As a 31 year old man, you would think my days of playing in puddles would be long behind me. You would be wrong. I probably play in the leftover rain more than most toddlers you know. So I guess that “man” word is not suitable for me. I suppose, in actuality, I am just a 31 year old kid. And I’m okay with that.
I’m okay with being a thirty-something man child because very near the beginning in my journey to becoming a photographer, it was playing in a puddle that taught me an invaluable lesson. That lesson was one about perspective and just how important it is for creating a compelling image. If you look at the photo above, my first puddle photo and aptly named “Puddles of Pittsburgh,” it’s pretty clear to see that the skyline of Pittsburgh is being reflected in a puddle. What’s not so clear is the collection of outtakes I snapped before I was able to get “THE” shot. Standing in front of the puddle just didn’t do the scene any just or convey the image I had in my mind. It wasn’t until I got down on all fours, and then eventually flat onto my belly, that I realized I could include a large portion of the buildings in the reflection, creating a much more dynamic and interesting photograph, simply by changing my positioning. I had discovered there is more to plopping a camera down, snapping a photo, and moving on to the next shot. Work the scene. Change positioning. Change up the perspective. Get creative. I had read many books, articles, and essays on composition…but it was that puddle that taught me this most important lesson.
…and as a bonus, here are some of my favorite puddle photos:
Well, it’s that time of year again my friends. The end of the calendar year for me is a time to reflect upon the previous twelve months. This is done on both a personal and professional level, but the focus here will be on the latter here, for obvious reasons. You will, however, find some overlap since I had some personal milestones and moments that were more than worthy of being photographed. If you don’t already know what I’m talking about, you’ll soon see.
During my self-imposed yearly review, the most significant and challenging task is to is to choose my best and/or most memorable photos from the year. Generally, they are not always the most popular on social media or the top 10 or so selling prints of the year, but they have special significance. This year is no different.
Luckily, 2015 was a pretty darn good year if I may say so myself. It was filled with features on the news, successful social media campaigns, great shows, and even a tv interview on Pittsburgh Today Live. Most importantly, though, it was a year of great photography and I’ll let you be the judge in just a moment. What 2015 was not good for, apparently, was blogging. This is my first post of the year and it’s only 4 days before year’s end. That’s a problem I REALLY intend to fix in 2016…but why wait until then? Let’s get to the photos already!
So there you have it, my year of hard work summed up in 10 photos. Before I started this endeavor, I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to come up with 10 quality shots. But as I dug deeper, I actually found it hard to select ONLY 10. So to that end, here are a some bonus photos from the year that didn’t quite make the cut.
This past weekend I celebrated a bit of a milestone birthday – I turned 30 years old on Saturday. Ancient, I know. I was apprehensive at first, I must admit. But trite as it may be to say, I suppose age really is just a number. I shouldn’t measure life by the number of years I have lived but rather how I’ve lived those years and what I’ve accomplished in them. After 30 years, I have a loving and supportive wife, a beautiful home, a wonderful family, and I get to do what I love every day while making money doing it. So why should I not welcome the next 30 years with open arms?
Well, actually, that’s exactly what I’m going to do. I’m excited for 30. It may have taken me a few days (and a bit, okay a LOT, of whining to my wife…just ask her, she’ll tell you!) to get to this point, but it’s only logical. Why should I fret over the future when the past has been good to me? This got me thinking even more, not about the future but rather my good fortune and the time I’ve spent behind a camera creating photos that have helped shape my development, not only as a photographer, but as a person as well. I thought, “Why not put together a set of my favorite photographs I’ve ever taken. Instead of being known as the ‘guy who takes pretty pictures,’ let people get to know ‘JP Diroll’ and what motivates him to take the photos he does.” So that’s what we have here – 12 photos that are not necessarily the pinnacle of technique or skill, but ones that are the most significant to me. They are a representation of the driving force behind my work and the cornerstone of my continued development as a photographer, each having a special but unique meaning to me. Looking back at this dozen of photos not only reminds me of how (and why) I started down this path of sharing the world through my eyes, but also pushes me to where I ultimately want to be, both personally and professionally. So I say – bring it on 30, I look forward to what you have in store for my next 30!
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Hi there everyone, and welcome to my new blog. I am VERY new to this so please bear with me. I’m sure there will be many changes during the weeks ahead as I get accustomed to not only writing again, but using this new platform and traversing the hills of its learning curve. But enough […]