Over the past couple years, I think it’s safe to say that my photography skills have improved.
Obviously, I’ve still got a long way to go, and I’ll likely never be completely happy with my work; I don’t think any artist really is. Part of my personal process for improvement is to always set up certain tasks or challenges in which I can hopefully use to further my skills. A couple years ago I took a photo each day for 365 days, for example.
Lately, I’ve also been trying to shoot more images with black and white photography in mind. And, this year, I’m really trying to focus on the art of photography. So much of what I do, I think, relies on the amazing destinations I go to along with some photo “tricks” that I know based on the technical side of photography. But the art, well, that’s something that we can work on forever, no matter how sharp our technical photography skills are.
As a part of this project. I’m trying my best to focus less on the really technical side of photography, and more on creating images that tell a story, or at the very least create a mood. Moreover, when I go to a certain destination, I want to do more than just show off pretty pictures, I want to portray my own personal viewpoint of where I’ve been and how a country felt to me.
The challenge I set upon myself for my photography in Iceland was to try to put together a photo story of 10-15 images that would serve as an expression of my week there. How many images does it take to tell the story of an entire country? One? Twenty? Check out the process behind my photo story in the video below. The photos I chose are below the video as is a bit of a description on my thoughts.
What is my Photo Story Missing?
The first thing I thought about when I was planning for Iceland was what things does a photo story for Iceland require? Obviously, it needs the landscapes, and it needs the natural sites like the waterfalls and geysers. It also likely needs those Icelandic horses, the sheep, the farms, and the northern lights if possible. Upon review of the images, I realized that I really missed out on the people. I think I only shot a photo of two people in Iceland the whole time. A fisherman, and a hotdog vendor. I would have liked to add some cool images of people in the villages. The other thing I’m missing a bit is perhaps the nightlife in Reykjavik, which is famous. But, I just didn’t have the time. I would have also liked to have gotten a puffin photo, but they were gone by the time I got there.
Why I Chose these Images
If you were to ask my which were my favourite images from Iceland, I think only 1 or 2 of these would have made my top ten. But there’s a major difference between a stand alone image and a part of a photo story. I chose these images because they work together to tell that story of Iceland from coast to coast. Iceland is far more diverse than the vast images of waterfalls might explain, around every corner there’s a new scene, a new weather system, and a new image to describe the mood.
Below are the images as well as a quick caption to them. I’m not going to give you any of the data to the photos this time, since these images are more about the art. I will go into brief details on the techniques I used to shoot them, though.
I’ve probably got a photo post for you still from Iceland with my “B-Side Images” from the country, so there’s still that to look forward to. I’ve also got a gear review of my new Naneu camera bag, and a review of the ThinkTANK rain cover I used in Iceland. I’m also still on the road and will likely have an article from Toronto before I jump on the VIA Rail across Canada. Stay tuned.