Learning Photography and doing it self taught leads to all kinds of self doubt. I have decided to go ahead with the choice that I know I’ll look at in 2 years and say, “What was I thinking? I had no idea what I was doing." However; if I don’t start now it will soon seem overwhelming and I’ll never do it. So I’m doing something for me 10 years from now. Because I think that guy will say, “I’m sure glad I did that". — Kevin Wenning
This website is about my personal photography projects, learning and creative pursuits. I have done product and studio photography for several years already before setting off to learn about photographing real people and situations in an unstaged environment. Photographing in the real world bears similarities only in the mechanics of light and working the camera. Everything else is new and different. To that end; I have invested money and time to teach myself to take "good photographs" intentionally. The time has come to start tracking progress and see if I'm actually improving. Since the beginning of this year, I have increased the frequency of sharing photos on Instagram. I enjoy using Instagram because it’s immediate; and to be honest, I like some of the photos I edit on my phone better than what I get out of Lightroom. The end result though is a small image and I like to see them as large as possible. This image of a sheepherder in the mountains of Ecuador was edited on an iPhone 6. I liked the vintage postcard feeling so I posted it to Instagram. The resulting image was saved very small and I really can't do anything else with it besides share it on social media.
When learning photography there is a big difference between casual social posting and a professional presence. I don't want to post to professional photo sharing sites through my iPhone. The images often get compressed and fuzzy on small screens and social networks, and that’s just not making me happy. Plus, who knows which social networks and photo sharing sites will even be around in ten years. I'll control my own, thank you.
Onward and upward. I started using SmugMug, Google+, and 500px. SmugMug is a great online gallery for displaying the full size images. Google+ and 500px are full of amazing photographers to get inspired by, and I visit Ello to see art that challenges my perspective … I digress.
Why keep a travel photography log?
- To show a body of work. To show persistence and improvement in a craft. To show that I’m still creating and working.
- To answer friends questions like, "Where have you been? What was it like? Where are you going next?"
- Perhaps most importantly is to own the place where I primarily publish photos. Who knows which websites and social platforms will still exist in five or ten years. Having an identity online where people can find your work is always a good idea if you take what you do seriously.
The goal is to log my travels for the sake of my own memory and see if my photography and editing skills improve. A secondary goal is to determine what my style is. So far I'm a travel, culture, landscape photographer. I'm still not entirely sure what I really like to photograph. We'll see where that goes. I'm fairly certain that learning photography is not a short journey but one that will develop throughout the rest of my life.
So why come up with a clever website name instead of using my own name for the url like just about any other photographer would do? Intentionally Lost is not a website to sell me or my services to clients. This website should be a resource to share the ups and downs and lessons learned for other self taught photographers. Intentionally Lost is a mindset. Stretching into new creative territory often means being uncomfortable and not knowing what step to take next. Moving through unknown territory to get to somewhere new can be a good thing which is why I like to get lost...intentionally.
I cannot guarantee that my images will adhere to common photographic practices and rules because sometimes breaking them looks better to me. Reasonable minds may differ. Differ away.