The Importance of Making Your Mark.

By now you have surfed, navigated and clicked your way through our new blog in search of learning something new, gaining a moment of inspiration, connecting with your peers or perhaps you are just plain curious.  Thanks for checking us out!

Our blog chief, Page, asked me to write to you all every week. If it’s o.k. with you, I am going to write to you as if you were sitting here with me in my office. That way, when you do finally make it to Missoula, you will definitely swing by my office, show me some of your new photographs and just say hi.

Having taught photography for several years, I am filled with a constant desire to share with students what I learn as I research new technologies in our field. I also find inspiration by working with others to help them find their creative voice. So I will be exposing you to lots of resources to help you explore photography. And having been a teacher, I may even give you an assignment or two. For today, I am going to just leave with words of encouragement to get you off this computer and out into the field to do what you love…making photographs.

So photograph yourself, your brother, your backyard flowers, your vacation, your breakfast. Find the exotic in the ordinary and share your discoveries with us. And when you find yourself able to travel to an exotic location, immerse yourself in the culture. Your perspective is what will make the images that you create fresh and authentic.  Consider what attracts you and turn that attraction into a visual story so that we can experience your ideas vicariously.

Any camera will do. Large format, DSLR, point and shoot, cell phone, Polaroid, ink pen spy cameras will even do the job.

And think about this. Do you want to grow? Well then educate yourself. Take charge of designing your own curriculum. Practice by photographing, follow technical blogs, take pictures, spend an afternoon at your local library looking at photography books, photograph, check out local photography exhibits, photograph, take a workshop, photograph, watch online tutorials, photograph, join a camera club, photograph, read books in areas that interest you, photograph, apply to a professional photography program, photograph, intern with a photographer, photograph, volunteer your services for a non profit, photograph, photograph, photograph.

I believe in the power of working as a community and so I reach out to you and say,  “Join the ride and chime in! Let’s celebrate making images in the 21st Century. It’s going to be a vibrant and exhilarating ride and there is plenty of room for all of us to Make our Mark!”

And celebrate the fact that you have found something that truly sparks your spirit. Go on out into the world and make some photographs.

I’ll be looking forward to seeing what you see.

3 thoughts on “The Importance of Making Your Mark.

Al Greene

So here is my comment. I will be coming to Missoula in September to take the introductory class. A colleague of mine just returned from a photo workshop in Toronto. We were discussing the use of Photoshop and the computer to enhance photos. I’d like to think of myself as a photographer rather than a computer technician or graphic artist. I just wonder if this is a big debate among photographers or a non-issue.

Avatar of Marcy James

marcy james

Al, it’s a great debate, but the good news is that the software is becoming more intuitive every year so your time in front of a computer should ease up. Our philosophy at RMSP is to do your best to get it ‘right’ in the camera first. This is echoed by almost every professsional that I have encountered. So it’s a good thing that you are coming to study with us in the fall. If you are taking Basic or Intermediate, then you will learn how exciting it actually can be to master exposure. With that said, learning how to use the software in an efficient and creative way, offers opportunities to us, as photographers, to do things that were never possible before. We just have more tools to choose from and it’s always up to each individual to see which tools are most important to them. Thanks for your comment and curiousity….

Kate Cooper

Al, having done SI at RMSP last year I had the same thoughts originally as you. But I’ve learned a bad shot is always going to be a bad shot, all photoshop allows you to do is spend a further wasted amount of hours trying to improve it.

On the other hand a great shot, can be made to really sing in photoshop…

… and you need good photography skills to get the great shot in the first place.

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