INSPIRE SPEAKERS: MIKE & KATE DUVAL

In this series of blog posts we are introducing people who are speaking at and attending Inspire 2013. We are delighted to introduce Mike and Kate Duval, owners of MKD Photography in Ayer, MA. Mike and Kate will be teaching the class Step Into The Light

By Mike and Kate

I don't remember the day that I started to see the world in images—you know that moment when you start dreaming in Spanish or thinking in French when learning a foreign language? There is that moment in a photographer's mind, where all of a sudden you stop seeing with your own dynamic range—the almost infinite range that our eyes see can be our worst enemy with a camera and it's limited dynamic range in hand—and at some point, I started to see light, and exposure, and kelvin light temperatures and the shutter in my mind would try and capture every gorgeous composure and puddle of light that it could soak up.

It's almost like a 6th sense, a witch's eye, some intangible, untouchable phenomenon that brings an image from ehh to awe—it's something that Mike and I talk about often when driving down the street in the early morning hours watching the sun wrap it's arms around a hill, or coming home when the shadows are reaching across the highway. But I need to stop for a minute and let you know that I don't think that we are on some high horse looking down our noses at all the lowly images—even seeing the light, knowing where it is, how to find it, how to re-create it when it isn't there—that isn't all of the magic that you need to create amazing images—there is some other unknown that happens, that moment when the stars align and everything falls into place perfectly. We are chasing those stars...but I am saying that it is so much easier to have the stars align when you're not just shooting in the dark, when you have that leg up of truly seeing the light the way that your camera would so you can work with the limitations in a way that is freeing. We're still chasing the stars, hoping that they'll align every time my shutter clicks...something tells me that it doesn't happen 100% of the time for anyone.

At Inspire we will get technical, we will talk about the tools that help your images shine—hopefully on a level that anyone who has ever held a camera can understand—because it is in knowing, practicing, and striving to master the technical that you can free yourself to let the art flow. If you were constantly holding onto the handle bars, gripping on for dear life, looking at the road beneath your bike you would certainly miss the whole world going by, but if you are confident in your skills, if you could even spread your arms wide and let go of the handle bars while breathing in your surroundings as they whipped by—that is when are truly living.

We're excited to be a part of Inspire 2012—we are passionate about the philosophies, the science, and the thinking that goes into image making and we hope that we can light a new fire in anyone who wants to come and share some time with us at the workshops! We're excited, see you all in February!   - Kate and Mike of MKD Photography