Thursday, May 6, 2010

More Photos by Demand

Because so many asked, I present more of my photographic portfolio!
by Charlie Leck

More than a dozen emails came in from regular readers and friends who occasionally visit my blog, asking me to post more of my portfolio of photographs. So, I shall -- with the promise that this shall be the final time I do this. I am trying to develop a web site that will allow me to post my entire portfolio and to offer them as public domain photographs that others may use for purposes not too commercial. I'll let readers know if I ever get that web site up and running.

One friend responded to the gallery by asking: "Don't you find that focusing on something makes you a better observer?" I hadn't thought about that. Would it sound like boasting if I said yes? It probably does, but I think it is a point well made.

Another friend asked what my photographic specialty is. "My," I thought, "I don't know. I haven't the slightest idea."

I love to photograph people, but only if I can get really candid shots when they have no suspicion they are being photographed, like "Cut Rock Road." Among the photographs presented here, my favorites are "Long Love" and "Professor Knecht" and "Bud Chapman" and "Happy Face in the Crowd."

I take enormous pleasure in getting a shot like "Lower Sioux Agency."

I take my photographs digitally these days (though a few in my portfolio are old, film shots). For those of you who understand, I shoot each digital photograph in two formats -- both JPEG and Camera Raw (or DNG). Most often I end up adjusting the Camera Raw shots and using those as my finished product. It is a thrill to open a photograph like "Lower Sioux Agency" and feel such satisfaction in the way that it was captured.

There are enormous numbers of resources on-line that teach digital photography. I've learned so much in the last five years and I work a little at learning more each and every day. One of my all-time favorite photography books is Within the Frame by David duChemin, about which I have written here before. One of duChemin's insightful comments in the book is: "Great photography happens where craft and vision meet." Such a book can be helpful when we want to move beyond the "Program" or "Auto" mode on our camera and experiment with shutter speeds and exposure settings.

Photography doesn't consume me. I have too many other hobbies to which I devote myself, but I like to dabble and improve with each photographic shoot I do. I could never stand the pressure of doing a professional shoot as my friend and reader, Sam Stern, does. I've made too many mistakes during one of my very amateur and personal shoots and wouldn't want to disappoint anyone by making serious mistakes at their wedding or special event.

I won't babble on further; rather, I'll let your eyes be the judge of the worth of these presentations.

Thanks so much for your very generous responses to my photographs and thanks for asking to see more.


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