Mel Noodelman, Toronto Member Since September 2013 Artist Statement I have always had an interest in photography. When I was a teenager, I bought my first camera; the best I could afford at the time. It was a Russian made Exacta, primitive and crude (the shutter release was on the front of the body, and positioned over a clunky lever that stopped down the lens). But it was good enough to get me hooked.
A couple years later, I wanted to trade up. As before, I was on a very limited budget. I bought a new Yashica Mat 124G twin lens reflex. Not the most obvious choice. It was very old school, even back then. But it was a bargain, when you considered the quality of the image. Yes, it was large and unwieldy, but it took great pictures. I took it across Canada, shooting slides only (what was I thinking??). But the sharpness and vivid colour were breathtaking.
For the birth of my first child, about 25 years ago, I needed something that would allow me to shoot with greater speed and flexibility. I invested in my first Nikon, and have been shooting Nikon ever since. Not that I have any bias against Canon, just not prepared to dump my investment in lenses.
When the camera body died, I had to go digital, although it took a while until I could afford to dump enough money into a decent body.
Currently I shoot with a D200 (I'm still on a budget). I bought it used and still had to explain the purchase to my wife. I am hoping to be able to trade up again, but not sure when. If I sell some of my work, I'll get there sooner.
One of the great things about digital is the incredibly quick obsolescence factor. Wait a few years, and that great camera is now a great, somewhat dated bargain.
I matured as a photographer taking images of my kids, like most dads. I would classify myself as an instinctive photographer. Never took classes, and learned only from my mistakes. But I definitely seemed to have a good eye. I even scored a cover shot for a small parenting type magazine. My parents were proud. Yay!
In general, I try to find a way to shoot things in a manner that reveals something unexpected, or in the case of people, have them engaged with me as I take the shot, or else be completely oblivious to me if they are inherently interesting or doing something that has some dramatic impact.
I have always enjoyed shooting people, mostly candids. I also like to shoot abstracts, trying to discover hidden patterns in the every day objects normally taken for granted (Chairs 1 is a good example in my portfolio on display here).
I will take landscapes, but only when absolutely necessary (at some point, it may be so spectacular, that I have to shoot a few. However, the dedicated landscape photographers who are set up ahead of first light, or dusk are in a much better position to take stunning shots, and I tip my hat to them).
I have historically been terrible doing post-production, and am famous for having the largest collection of pictures of friends and relations that have never been seen by anyone. I am finally starting to do the work. So far, I am just beginning processing the folders alphabetically, and have completed the 'A's and started the 'B's. Long way to go - over 260 gigabytes in all. I'm fairly old school - if I can't fix the image by tweaking the very basics such as colour temperature, exposure, brightness etc., then I consider it a write-off. If it's not in the camera, I won't try and create something that wasn't there. This dovetails nicely with the fact that I have no skills in working with photoshop, and no interest in studying how to use the program.
I have, very recently, rededicated myself to shooting, and am trying to figure out how I can get up early enough to capture morning light. I suffer from insomnia, so I'm usually dead to the world when the light is great. I have, also very recently, committed to putting my work 'out there', about which I am really insecure.
Hope you enjoy my images. Please leave comments and critiques, whether constructive or not. I am really interested in yo