I went out to my favorite lake nearby for the first time in a while with the intention of shooting around for new images to post and came back with a little more than I had expected. The next day I discovered that, for the first time in my life, I had come down with a bit of poison ivy rash, on my forehead and arm of all places. I guess crawling around in the plants and dirt to get those low angle shots I like to get at times finally came back to bite me. Maybe its time I invest in one of those handy right angle viewfinder adaptors that lets me look down from above the camera rather than sticking my face in the ground.
At any rate, I wanted to shoot a few shots for all of you minimal image lovers out there as it seems to be a wave of people looking for such imagery for their wallpapering needs. I feel like I have always taken a pretty minimal approach to composing images for desktop wallpapers which has affected my approach to photography in general over the years, not in a bad way really, just in a way that lead me to be fairly minimal minded when I compose a shot. I try to give the subject as much breathing room as I can. I know its a pretty singular approach that is not always appropriate but its something that everyone seems to enjoy so I have stuck with it over the years. At least with my photography geared toward wallpaper use that is.
In other news, sorry for the lack of updates lately, I have plenty to post around, just have not found the time to get new images up. I hope to get a good amount of work done on the design/coding part of the new layout here on 50ft today and tomorrow while I have free time without work, I don’t much feel like going anywhere anyways what with this itchy face and all haha…
(Also: I ended up writing out some basic ideas for any new photographers that may be reading and are interested in some simple ideas on approach and method while shooting. Its really not too elaborate or detailed and may be boring for my average reader or anyone who already knows plenty about photography. I have, however gotten a number of readers asking about learning more about photography and how to better themselves as photographers so I thought it may be appropriate to talk a little about it. Follow the read more link for more.)
To whom it may concern:
Many of you may not notice that my approach changes depending on the intention of the photograph being taken and its why my shooting style varies so often because I tend to shoot a subject how I feel will best represent it. I feel its good to approach a subject or photograph in a way that best represents the idea and emotion you are trying capture and while many times I have found myself struggling with the whole idea of finding my “look” or a specific, singular approach to taking photos in a way that would clearly define them as my personal style, I feel as though sometimes the images speak for themselves in what they need to stand out or take on a life of their own.
If there is a subject as simple as this, a small part of a plant twisting outward from the bulk of the plants below It works well to heavily separate that line from the rest of the chaotic color and light of the scene behind it but if the subject had something to gain from leaving in more of the background scene then obviously I would tighten up my aperture to leave more of the scene in view. It may be an obvious point to make but its not only about the depth of field. The same idea of using a unique approach for any given photo also varies greatly depending on what camera or lens I’m using or what film I have loaded. There are different tools for different jobs or needs. There are countless variables that may fall into place that I consider when shooting an image which all fall into place in the time span of a few seconds as I decide how to best approach any given photograph.
I guess the point of rambling a bit here is to point out the idea that while photography is indeed largely about the photographers “eye” for spotting good photos its also greatly affected by what tools you use when shooting and how best to use them for any given photograph and what film you use or what lens or camera you use all should be taken into consideration when shooting and you should learn the strength and weaknesses of your selected tools to be able to manipulate them to get the best results. For instance, if you are shooting with black and white film you obviously will not be looking as much into the play of color in a scene, you will have to focus purely on how the intensity of the light changes from spot to spot within the scene and how best to compose the image to highlight your subject or emotional center of the photograph. This also goes for what camera of lens you are using because all of these tools combined in different ways will achieve different results and its key to understand how to best bend these different tools to your will.
Many new photographers fail to see the importance of gaining a good knowledge of the differences between different exposure variables and intensities of light to more quickly and efficiently shoot. Even more grungy or casual photography can improve greatly from even a basic understanding of the difference a few stops of exposure can make within a photograph. I can admit that I still work to better understand and recognize what works best in any given situation or set up and its helped me greatly to grow as a photographer and I encourage anyone looking to better themselves as photographers to start with the basics of how photography works.
While studying the principles of film photography may seem dated or strange in this digital age you have to remember that all of these modern digital SLR’s are based of the same ideas, compromises, and principles that have been laid in place for decades. Anyone serious about learning more about these ideas I would suggest reading through some of Ansel Adams books on the ideas of photography. While his approach taught in these books are not the only way to go about things, they do give a really clear understanding of why and how to achieve what you are looking for in your photographic self.
And one last note, while knowing more about photography and the technical side of it is a great thing, there is such a thing as taking it too far and letting yourself get totally consumed by the techie details. Don’t forget that photography is a highly personal art form and you should always remember to shoot from the heart. Do it for the love of doing it. Like any passion in life really. The trick is to get enough of the tech side in your mind for it to become instinct and move forward from there. Never stop exploring.