It’s been quite a while since I’ve blogged, and if anybody still stumbles upon my blog, whether it be by accident or low percent chance of someone hoping to read more of my
Epic Tales Ramblings; I’d just like to say that my hiatus from blogging was necessary as I was starting to burn myself out on all the little things. People really need to be careful when they get burnt out though, and I suppose without thinking about it I heeded that exact advice. The advice whom as even a kid I’d have given to the ultimate impression on me…
I had a conversation with a good friend of mine yesterday about the process of learning photography and how appreciative he has been over the last few years of my allowing him to ask me questions, and I’ve always never had a problem with it because I feel as though he keeps me on my toes with my profession. I also told him that I’m honored he looks at me with photography because I look at photography that I want to emulate for instruction. The above photo Mike took at the very beginning of his photographic career, and it’s one of my favorites of his. Really it goes to show that you never know where your inspiration will come from, or where it will take you.
When I was just starting out as a photographer (learning with the goal of being a professional), I only knew two photographers at the time personally, and they were both very inspirational to me. The first was my grandfather who was a recreational photographer and an Electrical Engineer for Inland Steel. He never thought he could make a living out of photography, and so he did a job that is a lot more complex than photography could ever be. The other ironically knew my grandfather in the steel mill. The only difference is that he was the Staff Photographer for the Mill.
(Photo courtesy of Chelsea Leininger)
I wish I had a photo of him, or a photo that he took, but I don’t. That’s him on the left at my friend Chelsea’s senior review. Chelsea is also one of the fortunate souls to have studied under him, and is also incredibly grateful for it. It’s unfortunate because he was killed in a head on collision with a Semi Tuesday morning of August 24th. He was the one that gave me my ridiculous quest of sharpness, color correctness, and doing it right the first time.
That photo was taken as part of my senior project while at Purdue under the supervision of Tim Fuller. I shot one of the first two senior projects to have ever been shot digitally. Really the first two projects shot digitally were shot that way without permission. We did it because professionals around the globe were adopting digital, and yet our professor Tim was adamant that film would prevail and would always be better. In the end, he was almost right according to this article.
He is most likely the reason I just short of idolize the work of people like Dave Black, and Joe McNally. The people that strive to make images of moments in real life, look like something you can only imagine.
He was a stick in the mud, hard headed, completely uncompromising when it came to his students quality of work, and I couldn’t be where I am today without his inspiration. If I had a nickel for every time he told me to re-shoot something, or that something wasn’t sharp enough; I’d easily have a thousand dollars. When I look at works that I don’t like, I remember his criticisms towards me, and know that I need to be honest towards any works as that they may reap the benefits of said criticisms as well. Maybe I’m not always as brutally honest as he was, but more people should be. He believed that nothing was an accident, any light in any shot, of any video or still image were all planned. Because of him, I see light the way that I do and I aim for nothing but to shoot things accurately when I shoot them; like Joe McNally, or Dave Black. I am by
far eternity not a perfect photographer, or even more so not a perfect person. In the end you never know who will influence you the most or where those influences will come from. Maybe someday I’ll be able to influence someone the way that both my grandfather, and Tim influenced me. Someday maybe Michael will be able to influence someone, the way that he has thanked me for influencing him. I hope that there is a lot of photography left in this world even though photography is becoming much more point and shoot for the entire population no matter who you are. Maybe the world will recognize the skills that are actually involved in this profession and despite the increasing number of people that attempt to make a living at it. Even though everyone deserves a chance to live their dreams, and I welcome people to pursue the dream of being a professional Photographer as that is my dream. Zack Arias, whom I don’t know personally but greatly respect said it best in his article here.
Inspiration can come from anywhere. It’s the greatest honor of my life that I have been called inspirational by at least even 1 person. Tim Fuller was inspiration to hundreds. He was a Professor, a mentor, a teacher, and a friend. He will be sorely missed by more than a handful of people. May he rest in peace. More Soon.