10,000 More Frames: A Continuation of My Adventures with a DSLR

by Matt Kuchta | February 1, 2005

© Matt KuchtaAn epilogue: 10,000 more: Since purchasing a digital SLR, my camera has passed 9999 for the second time, giving me even more experience in the field and time to reflect on thoughts and ideas that led me to that quick slide down the learning curve. As I mentioned in part one of these DSLR adventures, the images I began to create with this new discipline marked not only my growth as a photographer, but were also watershed moments for me as an artist. I learned to question old truths and made myself go beyond the act of manipulating a camera to creating a photograph with deliberate vision.

Horizontal isn’t always a blessing

I find that tilting the camera, which is a cardinal sin in most introductory photography guides, adds movement and a sense of uneasiness and tension. I like the visual tension it can give an otherwise static scene. I also like using a tilted frame to allow distortions of perspective to play visual tricks.

There’s no place like home: familiarity breeds wonderful images

Places with which I am familiar have always allowed me to produce my best images. During my second year out in north-central Wisconsin, my local landscape images began taking on a voice of their own. I feel confident that I can enter the University of Wisconsin Arboretum and find a compelling image every time because I am comfortable there; when I am comfortable, I see better. It’s that simple; I shoot what I know.

Lake Wingra © Matt Kuchta

The University of Wisconsin Madison crew team on Lake Wingra during early morning practice.

Print and frame favorites to display them on the wall

Nothing makes me feel more like a photographer than framing a printed image and putting it up on display. I had my first gallery showing in six years and found it invigorating both to see the work of other photographers as well as my own work on the wall. A good image on the computer screen is nice, but a well-displayed print behind glass is strong motivation to make more.

My take home message

Every photographer follows a strongly personal course, and along my journey I’ve found that hearing about the paths of other photographers makes my own endeavors easier and provides thoughts and ideas. When churning out thousands of digital frames per year, I think deliberately of other styles and try something different that just might just produce a new and wonderful image. And it’s working for me.

I have ascended the learning curve with purpose and direction, inspired by my home grounds, new approaches and the work of others. Not bad in my mind for the second 10,000 frames.

About the Author

Upon going digital, Matt Kuchta has become an avid nature photographer.

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