Aaaaah Venice, the magical “City of Romance” that has captivated artists and poets for centuries. Timelessly alluring, there’s no other place quite like it anywhere else across Europe. The city’s canals speak directly to the soul revealing countless tales of intrigue, but only if we pause and take the time to listen to the call. For this shot, the forces happened to align…and Venice’s whispering call was heard.
For weeks, I searched the maze-like streets in this “Queen” of cities, looking for a color, a shadow, a lonesome beam of light. I searched for weeks, to no avail.
Then one day, only when returned to this spot much later, I discovered the poetic scene above, a tableau I immediately recognized as pure, sublime magic. Ever so quietly so as not to disturb the morning’s peace, I set up my equipment. Holding my breath, I pressed the shutter, and subsequently captured a moment as eternal as the city herself.
William Carr Gallery
No, the guy above isn’t an extra from the musical HAIR – it’s yours truly, back when I believed that true vision could change the world.
I still do.
As a regular feature on this blog, I’ve decided to present some of my earlier works of when I was starting out as a photographer. Thought it might prove to be an interesting visual timeline of my evolving techniques and style.
For the first image in this series, I’ll shine a light on The Portal, an image created, literally, very early on in my career.
The Portal belongs to the kind of image that I like to call ‘table top photography’. Early on, I would use everyday household items to create images that would help to learn key photographic principles such as lighting, depth of field, composition, etc. – and The Portal is a perfect example.
For this shot, I used a piece of white dryer vent hose, about 4 inches in diameter. Suspending it using wire coat hangers, I directed a red light bulb and a blue light bulb on the outside of the hose. In the background, I created a space field with a black art board with tiny pin holes for stars and pencil-colored velum paper for the planets.
I then took the shot in two exposures; the first was with the tube with the colored lights, the second was with the colored lights turned off but with a white light directed toward the camera thereby illuminating the tiny pin holes which simulated the stars and planets. The camera lens, incidentally, was just inside the tube demonstrating depth of field.
There you have it. Space, that infinite final frontier, recreated on a table top!
Thanks for taking the journey back with me. Check back often: I’ll dip down memory lane again soon.
William Carr Gallery
No matter what your level as a photographer, whether you’re an amateur, professional or pro in the making, having a killer portfolio is always a good idea. A well-designed portfolio can present your best work in an exciting way, and if you’re looking to break into pro ranks, is invaluable as a calling card during interviews.
Nowadays, everything’s digital, including portfolios; however, if you’re looking to go pro, having a good old-fashioned binder type portfolio is highly recommended.
There are some key questions you should ask yourself before you start creating your portfolio:
1. What’s its purpose? Do you want a portfolio to show your work to your friends, or are you looking for work?
2. Are you looking to capture a particular time or place? A mood? A style?
3. If you’re looking for photography-related work, are you planning on highlighting your current work across all genres, or rather a specific job / theme / style that caters most to the prospective job? A portfolio can be as subjective or selective as you want it to be, depending on your ultimate purpose.
4. You can choose to present your photos aesthetically, chronically or theme-based. Again, think of the most effective impact based on your goals.
Here are some tips when building a killer portfolio:
1. Include the following: a very short statement about the theme/content of your portfolio, a listing of photographs and thumbnails of your images.
2. Make sure to express your own voice. As a photographer, you’re a visual artist and your portfolio should represent you as such. Express yourself.
3. Make sure your portfolio is accessible: keep it clean, organized and uncluttered. If you’re creating an online or digital portfolio (a good idea for freelancers since digital portfolios reach a broader audience, and can connect you with prospective clients around the world), don’t let the web portfolio design overwhelm your own photographs. Eye-catching headings and intricate designs might look good, but only if they don’t take away from your own work. Sell yourself, not your portfolio’s design
4. Don’t forget to update your photos as the need arises. Keep your portfolio fresh, making sure that your images visually explain your strengths and versatility as the visual artist you are.
5. Always make sure that your contact information is included within the contents of your portfolio.
Stay tuned as the William Carr Gallery rings in our first year at Planet Hollywood with tons of new website editorial features and upcoming gallery events.
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