Revisiting Work

This evening I went through some of my old photos that I took a few years ago.  Going through them was eye-opening, a bit shocking, and even the occasional "Did I really shoot that?!"  One of the things that I did early on while I was learning photography, was to keep all of my photos.  I mean all of my photos, even the bad ones.  To this day I haven't removed or deleted any of the photos I ever took.  Doing this has meant an investment in quite a bit of hard-drives and a lot of backup.

However doing this gives me the opportunity to see how I have developed my craft over the years.  Seeing the photos from before and seeing the photos now, makes you appreciate all of the hours of learning, disappointment, and accomplishments that photography gives you.

Another reason that I don't delete of my pictures is because as I have progress in the craft, I'm learning new techniques, skills, and perspective about photography.  And with those new thoughts in my head, it makes me look at my old photos in a different light.  I've realized too over the years, that sometimes, you just don't pay attention to some details in the photo because you just didn't know how to pay attention to it.

I suggest to you (the reader) to do the same.  Save your photos, work on them, and then a year from know look at them again and see what you see in the photos.  I can guarantee that you will see your photo in a different way than when you took it and edited it.

Here's a image I took as part of my 2010 - 365 Project.

Nature's Path - Day 105 of 365

Finding the Photographer Community in San Diego

The Journey Begins...

Early on when I started pursuing photography more seriously, I photographed mostly by myself.  I photographed by myself not because I wanted too but because I didn't know other photographers when I started out.  My photographic journey started while I was studying Structural Engineering and Urban Studies & Planning at University of California, San Diego (UCSD).  Going to UCSD meant that we had to keep on top of our school work because midterms could just be around the corner and of course our professors would give us assignments expecting them to be done by week's end, so heading out to photograph wasn't on my friend's priority list.  So when I had the opportunity to photograph I would take it and wander campus or take the long way home.  I find places like UCSD's secret Garden (picture below).

UCSD Secret Garden

Observe, Appreciate, and Imagine

Have the muscle for Curiosity, Appreciation, and Imagination. Watch the following video and see what I mean.

As a photographer and engineer, one of the essential skills to have, in my opinion are the skills of curiosity, appreciation, and imagination.  However none of these skill are taught to you school and even talked about to you.  Read below to see my reason why they are important.

What Nobody Tells Beginners

Never give up!  Keep chugging! And do tons of work but not just work, great work.  Watch the following video:

The Great San Diego Blackout

Our modern world seem to have come to a screeching halt yesterday around 3:30 pm.  At that time, I was at work, I figured that it was just a localized event.  However after tweeting out that my building didn't have power, my other friends from northern to southern San Diego County reported the same.  It soon became apparently that it was a large one!  So what do I do.  I use Twitter to get my information about what would be a unprecedented blackout and took out my iPhone and camera to document the event.

The Great San Diego BLACKOUT 2011!

Here's some quick facts about the blackout:
1.4 Million - San Diego Gas & Electric customers lost electricity.
3 Million + - People affected
3 Major Areas Affected - San Diego, Parts of Orange County, and parts of Baja
12 Hours - # of hours the power was out
2 Hours - # of hours it took me to get home from work, usually 20 min drive.

So here's a couple of photos I took to share what the blackout experience was like for me.

Gridlock in front of my office.  Notice traffic lights not working.

A Balboa Park Photowalk w/ San Diego SmugMug

A few weeks ago, I had the great opportunity to lead another San Diego SmugMug photowalk.  For our second photowalk, I decided that we would take a visit to Balboa Park.  The particular photowalk was inspired by our June speaker, Philipp Scholz Rittermann, who challenged us to get out there and shoot our own Photography Opus.

With that, I figured that Balboa Park would be a great place to start.  Balboa Park is filled with a lot of photographic opportunities that inspire and challenge a photographer.  On this photowalk, I had the pleasure to shoot fellow Smuggies, Greg, Hollie, LaRee, & Jessica.

Here are some photos I captured doing some pre-photowalk scouting and also during the photowalk.  Enjoy!



Oliver Henry Photography - Advice - 5 Ways to Make it in Photography

When I began taking photography seriously as a craft, I kept a few things in my head to help me make it in photography.

Here are 5 ways to make it in photography:

1.  Get out there and shoot!

Snap away!  Take as many pictures as you want.  You've heard it before, with digital, you can take picture after picture after picture and the only thing that is stopping you is the amount of memory and battery power you have in your camera.  What's stopping you.
The best way to learn photography is to physically DO IT!  You have to get on your two feet, lug your camera and gear around, explore the world, and take a ton of pictures.  From doing this you will see what it takes to do photography, what you like and don't like about photography.  Photography is hard work but very fulfilling.


Follow Your Heart - Shoot what you want and Never Give UP

About a couple of weeks ago, I had a great opportunity to hear one of the photographers that I admire and follow via podcast and twitter, Rick Sammon.  Rick spoke at San Diego's Grossmont College.  He was a special guest brought by the college, Canon, George's Camera, and others.  It was a special treat to hear him talk about he's experiences in photography; His stories of how he created the shot, how photography has allowed him to see the world, and how photography has become part of he's life.

Day 26 of 365 - Field Inventory
Life is a scenic route and lifelong adventure.  Be a student for Life.

Rick's talk was great also in the aspect that he told us, we are STUDENTS FOR LIFE and we should NEVER GIVE UP.  Never give up because when you don't give up other opportunities will rise.  Rick told us how he had an idea for a series of 3D children books. Originally he pitched it to National Geographic but they didn't take the opportunity.  However Rick didn't give up after being declined and pitched he's idea to another company.  And months later he was traveling for that company to photograph and make he's idea reality.
The point of that story is that you should never give up.  If you truthfully believe in your idea you should continue to pursue it.  And remember that rejection is part of the story of how your idea became reality.
Personally this holds truth.  I can tell you that, I never gave up.  This blog, the pictures I share, and the photography business, are all my ideas that have become reality because I never gave up.  Certainly along the way, there was been many set backs, distractions, and uncertainties that have plague me in my journey, to where I am currently.  Some of my uncertainties that I and maybe even yourself, struggled with :

"Am I good enough?"
"What will people think?"
"Will people, friends, or family support me?"
"Can I even do it?"
"What, how, when...?"

You get the picture (no pun intended).  It is with these uncertainties that I questioned many times if I even should pursue photography more seriously.  I knew though, that if I let these thoughts reign over me, I would be left with more questions, "what if..., what did I miss," etc than answers. So don't give up and work hard to get what you want.
What are some of the uncertainties and struggles you face or ask yourself?  Leave a comment and we together can get through it together.  Remember we all where in your shoes before so don't be shy to ask for help.  :)

Oliver Henry Photography - Sneak Peak - Seattle Trip

I took another vacation!  This time instead of heading east, I headed north, to the Pacific Northwest.  This trip was more of a vacation compared to my vacation to Austin.  The trips differ in that this trip was just about the traveling, sightseeing, and adventure, compared to Austin, was about helping my sister begin another chapter in her life.  :)
Here are two sneak photos from Seattle that I took.

Seattle, WA from Kerry Park

City Canyons