Sunday, February 8, 2015

February 8, 2015

Photography is all about being visually alert to the potential subjects that are present everywhere.  And photography is also about asking questions concerning your subject and studying your subject so you can create an image that expresses it's true nature.

How much do we really see and comprehend once we have filtered the scene in front of us through our prejudices?  I think most people would be surprised how much their environment in childhood formed strong structured perceptions of their world.  I use to ignore details that I thought were not grandiose enough.  I wanted the big dramatic landscape so I overlooked potential imagery right in front of me.

It takes time to be in tune to your surroundings and I am still working on being more perceptive in my choice of details and then composing those details in such away that gives the viewer a sense of the subject beyond any homegrown labels.

Macro photography is a good way to present a subject in such a way that creates mystery and gives the viewer a different perspective on a subject we might just take for granted and ignore.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

February 4, 2015

An important element in preparation when going out to shoot is to have an informal plan of attack.  You have the main subject in mind.  For me this means that the lighting conditions in the morning or evening are well suited for this particular subject, whether it be a skyline, landscape, street scenes, etc...

I am not going out with a rigid mental purpose, that this subject and only this subject I will shoot.  Weather changes and your eye is hungry with excitement to be out shooting so you are open to serendipity.

Yesterday I was out for the sunrise.  I wanted to get the Seattle Skyline with low fog surrounding the base of Space Needle and taller buildings in the downtown corridor.  The day before the fog was just perfect for this effect and I was hoping that we could get a repeat.  No dice, the clouds came in and the fog didn't hug the surface but rose to block any view of the city.

At the base of Queen Anne hill in Seattle I had already scouted a small park lit with neon lights. The park had metal tables, chairs and small trees silhouetted against this bright neon.  So I headed their and set up to shoot.  About half way through shooting the neon lights went out as morning approached.  I packed up and went to another area I had scouted and set up to shoot there.  I got a couple of frames taken of these wonderful street lights lining a curvy road.  And then suddenly those lights went out. The good news is that the city is conserving energy by putting timers on their lights.

I went to a third subject and this time the light stayed until I was done.

You get the picture.  We have our mental lists of subjects we are interested in shooting. When we go out to shoot, hopefully, we just go with the flow and are not driving crazy searching for a subject to put in jaw dropping beautiful light.  This works in theory but we know that as image creators we are never satisfied and are always looking to improve the subject with better and better light.