative outlets I never thought I was, “creative enough” to do such as, writing and reading my own poetry and playing the ukelele! It has given me the confidence to step outside of what I thought I was and to be and see the reality that is the now and present. I mean to this day I can honestly say, I sketch, draw and paint, like a 5 year old. And I don’t fuckin care. It is art to me.

The fun to be had with Photography. Like this style? Let me know in the comments!

Robert

P.S.

If you want some video footage – take a look at my Youtube Channel

If you want to really show some love, take a look at my Instagram

 

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  • I really want to skate FDR. (The last pic of this post) Definitely going to make a mission to get to that place this summer. Looks insane.

    • Robert B

      Let me know if you plan a trip to the East coast sometime! About 30 minutes from there when I’m at my hometown area.

      • I’m going to be out that way in late July or early August. I’ll let you know before hand. You could shoot some pics of me skating that big ass ramp! That would be sick.

        • admin

          Talked me into my friend! Looking forward to it! Possibly see you and J in Canggu! So many bowls, so many bowls!