Saturday, May 21, 2011

Going in Circles

I was reminded today of the importance, and power of considering perspective, that is multiple perspectives, when framing your subject.  On a short walk around my neighborhood, I was following a familiar path and noticed a tree that caught my attention as having potential for great image.  

The problem was that when I framed the image, it wasn’t giving me that magical look.  Since I wasn’t in any hurry, I started walking around the tree like I was stalking it, and came upon an angle that had all the right stuff—lighting, shadows, glint of the sun, along with the backdrop of a deep blue sky.  When I got back to the digital darkroom, I was really pleased with what I had.  By going in circles, literally, I found my picture.

I often tell my friends when we’re out on photo shoots, to periodically stop and look over their shoulders because that perspective is the one that most people miss.  I have to remind myself of the same thing, and today I learned a corollary…look at your subject from more than one angle and you might just be surprised, and rewarded with what you find.  It takes time, and it takes practice.  And it's because I know that it takes practice that I will grab my camera and just go out on walk-abouts...that way I'll be better prepared when going on destination-specific shoots.

(photo metadata:  1/180 sec @ f/6.7, ISO 200, focal length 11mm)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Seeing the Big Picture

I don't know about you, but I sometimes find myself in information overload.  When it comes to photography, I watch videos, read blogs, follow forum posts, research and experiment with tutorials, and spend countless hours practicing photography on outdoor photoshoots, or editing images in the digital darkroom.  Who has the time?

Funny thing though, I'm loving every minute of it.  It was after returning from my recent trip to Colorado Springs with another couple hundred photos that needed viewing, culling, processing, and sharing that I was able to catch a glimpse of the "big picture".  Instead of that overwhelmed feeling, I had an excited feeling...similar to a child at Christmas.  I was looking forward to seeing what I caught, and how I'd be able to improve the good images--all the while knowing the joy of sharing them was to follow.  The "big picture" was simply realizing that I just love photography, and more than that, I love taking pictures, editing pictures, and sharing pictures...almost equally.  The big picture became a little clearer--I'm simply having a blast with my photography, and my photography friends!

It's easy to lose sight of the big picture.  Who hasn't been swallowed up in the debate of JPG vs RAW. Or how about the discussion of full-frame sensors vs smaller fractionally-sized sensors.  There are endless decisions, trade-offs, evaluations, and in the end compromises that one makes throughout the photographic process--but if you can keep YOUR big picture in focus, you won't get lost along the way.

Here's to finding your big picture!  (my big photo above happens to be a panorama with the Garden of the Gods in the foreground, and Pikes Peak in the background).  See more of Colorado Springs on my website at:

(photo metadata:  1/350 sec @ f/9.5, ISO 200, focal length 24mm)