Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Every Picture Tells a Story

Why do I take pictures ? This is a valid question to ask yourself . It is a question that I have answered many times and there seems to be a recurring theme to my response . I'm not talking about selling my work , although that is always a pleasant surprise when someone wants to support what I do by giving me money . I'm talking about the non - material benefits I receive .
There is a map of my life and the photos are guideposts that help me to find my way . Whenever I review one of my images I can see the invisible details , the story behind the photo . I am reminded of the weather perhaps or how I slipped and slided down the side of a wet ravine to capture a waterfall image that had been niggling at my conscience each time I walked past the site .

This map is the main reason I shoot photos . Of course another benefit I receive is a deeper appreciation of the physical world . A camera's ability to freeze a moment in time by its very nature allows me a glimpse of my thought process .
We live in such a material world and it is too easy to walk on by without consideration of the natural world . Looking for beauty in everyday things helps me appreciate my surroundings more .

What I was thinking before I pressed the shutter does matter. This mental reflection helps me to understand myself better and where I fit into the physical world .
So , yes it is possible to achieve fame and fortune as a roving photographer but it is important to connect with yourself first and foremost .

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Stop , Look and Listen

In our never ending quest to find the new ,  iconic ,  undiscovered location consider this . As you walk along is there something that catches your eye . Stop and look , be aware of your surroundings and listen to yourself . What was it that I just saw ? Why did I notice something ? This is your new , undiscovered location . Maybe it is a color .                                                                                                                              


This scene was just a flash of color as I hiked along a forest trail . Easy to miss ? Probably , but I was aware that something caught my attention . By taking the time to stop  I noticed what it was . All I had to do now was compose the picture in a way that emphasized my view .

Sometimes it is the way the light illuminates one thing . Whenever my creative eye is blocked and nothing seems to be worth making a picture there is a trick/technique that usually works for me , I look for the light .

Light and shadow , two pieces of a picture . Stop , look and listen and the world takes on a different view .

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

The Golden Hour

The color of the light is the reason the period after sunrise and before sunset is called the Golden Hour . The low angle of the suns rays to the surface of the earth are dispersed by the atmosphere creating a brilliant golden glow .This effect is pleasing to everyone and landscape photographers are no exception . Look at any  website dedicated to landscape photography and notice that many of the images are captured in this type of light .


However , a famous photographer once  said , " the best light for taking photographs is available light " .  This statement is worth considering because as photographers we just want to take pictures . The reality is that we don't walk around and see everything bathed in a golden glow all the time . Sometimes the light is diffuse and lacking direction .

This diffuse light occurs on those days when the sky is overcast and the suns rays appear to be shining through a large white umbrella . Coincidentally this is the best light to photograph waterfalls because the low contrast preserves detail in the water which is so easily lost in bright sunshine .

Other times the light may be reflected off of a colored surface such as the sky and this color will appear in the image . There are many lighting situations that can all be used to advantage . The landscape has so much to offer that may be revealed at anytime . The point is don't wait for the golden hour at the expense of missing other opportunities throughout the day . So much to see and never enough time .                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Beyond the Garden Gate

Beyond the garden gate is really about how far I didn't go to take these pictures. I gave myself an exercise that would force me to stand in one place and take a series of photographs . The idea is not a new one and it is always good practice , something we all do a variation on when we work on a subject...look at it from different angles and changing lens perspective .

The first thing I noticed was how the light was behind the grasses and was creating a beautiful luminous glow.                                                                            

As I started to work with this idea simply changing camera orientation presented a different view .

Choosing a shorter focal length gave me a wider perspective , all without changing my position .

Then I rotated my body 45 degrees and from the same spot took this picture .

Another small rotation revealed this image .


Finally , a rotation in the other direction offered this view . Both of these pictures are the same subject just using a different focal length .
So from this exercise , standing in one spot and using the tools at hand many different pictures were possible.