I am a professional photographer. My credentials say so.
I’ve finished my photography studies in 1999. It had been one of my dream careers (alongside with becoming a fashion designer and/or a videoclip director) since I was a kid, running around with a defective Polaroid camera. So here I was, diploma at hand, with my Olympus OM-2, heading out to live in “the big city” with some hopes that photography would prove to make for a happy satisfying life for me. I did a few contracts and made a little bit of money (not much really). I also worked as a technician in 1h photo labs. That is the extent of it; I never “made it”, never worked in a prestigious studio or end up owning my own. In the end, I realized that I really didn’t like the idea of people telling me how to be creative. It sucked out all the joy out of it. So for a while I did sessions with friends for the fun of it. But I rather quickly came to think that it was a frivolous endeavor that was sucking out funds from my budget. Also, eventually, everybody seemed to have their own equipment if they could afford it. I became disenchanted with the idea of photography, and felt sad and ashamed for it. So I put my Olympus away. I haven’t used it since.
In mid 2012, I submitted one of my older pictures called “Interrupted War” to the website TheWhole9 in the hope that it might be chosen to be part of “The Peace Project“. I was ecstatic when it was chosen to be published in that year edition of the Peace Project book and of course be part of the traveling exhibition that would be shown in 11 different locations across the US! That honor triggered something within me. And yes, it certainly made me feel good about photography again.
Towards the end of 2012, a friend lent me her DSLR camera in the hope that it would be a reintroduction to the pleasure of taking pictures. I had been, so far, adverse to ever using a digital camera. I had been rolling my eyes at compact ones especially, thinking “but I’m a professional, if I do anything, it’s going to be with pro equipment”. But after the hint of joy (and pride) that became reattached with photography a few months prior, I went in with a open mind and a lighter heart. I had her camera for two weeks if I remember correctly. It was an excellent transitional experience. It reopened my being to the creation and exhilaration of photography, and it opened my eyes to a different perspective. I actually had a lot of fun with it!
I eventually got my hands on a Samsung HMX-W300, a waterproof, dustproof and shockproof pocket HD digital camera/camcorder. I have been using it as well as a mobile device. I don’t feel bad about it; I don’t even feel mad at myself for taking so long to fall back in love with photography.
I have pushed things a little further for myself… When I created my page “The Onyxx: Geeky Artsy Blogger“, I did so in the mindset for it to be a showcase instead of a portfolio. The former spells freedom, experimentation, fun and Flow. It means that what’s on display doesn’t have to feel perfect. The later sounds to me like it’s static and only the “crème de la crème” should appear on it. I don’t want that pressure and constraint.
That’s one thing. In addition, in the past few weeks, in the realm of “not taking being creative so seriously”, I have been playing with some pretty neat Android applications. Two of them are to create mandala type images (they are quite relaxing to play with). The third one is an application that applies a choice of filters that make your picture look like drawings or paintings (surprising and gorgeous results). I use to be really uneasy with using filters from mobile apps; I didn’t see it as “legit”. But come on; it was time to let that go as well. You gonna have fun, right!!!!
So here are the three Android applications I have recently been using. I recommend that you check them out.
Mirrorgraph 2 free
For some odd reason I couldn’t find the web address (in a web browser) for this one on the Google Play app store – but look for it in the store directly. There is a lot of options to have a blast!. It’s incredibly relaxing, someone hypnotic and meditative, especially if you are listening to some nice progressive music at the same time. Here are two of my creations:
I actually discovered this application first. Again, there are a lot of options to it. Maybe less trippy, but definitely tons of fun. In both CraZe and Mirrorgraph 2 free you have the option of choosing how many rotations you want. So, as you see on the left image, it doesn’t have to be a traditional mandala type image.
Found this one a few days ago. Started by trying it on a wallpaper I had on the phone, just to test it and see. My jaw dropped. I proceeded to try it on some of my own pictures; some of those where color, others that were black and white. This is “Specters“: on the left is my original, the two images on the right are some of the amazing filters I selected. There are several other ones to choose from. You have to try them all on your art and see what fits best for that particular piece.