Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Repeat Performances ~ WideAngle Wednesday!

"Aging Gracefully"
(1/200 sec.@ F/9, ISO 160, 20mm fl, 18-55mm kit zoom, bright hazy light)

I've spent a lot of time photographing this public park. I won't lie. I've been photographing Gage Park for over 5 years. And I keep returning. You'd think I'd have covered it all by now. But things keep changing, growing, dying off, weathering more storms etc... and the challenge of seeing something new in such a familiar place is one practice I continue, it makes me a more observant and creative photographer.

The apple tree above is a perfect example. I've always shot the flowering trees lining the rose beds from a vantage point that shows their color. They're the epitome of spring for me. But this year the weather had delayed their blooming and now they're already dropping petals and color in the harsh sun and strong breezes we're suddenly getting in Ontario. The display did not last long. Knowing I needed a new approach anyway, I started to focus on the trees themselves. Twisted trunks with withered bark, gangly limbs that spread out low, looking at least 100 years old and very wise.

I began to drop down low, shooting wide and upwards using my wide angle to accentuate the spread of the old trees. My point of view gave me a different perspective on why their so interesting, so full of character. And they transform into a scene that could be out in some old orchard instead of a park in the heart of the city.

All this took in editing was the Nik Efx plugin called brilliance/warmth and a slight adjustment in curves to bring out darker details on the trunk which the bright sun light was washing out a bit as it got too high in the sky.
I believe I'll return to this same spot at sunset and see what the light coming from the opposite side does.

The more you revisit a spot, the better you can envision what might be aesthetically interesting. And the more you use a particular lens, the better you'll know what it's best features are for what you're shooting. Repeats and revisits are never a waste.

Thanks for the ramble ladies and gents! Have a great day... and put that camera in your hand!

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