Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Black youth in particular are problematized, stigmatized, marginalized and pushed into an underclass by society as a whole. We are made to fear our youth--the voiceless tribe of today--so it's no wonder many of them choose to tune out and escape into other worlds of their own.

Copyright Ocean Morisset Photography
Harlem, NYC.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Every day I take pictures of the everyday.--OM

"What matters is to live in the moment, live now, for every moment is now. It is your thoughts and acts of the moment that create your future. The outline of your future path already exists, for you created its pattern with your past". -Sai Babba
© Ocean Morisset Photography
Harlem, NYC.

Brotherhood, Protection and Safety, all at one Harlem crosswalk.

© Ocean Morisset

"Ocean, what kind of camera should I get?"

I get questions all the time from friends and acquaintances about which camera is the best one to buy. To that question, there are a myriad of answers based on what you plan to do or shoot with the camera. Even though photography is a technical field, those aspects don't particularly interest me. I get bored with conversation with other pro's about lenses, DOF, and photography RULES. While I agree it's important to know the basic rules of composition, light and of course camera usage I think honing the "eye" is a much more useful lesson to the layperson embarking on a journey through photography. There are many roads to take towards arriving at a successful image and at the end of the day, the viewer will decide based on how the image moves them (or not).

In my opinion, there's no reason to spend thousands of dollars on camera equipment. I've seen "photographers" with the latest of everything and the photography vest to match, but will use their camera on "A" automatic mode, or do all the "photography" using photo-editing software.

To answer the question about which camera to get, I'd say spend little on a camera with an M (manual) mode. This allows you total control of the camera and will force you to learn about exposure, depth of field and shutter speed. You will of course need much practice with composition--how you "frame" what you're shooting, and that takes much practice so shoot A LOT!

Nowadays, there are advancements with camera phone technology and we've all seen what the iphone can do! I happen to shoot OFTEN with my iphone, but my main pro camera--a Nikon D80-- is considered an antique in the rapidly-changing landscape of DSLR and technology. Yet, I still get the job done, pleasing clients and "fans" alike. When I think about how we revere images from the past-- those taken by "Master" photographers--I note that most of those camera's used to shoot historical images are now antiques! This reaffirms the notion that good photography is not only achieved by the (good/expensive) camera, but mostly by the "eye".

The most important thing in all of this is to ENJOY photography. Whatever genre interests you, be it fashion, photojournalism, landscape, still life, etc., it's important to have fun, treat your subject matter with the utmost importance, and try new perspectives.
These days, everyone claims to be a photographer thanks to the mass accessibility of camera phones, so it's important to STAND OUT from the pack in some way, learn from your mistakes, never compare yourself or your work to another photographer and always remain true to yourself!

(iPhone) Photo copyright Ocean Morisset Photography. Peekskill, N.Y

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Ode to Harlem Besties

Piggy back ride
transportation of love
with laughter as its fuel
It never tires, 
not for a sister 
or a bestie...
it rages on like fire.

Our friendship
fits like a glove;
passion- burning warmth
on the coldest days
and darkest nights
moved beyond the depths
of all that inspires,
the joy of which takes form
of these words I write. 

A moment in precious time
In the face of a neighborhood 
and a world
in transition
thick like African musk oil
Vaporizes in the heat of a 
Harlem summer
and joins the breeze
as together, we take flight.

And while all things inevitably change
my love for you stands 
the test of time
and soars 
like an iridescent kite.

Monday, July 14, 2014

"The Pursuit of truth and beauty is a sphere of activity in which we are permitted  to remain children all our lives". --Albert Einstein

Hudson River, Peekskill, New York.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

"Harlem" by Langston Hughes

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore--
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over--
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

(Photo copyright Ocean Morisset)

Sunday, June 01, 2014

"However long the night may last, there will be morning."

This Morrocan proverb inspired this latest self-portrait I shot at the Peekskill waterfront:

 "However long the night may last, there will be morning."

 I arrived at the waterfront earlier than I wanted to because the sun was still shining brightly and I intended to shoot this image at dusk. It was also Memorial Day and many families were still soaking in final rays of the descending sun, and couples strolled about. I was a little annoyed at myself, because this had been an image I hought about making for weeks, and I picked the worse day of the year to do it. Nevertheless, I changed out of my shorts and t-shirt in my car and put on my white outfit. The white was to symbolize cleansing, purification, spirit and because I ws at the water, a call to the orisha Yemaya.

 As the sun made its slow descent, I spent some time shooting silhouettes and a few waterfront activiteis like a father playing with his son. Finally, with my camera mounted to the tri-pod, I began to explore this vision I had. I tried diffrent exposures and varying shutter speeds, shooting only in Manual mode to achieve the results I wanted. A few times I was interrupted by passersby who observed me run from my "posing" position, back to my camera and back again. Offers to take my picture made me chuckle because it led me to believe that these well-meaning people thought I was simply trying to get a sort of "tourist" shot with the view of the magnificent mountains and bay in the background. When I explained that I'm an artist, and I was creating "art", there was the "oh!" followed by a few lingering eyes that continued to watch me as they slowly strolled away. All in all, I like what I achieved here, but I have so much more to explore of myself at the waterfront.