About Skippy and On The Fly Photography

“He who dies with his art on the most hard drives wins.” — Michael W. Dean

Skippy of On The Fly PhotographyOn The Fly Photography:

On The Fly Photography is about creation from chaos. My style arose from a foundation of minimal equipment & planning. Black and white film, the Zone System, ambient light and location shooting are how I developed my vision. Even when I am working with digital format, studio lighting, controlled conditions and utilizing post-processing on the computer I still aim for the root concept of working On The Fly. To much control crushes creativity and spontaneity. Expectations must come second to improvisation.

I began learning photography by picking up the camera and playing with it. I figured out the technical side of photography by experimenting. The artistic side came a bit later. I started to figure out what looked good to my eye and what didn’t.

I expanded my abilities when I starting doing darkroom work – developing and printing black and white. It was here that I started using what I call “slash and burn” photography – aka “using the force”. While other people would time the enlarger exposure I would just put the paper under the light and go until it “felt right”. My prints spent about the right amount of time in the developer. Sometimes I just painted the developer on with my fingers.

Yes, I put my fingers in the chemical.

No.  I did not wear gloves.

Even today I still use much the same method. When setting up lights for a fashion shoot there is no diagram, I don’t measure distances and calculate lumens. I put the lights where I think they should go according to The Force. Sometimes I use the light meter, but sometimes I simply know where to set the shutter speed and f-stop.

Yes it’s true.  Much of what you see here I simply make up as I go along.


Skippy orchestrates wedding photography as Time/Place Photography.

Above photograph and blog header image are copyright JulieannaD Photography and used with permission.  See how I did that?  I got permission, I didn’t just take stuff of a website and post it on my website.  Just saying.

How I do it:

Emotional impact – or art as some might call it – is more important than technical perfection.

I compose the image in the camera. Skippy says “Cropping is cheating.” Most of my images are presented full frame. Photoshopping out unwanted elements is cheating. Skippy says “If you take the picture right the first time you don’t have to fix it in Photoshop.” Post-processing with software is used to enhance artistic vision, not to correct mistakes.

Use what I’ve got. Available light. The place I’m in. Anything in my environment becomes a subject. I photograph flowers and objects as I find them. What is there is there. I don’t pretend otherwise. I ask “How can I use this?”

Why I do it:

Photography is my way of making sense of the world and relating my state of mind to others. Photography is my way of making another person smile or cry or think or decide.

I believe images can be complex and layered inspirations for philosophical inquiry. Images can also be meaningless entertaining fluff. Either approach is valid under certain conditions and I embrace both.

I’m serious about what I do. I’m not serious about how I do it.

What is Time/Place Photography?

Time/Place Photography is a division of On The Fly Photography specializing in environmental portraiture. The mission is to provide unique photography of unique people. Time/Place Photography is for those who create. The creation can be personal or professional. It could be family or community. It could be material or spiritual. It doesn’t really matter how you manifest your gift – only that you do. Time/Place photography celebrates your creation, your talent, your contribution.

If you don’t live your life to the tick of a clock then you have created your own Time/Place.