Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Evelyn Adams on Photography











My friend, Evelyn Adams, is a professional photographer. Her photos are striking and alive... and seem to get inside the moment. I asked Evelyn to share with us some of her perspectives on the art of photography.

Sarah:

Evelyn, your photography is beautiful. How long have you been at it?

Evelyn:

About ten years off and on. The arrival of my two sons sometimes "changed" my schedule!

Sarah:

Your professional exposure to photography was first in front of the camera as a model. it. Does this make you a better photographer? If so, how?

Evelyn:

It was a great learning period. But I found myself more interested in the creative process, so I learned a lot by watching and asking questions. I also learned that the photographer could ruin the entire photo session by being impatient, inflexible, or insensitive to the subject's mood on a given day.

Sarah:

That's interesting. I never realized that a photographer's demeanor had such a big impact.

Evelyn:

Yes, it really can influence what you ultimately see in the picture.

Sarah:

I know that children and dogs are your passion. You've picked two very cute but not entirely cooperative subjects! Any tips for non-professionals when taking pictures of our own children and pets?

Evelyn:

The tips apply to both: be very patient, understand your subjects, be ready to reschedule, get up close, pick a time that they are rested and not hungry, and have several changes of clothes. I think the most important thing is to just have fun... that's when the magic happens!

Sarah:

I remember taking a photography course in college with a very complicated Pentax camera. All the settings were manual. Now, of course, everything's digital and automatic. My own photography is a lot better now because the camera "figures out" a lot of the technical stuff for me. But how, from a professional standpoint, do you feel about this evolution? Have we lost or gained something?

Evelyn:

My first camera was an all manual Pentax which I borrowed from my art school. It was great to learn in the manual mode and I loved the darkroom. I actually bought my first digital five years ago and it took me a while to switch to digital only. I think technology is a great gift from God (I am a bit of a geek) and, like everything, there are pros and cons.

I do agree that the new digital cameras do the thinking for you and it makes the photo session flow a lot faster. There's no more cost in film, processing the film, and getting the proofs. If you do take pictures of fast moving things, you really appreciate the ease of the digital world.

On the down side, you are the lab now, so you have to count the picture processing time and not fall into the "I can fix that in Photoshop" trap because you will have to live in front of the computer. For me, I love digital and it was an answer to prayers. I don't have a lot of time because I have two kids and I was looking for a more affordable way to do photography. Changing to digital was a learning curve, but not too bad because my background is in graphic design. I think digital is almost like learning to drive an automatic car after driving a stick shift. It is such a smooth ride... but it's always fun to go back to the stick shift!

Coming Tomorrow: Part II of my interview with Evelyn and some tips for the non-professional!



Check out Evelyn's beautiful photography here: http://www.evelynphotography.com/

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