Improving the Quality of My Work / by Gabriel Newman

A little bit of background about me: I am a sophomore at the University of Puget Sound. I do not study photography in any official capacity here, but I work for ASUPS Photo Services and Communications in addition to the work I do for myself. 

One of my major sources of inspiration is Jared Polin. For those of you not familiar with his work, check out,, or my favorite, Jared Polin on YouTube. Not only is Jared's work phenomenal, he is an excellent teacher who has mastered the use of YouTube as an educational medium. I often use Jared's photography as a basis of comparison for my own. While I lack his years of experience, Jared's work serves as an excellent goal, even when I fall short. 

Getting to the main point, having obsessed over Jared's work and occasionally, over the work of people he has reviewed, including prominent Seattle-area photographers such as Jonathan Gapiya, I have noticed one area in particular where I think that I can improve my photography. My photography lacks a key component that Jared's embraces - continuity and flow in the form of a photo story. Whenever I review the best photos I have taken, I can't help but notice that many of the photos look similar, so much so that I can really only form an album of at most five photos without redundancy. Therefore, my goal for the coming months is to improve my work by innovating more -- by trying to capture images from new angles, and in new ways. It is good to ensure that I have one shot nailed, but it is even better to have a series of photos that are complementary, that all stand out and contribute to the story. 

This week happens to be spring break at the University of Puget Sound, and I am rewarding myself for hard work earlier this semester and year with three awesome new tools. Thanks to Borrow Lenses, I am temporarily in possession of a 24, 35, and 85, all f/1.4. Using these epic pieces of glass, I hope to create an environmental portrait series that will be the basis for my future in photographic storytelling.