Category Archives: Motivation

Photography and Photographers | Cameras Serve the Vision

Going up to a pro shooter and saying “if I had your gear I could do the same thing” is no different than jumping behind the wheel of a Formula One race car and declaring “look at me, I’m a professional race car driver.” Really ? Okay. Let’s see how you do when you turn the ignition on.

That was part of my response to a discussion going on via a link I posted on my Facebook business page. The link was to a very good entry @ titled “7 Obnoxious Things People Believe About Photographers.” My additional comment was not meant to be mean or negative. It’s more of a blunt way to say “hey, there is so much more to photography – truly good photography – than the camera and lens.”

I get the gear question quite a bit. So much so that I can see it coming evening before the person walks up to ask me the usual questions – what kind of camera is that? how much did it cost? how can you afford it? it must take great pictures. Granted I’m happy to offer tips and advice during my workshops on gear and how to use it to further a photographer’s creative vision, but providing such advice is in context to the overall learning environment based on the goal of learning the ART of photography. The craft (technical) serves the art. Not vice versa.

It’s just that I think with the rapid rise in interest in photography – fueled by pro-level features on consumer priced DSLR cameras – has reinforced the illusion that all one has to do to call oneself a professional photographer is simply buy the right kind of camera gear. Not so, as people quickly realize when they attempt those first few shots with their new camera and view the results.

The tools serve the artisan. Paintbrush, paint, chisel, software, computer, canvas, easel, tripod, camera, lenses. It’s the trained eye and experience in the field that makes those shiny new DSLR cameras come to life. No different than an instrument in the hands of a trained and talented musician or a race car driven with the skill and experience of a professional driver.

I’m thankful for all the wonderful tools at my disposal – from Canon EOS camera bodies and lenses to my MacPro desktop system to the software for post-processing and editing. But the essence of what makes a beautiful image has to be there in the first place. The tools – the paintbrushes – are applied to accentuate, isolate, emphasize. To capture that essence is a balance of vision, experience and a keen awareness of the liquidity and quality of light.


Thankful | Grateful | Blessed

I’m honored and grateful that Fading Notes (below) was selected as one of ten finalists in the “Time” category of Canon and Ron Howard Project Imagin8ion. Just knowing that one of my images was considered in this wonderful creative project involving community provided content is a huge thrill. Fading Notes is a photograph captured during a quite and cold day in January 2010 in the upper floor repair room of the Hauer Music store in Dayton, Ohio. The old wood and textures of the subjects – aged musical instruments – were ideal for the softness of the winter window light made even more haunting and subtle due to a snowstorm going on outside. It was one of those moments and places where the photographer loses him or herself in the scene and the light.

Congratulations to fellow photographer Brooke Shaden and her winning image, Running from the Wind. When I first viewed her image, as one of other finalists in the Time category, I knew it would be a tough one to beat as it is exquisite. What’s very interesting is to listen to Ron Howard explain why he chose this image. Fascinating, and gives some insight into the creative mind and artistic style of one the best known film directors.

Finding Creative Outlets When Things Outside Start To Drag

Hermit Photography | Fuel Your Photography.

Gotta love the term “hermit photography” used in the above linked blog article from Fuel Your Photography. More than appropriate at this time of year as well as during the calendar’s polar opposite, in the dead of winter. Here’s an example, photographed in my apartment on a Saturday morning just a couple of weeks ago.

Tales of the Sea by Jim Crotty

I always encourage photographers who attend my workshops to be open to all the photographic possibilities that can be discovered within their everyday surroundings. Often it all it takes is a new approach with an open mind, a creative angle and an awareness of the light of the moment. Play. Have fun. New photographers are always amazed to find out how many award-winning images are captured by some of the top pros in the industry just outside – and inside – their front doors.

Next Steps | New Studio and Gallery

I’m very happy to announce that the remodel work is officially underway on my new studio and gallery space, located at The Village Exchange shopping area on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. Posted here are some pre-remodel and initial progress images. My target for a grand opening and reception will be during the first week of June.

Within this space I will be showing and offering for sale select fine art prints from my growing collection of nature and landscape photography and presenting small group workshops and lessons on nature photography and digital imaging. I will also be providing studio and location portrait photography services for individuals, families and high school seniors. It was from my work with portrait photography whereby I earned my Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) designation through the Professional Photographers of America, while managing my photography business in Dayton, Ohio.

Additionally I’m considering including the work of other local artists, representing complimentary mediums of nature and local themed art. My goal is to enhance the overall presentation within the gallery beyond my prints of nature and landscape images.

I intend to provide a browsing and shopping experience that is welcoming, peaceful and pleasing for the senses – facilitating the fusion of artist, creative vision and art admirer based on a shared passion for the calming beauty of nature and subject, both in detail and on the landscape.

My goal for a grand opening reception is sometime within the first week of June. Please check back often, either on this blog or by way of Photography by Jim Crotty on Facebook, as I will be posting additional images as progress continues on the studio and gallery here on Hilton Head.

More than just being happy with this next step in my career as a photographer and artist, I am indeed blessed beyond measure. Not only due to the opportunity to pursue my passion but perhaps more so for the opportunity to share my visual discoveries and photographs with others, in presenting my images and through teaching and encouraging the art of photography.

The Universal Truth of Simplicity | The Rabbit Room — Every Teacher Is An Art Teacher

The Rabbit Room — Every Teacher Is An Art Teacher.

“Eloquence is the ability to understand ideas and concepts and then to express them with persuasion and grace.”   – Russ Ramsey

There it is. And not just with the written word but for all artistic mediums, and for the artist in each of us.

What does this have to do with photography ?


It’s just that simple.