Friday, December 28, 2012

What You See Is What We Get!

"Atlantic Rock II"
Leading Tickles, Newfoundland, Canada

The post today is an image taken from one of my favorite locations from my quick trip down to Newfoundland this past fall. And if I could be honest, this image is very nearly untouched. I say nearly, because some mild high pass sharpen and fade correction was applied to keep the contrast clean, as well as a slight in-camera tilt corrected. I so loved the weather and the scene from that moment in this frame, that I feel to manipulate it further is too much. Does that make sense? 

Sometimes I fear that unless an image is saturated beyond logic, has a multitude of filters and apps applied, wild edges, and unearthly hues displayed, we won't recognize beautiful photography when we see it. That's just my fear, you may feel completely different. That's what's great about art.

For me it's still the old adage that you can indeed get most of it right in camera. Grab that cool light the minute you see it, or be authentic in how you expose for that weather moving into frame, be confident in your ability to capture what you love... if it grabbed your eye in real life, chances are you can go without the Velvet Elvis HDR effect later. And have I manipulated the light's intensity, or colouring, or the scene's perspective in my photos at any point.... heck yeh! When my intent for what I needed or desired to convey called for it. But I work hard to make sure it's then, and only then... and with extreme care. And I've said it before, I don't pick up the camera this much so I can spend all day parked at the computer. 

Whatever you love to tweak and change in your images, or how much, make sure that what you saw is what we get.... your intent and your final vision for that photograph. That's what it keeps coming down to.

Thanks for the ramble! Hope you all had a fabulous holiday celebrating everything you celebrate!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

When B&W Calls

"Then She Gave Me Flowers..."

Today's image is a return to my love of B&W. It's been a while since I felt compelled to convert an image into B&W, usually the images are more along the lines of cityscapes, or portraits, or heavy on design elements and contrast. But as I realised the quality of sidelight coming through the window against my poinsettias, I knew the textures and highlights being rimmed in light would be completely at home monochromatically.

My good friend and mentor Bob Grauer, who's work you can view here, said in response to my previous post about "Flat Lighting" that you can't go wrong when you "listen to the light." I liked it so much that I wrote his words down and tacked it up near my kit bag.

I knew with the image above (which you can click on to see it enlarged) that it was the light that called to me, but it wasn't till I realised that the best way to showcase that light was in my custom Platinum B&W processing that I knew what my vision for this photograph was going to boil down to. 

That's the excitement of photography... have you converted to B&W lately to showcase the right light?

Thanks for the Ramble gang! Have a good one!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Use That Flat Light!

Ball's Falls Conservation Area, Grimsby, Ontario

We're told there's several things we need to avoid to achieve better photographs. Don't crowd a photo with too much info. Don't put your subject directly in the center of the photo. And avoid flat, grey light. But as with every general principle or guideline, there are always times to use the very things we try to avoid. 

 "Welcome to the Garden"
Ball's Falls Conservation Area, Grimsby, Ontario

Take the images from today's post. They were all taken during flat lighting conditions. And thank goodness. In solid cloud cover, colours in nature stay true due to little or no reflection from the sun, they seem additionally saturated, and deep shadow was never a concern, allowing me to make a correct exposure and worry more about composition and vision, especially in the first image of the close up of the driftwood.

"Doorway to Yesterday"
Ball's Falls Conservation Area, Grimsby, Ontario

I'm wary of only ever shooting in ideal conditions, you should be able to capture the magic, or a story,or the vision no matter what conditions are out there. I challenge you to see what happens when the wrong conditions are the right ones... start with using that flat light as a tool in your photo arsenal!
Feel free to click on each low res image to view the larger version, and thanks for the Ramble folks! Have a good one!