Posted by: kjcotner | January 3, 2011


Sun’s rising at around 7:30 A.M. this time of year.  Nice clouds with all the storms we’ve been having are making them spectacular.  Wish photographs did them justice.


Posted by: kjcotner | April 5, 2010

Easter Sunday

Went to DC with my family before work to walk around the tidal basin and enjoy the cherry blossoms. Even tho we left early it was packed and it took forever to find parking. Snapped some shots with iphone and took several with my Canon.

Posted by: kjcotner | March 26, 2010

More Iphone snaps

Flowers are starting to come out in the garden. Yesterday was cloudy with chance of rain making the light on the garden diffuse. Couldn’t resist taking some quick snaps on the way to work.

Posted by: kjcotner | March 25, 2010

Early Spring

Snows finally melted, tons of rain, budding trees. I love it. Can’t wait for next month.

Posted by: kjcotner | March 24, 2010

Large Format Will Have to Wait

Lost the bid on a 4×5. Large format will have to wait. It’s better this way, so I can learn how film works with my canon eos 1n.

Posted by: kjcotner | March 23, 2010

Creative Interference

“As photographers, we should study and reflect upon the details of the process; practice is essential, for when we are making photographs, we should be free to work creatively and intuitively, drawing upon our knowledge and experience to bring everything together as a performing musician must do – with no interference of technical issues with the ‘creative flow’.” -Ansel Adams

I’m reading ‘The Negative’ and this quote is part of the chapter on the zone system. Ansel was talking specifically about previsualizing the print and making that mental image a reality by having the methodology ingrained through practice so much so that it’s as natural as breathing. So you’re free to create. He discusses techniques for visualization, the first step, in the first chapter.

I think the concept of creative interference for photography ramifies beyond technical issues and encompasses creative interference in day to day life. Theres people that believe you have to train yourself to think creatively, that unless you’ve been blessed by some supernatural power you need to discover through trial and error how to think creatively. I think they are mistaken. The roots of creative thought come from being able to do things at will we aren’t forced into doing but nevertheless match the situation at hand. Everybody is capable of doing this. It’s human nature. However tons of people lose this perspective because they think some of us just aren’t creative and some of us just are. Everyday people are creative in the most amazing ways. From casual conversation to looking at sunsets. Theres no answer to why we do these things, but we do know we do them because we’re human.

Theres interference from this natural creative human behavior, master/slave or boss/worker relationships for example and part of my journey is to help develop our natural human ability for creative thought by getting rid of that interence for myself and never be interference for anyone else.

Posted by: kjcotner | March 21, 2010

35mm on the way

Won a Canon EOS 1n off ebay. Brenda Tharp used it for some of her prints in the first edition of her book. So I know its capable of good work. Not that the camera matters :P. Local store is selling a used 50mm/1.8 prime for $95. I plan on buying that and a polarizer. Should be set for cherry blossoms and large format metering by the end of this week!

Posted by: kjcotner | March 19, 2010

Upgrading to film

I placed a few bids for 35mm
and 4×5 cameras on ebay that will hopefully win. I went with a 35mm for metering because I couldnt find a
cheap enough point and shoot that was
capable of metering beyond a few seconds worth exposure. Making them useless for lowlight and long water exposures. With all these new dslrs coming out I felt like anything I spent on digital would be a complete waste of money. And a used handheld meter is as much as a cheap dslr! With a 35mm camera I can spot meter for my view camera, shoot ultra high resolution pictures, and use a variety of old and modern lenses.

Both auctions end on Monday. If I win they should be here before the cherry blossoms peak! Currently Reading Ansel Adams “the camera” “the negative” to get up to speed on film before april (like thats gonna happen). Is all this worth it? My plan is to make ultra large prints, at least 40 x 50 to hang on my wall. We’ll see if I can develop a vision and get a few keepers this year.

My D40 was a great learning tool because I could shoot thousands of photos a session, get instant feedback
on composition and lighting etc., and
take it anywhere. I think I’m
gonna like film better once I get used to taking notes since theres no exif data on the camera I want to get. The cost of film too is going to irritate me. But slide shows of family vacations and ultra large prints filled with minute textures in nature will make it worth it in the end.

Posted by: kjcotner | December 28, 2009

National Cathedral

Went back to D.C. and took photos of the national cathedral.  They came out real noisy because I tried shooting high iso to increase my shutter speed.  I did get the exposure right and had no need for a tripod but I was disappointed with the noise.  Might be time to try topaz denoise or upgrade lens or camera 😦

Posted by: kjcotner | December 21, 2009

Friday night in DC

Went to DC on Friday with some friends.  I tried taking more shots of people in the composition.  It’s very hard to balance it all out.  I took over 300 shots and only around 50 came out decent in my opinion.  I may give up and stick to nature and outdoor photography.  It started snowing while we were at a hookah bar in DC so we left for home a little earlier then I would’ve liked.  I had to wake up at 4:00 am anyway to open the store because the person scheduled switched.  He was scared he wasn’t going to make the drive to the store through the forecasted storm warning.  We got dumped on, he was stuck, and I was rested for work so it all worked out.  I got a few shots in DC when the snow started.  It’s interesting how the flash lights up the snowflakes in the air at night so you can really pick them out.  Click on the blog image to see the rest of the pics.

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