Spending quality time talking photography

Making Pictures with John Enman

No matter  how important the topic when we begin talking with other photographers over coffee, or other refreshment, I find that at some point the conversation always turns to personal photographic preferences like camera equipment, or subjects photographed, and more often than not, each other’s latest photographic experiences.

When my friend Sam and I get together for a morning coffee at a shop a few doors from my store, no matter how the conversation begins, I always anticipate he will navigate the subject to Nikon cameras or lenses at some point. It is not a complaint, as he is enjoyable and his constant curiosity, evaluations, and testing of everything Nikon helps me keep current on the latest cameras and lenses.

On the other hand, another friend, Walter, regularly stops by to show me his latest photographs. He will go from lens to lens, and from camera to camera, and will spend weeks making photographs only from his most recent acquisition. For example, when he purchased a 120-400mm Sigma for his Pentax there was a couple of engaging months for me looking at a weekly supply of 8×10 prints he had taken using that lens.

And then there is Rick, for whom equipment and the subject are just part of the process for him. Whenever we talk the discussion will always turn to how he posed his subject, how excited he was about some unique location he used, and lots of talk about how he lit his subjects. We look at examples on his cell phone, or view his gallery on-line, and I will listen to descriptions of how he creatively produced his latest images.

These friends and I are really involved in this exciting medium and getting together to talk about photography just adds to that excitement. I know what they like, and they know what I like, and with this in mind I thought I’d share some of what makes photography enjoyable for me.

I like to photograph just about anything that I can get a story from, or that seems challenging. I am interested in creative moments, and times when I have to problem solve for an image, however, as with most photographers, I am also interested in what currently occupies me.  When I rode a motorcycle I photographed motorcycles. My wife and I had horses for years, so I photographed horses, and we raised and showed dogs for years, and of course during that time I photographed our dogs.  I’ll admit to having lots of image files of my chickens that wander around our yard, and well, last year’s Christmas cards even had chickens in Santa hats.

When I am doing landscape photography I am really drawn to photographing moving water.  When I come across an old homestead, I search to find old vehicles and the story they have to tell.  And like many men, I enjoy looking at fine-looking vehicles (cars, trucks, motorcycles), and I like photographing the sleek and shiny elements.

For years I have earned my living by photographing people, and I do all types of portraiture, weddings, families, conventions and sporting events. But when I go on vacation it is buildings and architecture that captures my attention. Yes, I like standing on a hill, camera resting on a tripod for an inspiring landscape scenic, but give me a city to meander through and you’ll lose me as I photograph architectural feature after architectural feature. Inside or outside, I just enjoy buildings.

I am not one to be easily persuaded by manufacturers to change my camera each time they present a new model camera. Nevertheless, I like trying out lenses, and am of the belief that the better the lens the better the image, no matter what camera is attached. I don’t have to own every lens that will mount on my camera, but the few I do decide to keep are those that fit a particular job and duplicating focal lengths has never been my concern. What I want in a lens is for it to focus and lock on to a subject quickly.

For photographers, spending quality time with other photographers, whether taking pictures, looking at each other’s work, or talking about equipment and experiences is fun and certainly helps us stay inspired, and having a social experience with like-minded friends, undoubtedly helps us grow. That might be monthly camera club meetings, or friends on the Internet, or like me, just hanging out with friends that do lots of photography.

These are my thoughts this week.

Contact me at  www.enmanscamera.com or email: emcam@telus.net” emcam@telus.net. Stop by Enman’s Camera at 423 Tranquille Road in Kamloops. And if you want an experienced professional wedding or event photographer please call me. I also sell an interesting selection of used photographic equipment.