Passion Doesn't Have to be Just a Buzzword by Andy Oliver

One of my faults is an unfortunate undercurrent of cynicism. I might call myself a "cheerful pessimist" like I heard Alain de Botton call himself in an interview, but it's easy for the pessimist to overtake the cheerful if I don't stay vigilant.

One of my common bouts of bad attitude pops up when I hear about how one should just follow one's passion and everything else will fall into place. That always seemed too simple to me, and not practical. But this morning I came across this article on Explora, B&H's media portal thing, about photographer Forrest Mankins. One quote really stood out to me:

If you're passionate about something, there's a good chance that a lot of other people are too, and usually with a bit of creativity and much hard work, that avenue can become a career...

That's fantastic. I think it's what everyone has been trying to say with the follow your passion thing. But Forrest Mankins was the first person I've heard articulate it in a useful way.

On the Job by Andy Oliver

You've probably noticed by now that, in addition to being a photographer, I'm an engineer. As an engineer, I inspect bridges from time to time. I try to bring my camera along and share the pictures with you on Exposure.

Mangrove Swamp by Andy Oliver

In urban North Miami Beach there is a park that holds a brackish mangrove swamp. I was early for an appointment one morning so I dropped in to make some studies of the scenery. 

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This (below) is probably my favorite picture from the batch. I find it interesting that somehow, to me at least, the lack of a central focus is the focus. It also looks to me like a stage and would make an interesting backdrop for a model.

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There were some other interesting scenes around. 

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So I ended up getting a few shots and will keep these in mind for future projects. 

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I posted them all to flickr, and might end up using them in context in my portfolio some day. 

Why iPhone Photography is a Good Thing by Andy Oliver

Some time back I wrote a post on Medium explaining why I don't think that the kids these days and their Instagrams and their selfies portend the end of photography. It was a reaction to some fussy posts and articles I had been reading at the time.

If you don't feel like reading the whole thing, the gist is that people have been taking ugly snapshots forever; there are just more now because it's easier. But it's also easier to take some time to make the pictures not ugly. And that is great. More people have the opportunity to be artists now.

Newborn Pictures by Andy Oliver

I took a few—really a huge bunch—of pictures of a friend's newborn. I didn't feel comfortable doing all the usual newborn shots with the baby hanging dangerously in a sling and whatnot (those are made in Photoshop later, anyway, because they are dangerous or impossible to get from scratch). But I was happy with what we got. And I think they show a breadth of ability besides the brooding landscapes.

eBay Pictures by Andy Oliver

I might as well get fancy with my eBay pictures:

I sold a bunch of old photography stuff on eBay and figured I should put at least a little effort into making it all look nice, since I'm a photographer and all. I did little processing, and no touch-ups. Rather, I just set up a simple light box and two flashes (that might be the hard part for most people). The light box was a super cheap translucent storage box from Ikea that I use to hold some photography stuff between jobs. I should really post something about the set up one of these days. It's really easy; almost foolproof, in fact, once the exposure is dialed in.