(October 2018) Mogswebsite.com (Mark's Online Graphics Site) was started in 1999— The website features a variety of creative explorations— artist interviews, original digital art, music related resources and more. Expanding the website to include photography seemed like a natural extension of the MOGS website. I started my “Off The Cuff Photography” project in 2012 after the purchase of a Canon 7D DSLR— a notable upgrade from my previous camera, a Canon Rebel XT.
The concept behind my “Off The Cuff Photography” project originated from a desire to gain a deeper understanding of photography. I wanted to abandon my full auto comfort zone and started experimenting with manual camera settings. Not only did I want to wrap my head around manual settings, I wanted to understand how ISO, shutter speed, and aperture all work together to form the “Exposure Triangle”.
The phrase "Off The Cuff Photography—Taking It To The Streets" is broad in its definition— in some instances the streets are nothing more than boot worn paths. Another goal of the project was to “land in a spot and FIND the shot”. The objective— potential compositions are all around us— one must train the eyes to SEE the possibilities. It doesn't matter if you use a point & shoot camera, a cell phone, or a more advanced model (D)SLR to capture your images— step out of your comfort zone and start visualizing how to capture the moment.
Several aspects culminate into what I consider the art of photography. At the mechanical end of the spectrum there's a virtual smorgasbord of cameras to choose from. Everything from simple film and digital point and shoot cameras to more sophisticated point and shoot options, onto more advanced interchangeable lens bodies known as (D)SLR models. In recent years mirrorless cameras have entered the market allowing manufacturers to scale down the physical size of their mirrorless bodies. Even after the digital era of photography was introduced decades ago, film photography has witnessed a rebirth of enthusiasm— long live film.
I like to read about photography and I enjoy the preparation involved before going on a photo trek. Arriving at a destination can be stimulating— capturing an image ... the sound of a camera’s shutter when the button is pressed— very satisfying.
The primary purpose of using a camera is to capture a moment in time on film or a digital memory card. At the heart of photography lies something deeper than just the exterior housing of an impressive camera body. It involves how you see the world around you— the beat of a photographer's heart separates snapshots from compositions. Exceptional images often lurk amongst the mundane, usually going unnoticed, unless you've learned to see as a photographer.
As a photography enthusiast I constantly think about long term and short term projects. The art of photography encompasses several areas of expertise and requires genuine comprehension of composition. When all of those components work together, the payoff is a visually pleasing image— that’s when art is accomplished. It’s impossible to explore each aspect of what photography means to an individual in a couple of sentences or paragraphs. After all, I'm writing another blog ... not a book.
If you ask a photographer how many cameras are too many to own, the answers will vary based on the individual asked. Some people probably wonder what the attraction is to having several camera bodies. Different cameras can also offer the user a different photography experience. It’s true— photographers like their cameras and it’s deeper than an outer shell physical attraction. I've managed to accumulate a couple of clean used DSLRs— most notable are an original Canon 5D and a 60D.
The older model 5D has a fond place in my photography. Going on a shoot with the Canon 5D classic is a nostalgic experience— wrapped in a sense of nostalgia it transports me to a simpler time. I tend to be more patient about depressing the shutter button. I don't want burst shots when using that camera. Capturing a shot becomes more about shutter actuation conservation when using an older camera. The Canon 5D was a ground-breaking achievement in the world of digital photography. Released in 2005, the camera was a game changer.
DSLR technology has witnessed many advancements across all model cameras. The Canon 60D's articulating screen makes shooting from more difficult perspectives easier. My 2009 model Canon 7D impressed me from day one— Canon introduced some nice improvements with their 2014 release of the 7D Mark II. Whether your brand of choice is Nikon, Fuji, Sony, or Canon ... grab your camera and enjoy the world of photography.
— Mark D McKinley