Wednesday, November 26, 2014

November 24, 2014

Happy Holidays!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

November 16, 2014

What will you choose, Selective Focus or Tunnel Vision?  Tunnel vision is a good term to explain what is happening in today's blitz of social media that leads to anxiety and loss of concentration and thus barriers to seeing.

A good example of tunnel vision in today's photography market is to look back at the evolution of stock photography.  In the early days of stock photography image creators focused on the idyllic images of travel, nature, portraits, life style, adventure etc...  These  were clean, sharp, colorful and the lighting was pristine.  These images represented the ideal travel locations with smiling happy people.

Today we want something a little more authentic, a naturalness to the people and to the models.  But if you look closely the images have just put on a more casual costume to make the models more contemporary but the smiles and props are just the same.

Real authentic imagery doesn't hide behind props with pats on the back and happy people enjoying moments of ecstatic materialism.  Authentic imagery comes from the heart with all the ugly exteriors shown for self realization.

Selective focus brings forth in a scene the main subject the image creator wants to present.  This is after his diligent examination of the scene and he has decided to show this detail rather than the infinite chooses available.

In using selective focus the subject of interest in the photograph is sharp (or blurred for juxtaposition and mystery) and the surrounding environment is blurred. The viewers eye will naturally be drawn to the focused area of the image.  We do this constantly in our own lives, ignoring the environment and focusing on details or ignoring the details and focusing in on the entire environment.

When we train ourselves to react to certain stimulus and not others we have confused selective focus with tunnel vision. Our minds need for selective memory hinders our ability to really see a new open vision of selective focus.  Selective focus becomes tunnel vision if we don't seek new and contrasting views to our daily routines.  If you approach a scene already determined to take a picture a certain way with out examining the whole scene then you have tunnel vision and are just putting different clothes on the same process and trying to make it look like something new.

Selective focus in photography can make the difference between an OK picture and a good one.  But you will need to go into the scene with an open mind and through that openness you can make a deeper connection with your subject.  And in that relationship you find yourself connecting to surprising elements in the scene you have missed previously. Maybe you decide to put on a longer lens to isolate your new subject or maybe even a macro lens to blur further an interfering background.  You came to these decisions through reflection and purpose.  By isolating your subject you have created a new vision that represents what you worked for.

Tunnel vision before and during image creation dulls your mind to life's undercurrents and the possibility to see new relationships.  Tunnel vision undermines creativity. Use your unique vision to find subjects that can surprise the viewer and even yourself.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

November 9, 2014

When we label things we set a barrier between us and our subject.

In some ways by labeling we have already convinced ourselves what the subject is about and how we are going to take a photo of it. This way of seeing rarely allows for serendipity to happen. We have narrowed our field of interest and limited our ability to understand our subject on a more open personal level.

These types of images are boring because we have framed our subject though a narrow window in our minds and haven't opened ourselves to the infinite ways any subject can be photographed.

I feel a lot of this quick and easy labeling happens because people are caught up in time constraints.  They have other things nagging at them to be done so they hurry up and get this picture opportunity done with and then move on.  When you do this kind of image taking you lose moments of potential clarity and when you see the results of your quick paced shooting you have a nagging feeling of what ifs. What if I would have relaxed and slowed down and thought more about what I was seeing and feeling.  You now see the potential you had in front of you and what you have lost by not connecting your focus with your subject.

In order to create an image with purpose we must tape the mouth of ego shut.  Move away from social media's obsessive distractions and get on with your life.  We have to stop living a life through a mechanical screen that dulls us to living our real life.

The Internet bombards us with so much useless information, it overwhelms our ability to focus on the important things in life.  Don't be tethered to an electrical socket of information. Jumping from one topic to the next.  Let go of the need for speed.  Slow down adjust your life for a new path. One of calm nerves and clear thinking that will enhance your image making.  Let go of your anxious brain when you approach your subject.  Don't over analyze the scene.  Don't give yourself a time limit to shoot.  Take your time to explore the light enveloping your subject revealing to you more and more its true nature.  Dig deeper into the subject, exploring it from different angles.  Listen to your subject, it is telling you its nature.  Once you have done this now you can compose your image through a deeper awareness of your subject because you took the time to interact with it and didn't allow external voices to compromise your perception of your subject.

Fredrick Franck , " By these labels we recognize everything, and no longer see anything. We know the labels on the bottles, but never taste the wine."

Sunday, November 2, 2014

November 2, 2014

In today's continual distractions for something new, you can get caught up in the race for more toys at the expense of creating images that have meaning for you and others.  Just having the latest and greatest new lens won't make your images any better if you don't take the time to see the subject with a new intensity.

A thought begins with subtle interest in a subject. An idea begins to form on what your relationship is with the new subject and how you might express that relationship.  You then begin to feel a connection with the scene and begin the creative process of exploring your subject with emotion.

A good image represents more than just an object to be exploited.  If the image is void of emotion you have already lost the intent of creating an image worth showing.  Don't settle for a quick snap shot.  Use your growing personal vision to dig deeper into the scene and thus create a personal expression, a genuine honesty, for others to connect with.