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ERIK DOBECKY

PHOTOGRAPHY

Successful photography is filling in the details of an epic story

"If I have to miss something because I'm behind the camera, my pictures need to fill in the gaps as if I never looked away."

In school I studied Electrical Engineering, which makes me a nerd at heart. I get sucked into specifications and features as much as the next tech savvy person. I temper that tendency by reminding myself that some of my most cherished pictures -for content as much as technical accomplishment in photography- were taken with a cell phone. In fact, I could show you twenty amazing pictures, ten of which were taken with cell phones and ten taken with professional DSLRs, and you wouldn't be able to tell them apart.

So if I think that my equipment is so unimportant, (and I don't, really) what is the most important element of photography? Storytelling. I approach shooting for clients -regardless of the project- as if I'm shooting for myself, as if I'm photographing my kids. It doesn't matter if I'm holding a cell phone or a multi-thousand dollar DSLR; as soon as I put a camera in front of my face I take myself out of the story. I may as well be on the other side of the planet, looking at the subject through a web cam. For that reason, I want my pictures to matter. I want them to inject details, emotions, the presence of the event; the story. I want my pictures to make up for the fact that I'm missing this to take a picture. So I want my composition (the arrangement of people and things in the photo) and my framing (the position of all that stuff relative to the edges of the photo) to tell the story well enough that I don't feel like I missed something. And I want my exposure, lighting, and color reproduction to fill in enough of the details that my clients (even I) don't feel so lied to by the inadequate reproduction that is a photograph of a live event or person.

Erik Dobecky

Photographer
I've been shooting professionally for over 15 years. I'm still waiting for the day that I take a "great" photo.

I have a BS in Electrical Engineering and have studied art and photography throughout school.
 

Ethan O'Hagan

Editor & Writer
I've written for and produced several websites and work as a freelance writer and editor.

I also love photography and shoot when life lets me.
 

Project
Capture the social heart of Maryland, DC, and Virginia.

I'm trying to find what makes these areas loved. I want to capture these places as if through the eyes of those who enjoy them at home.

The front page embodies this idea. Baltimore and one of its most cherished harbors is framed by Key Highway. By de-emphasizing the skyline, areas of the harbor where locals congregate to play volleyball, enjoy great food, and generally socialize, are brought to the front of the observer's attention.

Spatial arrangement is reinforced through the use of colors that project depth. Caustic orange of Sodium lamps lighting Key Highway blend the foreground into the background as the observer tracks the more neutral tan and green colors of the volleyball playing fields all the way back to vivid blues, grays, and blacks of the skyline, pushing it back as far as possible.

Choosing to compose this photo in such a way is how I tell the story of where and what is dear to the people who live in these places. Throughout this project I want to find the social hot spots that tourists might never think to see. Equally importantly, I want to compose my pictures in a way that won't betray the scene by relegating it to a postcard. The stories must be genuine, and most importantly, personally palatable to the inhabitants of these cities.

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Erik Dobecky Photography
Bowie, MD
NDQzLjMwMi45MDY5

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