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Mfrank, Brian, Harsha and Munzir thank you all!
I really owe a HUGE thanks to my bro Dave Gagne [zziippyyy]. I am relatively new to photography. A little over 2 years now I have had a real camera. Dave and I are practically neighbors.
This bit is for those of you who are just getting started or looking for inspiration in your photography. This approach and these people helped me in ways I can't really begin to explain. But I will try.
Dave Gagne is the one who nudged me away from point and shoot to DSLR. Not only that but then took me under his tutelage and was my biggest critic for a couple years. It was his persistent help, teaching, criticism and encouragement that sent me in the right direction. I remember sitting at the Luther Little Tavern one night and asking Dave how to hell do you get a great bird shot? He said take a look at these guys images on Fred Miranda.
I was intrigued by the work of FM members like Conrad Tan, Herb Houghton, Karl Witt and Tim Kuhn as well as flickr members like Daniel Behm and John Williams.
They understood the process:
Waiting for the right shot. Paying attention to all four corners of the frame. Understanding that the background is as equally important as the subject. The light and shadow and all the rest of the stuff most of you guys know already.
So many things that make a good image and these guys really knew their stuff.
Once I understood my camera, lens capabilities and limits I applied my artist mind into the post processing. Being an audio engineer, writing music and recording in multitrack formats gave me an understanding of how I would approach PP. I look at post processing like mixing a song. Adding and taking away until the mix sounds good or in this case looks good to my eye. It was not easy but neither was mixing a song. Sometimes you nailed it and other times eh.
Sorry to bore you pros but the guys who are seeing or reading this stuff for some pointers or help might find some inspiration by looking at the works of the guys I mentioned above as well as the many others I forgot to list. Don't be afraid to ask them as I have done numerous times with Dave.
Special thanks to you all.