Gentle Power


Horses,are always a favorite subject of mine to photograph. Most impressive is the connection they sometimes can have with people. I have never seen a horse do this before, but hugging a person is something that made my eyes pop out of my head.

A hug

A hug

I shot this, did some editing and post script applications to create this image. Going more for impact than clarity, I think I captured the moment in this composition.

Another image from this shoot was a trot. I think this one is just a nice composition.

_MG_3714-EditThese shots were both taken while on a video shoot, for a project being done by Torquil Studios. Next post I will show a little preview of what is going on there. Until then.

Get outside and enjoy the world.

Shoot it

Mike

Thoughts and Reviews


Often times and in almost everything there are pro’s and con’s that have to be dealt with. Looking at the good and bad the smart path is always to take both in perspective and learn from each. Doing so then applying what you have learned can help you avoid future mistakes. To coin an old saying ” If you learn from a mistake, it wasn’t really a mistake, was it? The saying asks a question, but also is meant to put you on a path of learning, and that is the point of this post.

I, like most, always try to maintain a positive outlook, even though most of what surrounds us is negativity. Recently just in my own daily activities I have had to deal with several issues that should sour my normal positive outlook and in some ways it has. My beloved Jeep Wrangler is in the shop for a spun out bearing, my major lively hood has not produced the income we need, and we know face another 4 years of the most radical president ever elected to office in the United States. I have a great deal of fear for what our nation is coming to and the freedoms our forefathers worked so hard to achieve. My rights and my income are being threatened by a government who feels my purpose is to serve their agenda and be a slave to the entitled. Granted my blog is supposed to be about photography, but  I felt the need to share these thoughts to give you a human side of what is normally a post of pictures and some words, with very little about the person who shot these photos. So to take away what I have learned by these recent events. We live in a land of confusion and uneducated people. Emotion seems to take the major role when it is time to make a decision, and the lack of common sense is evident by some of the choices that are made. Some may call this an opinion, but time and time again, I see a decision made based on emotion, and the failures and disappointments that come after only increase the negative emotions. This leads to a spiraling free fall and to an eventual crash. So with all this being said I refer to a quote I heard in a movie. Why do we fall? the answer….. SO we can learn to pick ourselves up again! Is that what it takes anymore? A crash. We are so self consumed with our own agenda and emotion that we have forsaken common sense, so we can achieve the greater good. This is a very scary place and it will be difficult to learn from all this. We must however try.

On to how this all ties in to my passions. Back in the eighties I was an aspiring photographer. I won my first photography contest before I graduated high school. Enjoying the fruits of my labor, I continued on doing what I loved until the day, I returned to my vehicle from a scoping out mission only to find that tools of my trade had been stolen. As life happened, I married and had children and the photography was put on hold. With an ever-increasing itch to start-up again, I found myself familiarizing myself with long forgotten methods of composition and applied these to the new digital camera world. I also began to enter contests again, and found that by doing so, some felt the same way I did about certain compositions. Recently I achieved a very high honor amongst some of my peers by winning first place in an outdoor scenic category and a second place finish with a wildlife photo. Considering I only entered 3 of the 5 categories, I felt a certain accomplishment by placing in two of the five divisions. Not to mention the competition I was up against, only increases the pride I felt by winning my favorite type of photography. All this has been stated without the reason I involved myself with photography. I am here for one reason, I wanted to capture the beauty I see everyday and share that with anyone who wanted to see things from my perspective. Doing weddings, and other shoots are a cofactor of why I became involved in photography but they are a benefit I am pleased to do and I enjoy the fact that people think enough of my work to privilege me with capturing such an important event in their lives. If you are still reading this post, than maybe you understand why I feel the way I do when it comes to people going to a walmart, purchasing a camera, and with no knowledge of how to operate the equipment, advertise themselves as professionals. I can give you a long list of people who do this, and have no idea how to shoot in modes other than full auto. Being no defense for this, we who understand terms like shoot the light, and composition of an image, are a dying class. I also have to mention that programs like Photoshop although have their uses, are not what photography is all about, and can only be used to create something that is not real. In this day and age these tools are necessary to compete with others who no longer understand the basics of photography but in fact know how to create images that are not real. Summary it is a funny world we live in and unreal takes priority over real. Adapting is our saving grace. Maybe that is the lesson we need to learn.

From my standpoint, a personal opinion is super seeded by an urgent desire to achieve successor an agenda, and these days the best way to make money from an industry that has been flooded by false compositions, is to sell your equipment. To test my theories on things I recently purchased a book known as the photographers market. I did so for one reason. To be successful as a photographer you need to be able to reach your market, or at least be known of in the industry. I read this book from cover to cover, and although some great point were made, I found the information in the title to be of very little help. I spent several hours composing a list of contacts that were related to my interests in photography. Then I wrote a very detailed document stating my intent and asked the proper questions regarding submission information and or guidelines. I also made it known that I was available for assignments and encouraged these publications to utilize me as a resource and to please check out my portfolios to see my talents.After doing all this,I received a response from one publication. Having submitted to over 400 outlets, I was disappointed by my efforts and quickly realized that the information in this book was not all it was cracked up to be. Almost feeling scammed, it became clear that the only one making money here was the publisher of the book and the author who wrote it. At this point it is safe to assume one of two things. Either my photography just plain sucks or the information in this book is not accurate, although the awards I recently received disputes the first thought as well as the past highlights of my labors and all the feedback I receive from people who place there trust in me to capture their weddings and events. Once again lots of questions to answer, and right now I am just tired of the word photographer and everything associated. With this being said,and still having a desire to shoot, I am going to keep it simple.I will shoot images for myself, and I will continue to share them with those who want to look. I have tried to keep things real, and despite comments like, He is that Damn Good, and We love what you captured for us, I simply cannot keep allowing myself to endure the disappointments that come from trying so hard to rise in an industry that is dominated with false representations of natural beauty. If it is meant to be, it will be. This post has been inspired by several events in recent days, and although it may seem dark and kind of rant, if you are still reading, I want to tell you, that although I paint the picture of gloom, my resolve for pictures has never been stronger. It is time to go back to the reason I take pictures, and say screw the rest.

I want to say thank you to those who have commented and inspired me over the years, and I also want to thank the many who have trusted me to capture your precious moments. You are the reason I do what I do. One final thought, ” It does not matter who we are, what matters is what we do.

Thank you for the read

Mike

LOW/ Lying Exposure Meters


Squirrely had those big buck teeth, the claws and the fur, the whole woods was looking at her , she hit the forest floor next thing you squirrely got low low low low low low low low. A parody of T-Pains LOW.

LOW

In reality I spent a couple of days in the woods, and although my focus was to capture some images of whitetail’s, it just was not meant to be. So when life hands you lemons,,, TAKE PICTURES! I could not help myself being entertained by the antics of the small woodland creatures that were in abundance on this day. The weather was rainy and lighting was terrible, but I managed to snap a few shots. Hope you enjoy them.

foraging

With all the time I spend in the woods this time of year, I have never seen a squirrel  get this low on a fallen tree. I did note however that a bark from a chipmunk prompted this behavior. I suspect that one of the woodland raptors present, was responsible for this behavior. In the past I have seen hawks dive on squirrels and chipmunks. They do so very silently and these woodland creatures are easy pickings. With any luck before my time in the woods is over this year, I will capture this action taking place.

CHIPMUNK

I shot these with my trusty 7d and used an  L series 100-400mm canon lens. With an aperture of 5.6 and a shutter speed of 125 of a second. To note, the cameras on board light meter indicated  that the image would have not been properly exposed . This has been a discussion as of late within the inner circle of MSP. I want to point out that these light meters on cameras are strictly a rough reference point. It is possible to catch a great image, although the light meter indicates your image will be underexposed. You just have to find the happy medium… Even though these images were supposed to be underexposed, they were captured with enough light to produce an image that works.

Using metering modes, and at times exposure compensation can produce images that are rich in color and detail. The drawback is at times the backgrounds may appear grainy. This can be ok in an image as long as the focal point or subject is sharp and in focus. We can put way to much emphasis on grain in photographs, as those of us who takes pictures are generally our own worse critics. I myself have taken pictures that I felt were not acceptable by my standards, but others find them to be stunning. I like to call this a personal strive for excellence and although some feel that an image is great, I have a composition in mind when I shoot and when that composition is not as I had envisioned it falls short of my personal expectations. It does not mean that the image is terrible. So share it and let others judge, but do not ever give up your strive for personal perfection. This is what an artist does, and by no means do I consider myself a great artist, I am a guy who is content to take pictures and hope that people enjoy them.

Thank you for reading and I hope that part of this post makes sense. Please let me know what you think, and expand on my thoughts regarding artistic views..

Until next post, My best!

Mike

www.mrsargent.com

Apple


Apple.

Not much I can say about this. What I can say is how Apple changed my life as a photographer. Several years ago, and after becoming frustrated with a windows based computer, I invested in a power pc mac computer. After a brief learning curve, things almost started to come natural. I had begun to “THINK DIFFERENT”. With the introduction of software specific to photography and editing digital captures, I quickly learned how valuable as asset this mac had become. Several years later I still own my original Apple and have made several purchases of newer macs. They are an investment and not for everyone, but I can say that after years of use, and several products made by apple in use by myself, I have no regrets. As I type this on my windows based laptop, I want to say thanks to Steve Jobs and Apple computer. You have played a huge part in my success. Steve your vision will be missed and my hopes is for your vision to live on within Apple computer.

Although I use both now to complete my work as a photographer, I know my bias will favor Apple.

Photos Soon.

Mike