Colour (Two Photographs)

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I was reading an article on Jackson Pollack’s abstract expressionism and why it was important and innovative. Drip art, no matter how clever the paint and approach may not be to everyone’s liking. But the article made me think about an approach to photography. The photos here are very differenteven if they’re of the same subject. In one, the photo relies on shape and form, shadow and light and is easily seen for what it is. The second is a bit harder to decipherbut it depends more than the first on color and shape to have meaning and is more abstract. Like drip painting this may not be to everyone’s taste, but a little more is left to the imagination than the straightforward depiction of the thistle.

Criticism (Three Photographs)

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My personal view is that most photographs can be subject to criticism, positive and negative. Criticism can be useful if it’s done right and makes you think about how you might have approached something differently. A great way to give positive feedback is to say I like photo x over photo y and then explain why. These three wood duck photos meet my level of satisfaction but someone could say for example, that the nose is too close to the water, that the angle at which a photo was taken is too extreme and the depth of field could have been better. Criticism whether well done or not should be something sought not avoided, it helps to see through otherseyes, understand what various people like or dislike, and understand how they see your work. It’s not always fun, but it can be.

The Faces (Two Photographs)

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Every photographer will tell you that at some point or another they saw something in a shot they had not noticed when they took the shot. Sometimes it‘s a good thing and sometimes it’s a bit spooky, have a look at the second photo. They say plants talk, but scowl?

Wood Ducks (Two Photographs)

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Wood ducks are not uncommon where I live, but the males almost always cause a fuss among viewers because their colour is so spectacular. I never gave it much thought about why they were called wood ducks, until I saw one fly out of tree. That’s where they nest and apparently how they got their name. I have taken several wood duck shots and I will put a few up over the next week or so.Some subjects you just cannot avoid photographing. And yes his female companion does not look like she is in a good mood, although in fairness that may be the result of my selective focus.

An Effect (Three Photographs)

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This narrow depth of field effect can be obtained with more than one type of lens. Here I used a 105mm at F 2.8, but I could have used a wide-angle lens at the same aperture and cropped more significantly than was the case with the 105mm and had the same result if not better. Aperture and F stops are confusing for everyone. Most of the time what we want is a pleasantly out of focus background or to avoid an overly out of focus background. In both cases keep in mind that the background will be more out of focus and painterly (Bokeh) if you are much closer to your subject than to the background.

Bringing Yourself to the Party (Three Photographs)

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One of things I mentioned in an earlier post is thinking about what you as a photographer bring to a photograph. On my walks I photograph odd things, not because they are odd, but because I have an idea of how I want to shoot and process the results. In the photo of the peacock mural, being forced to take the photo at an angle made me appreciate the depth and structure of the surface it was painted on. In processing I de-saturated slightly the photo and emphasized the detail in the brick work (to highlight the painting) and used a cinematic crop, that and the angle is my contribution to what is an incredible sight on the corner of a busy street. In the second photo my thinking was to do it both in black and white and colour, I could then emphasize the different textures and the atmosphere with attention to tones and light.I don’t think it’s lost on the viewer that it’s part of a doorway (had I left in the door itself, there would be reflections of cars etc). In short doing this kind of photography can involve much more work than is apparent to the viewer, but in the end the results are in the eyes of the viewer.

Three Ducks, Four Points

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No.1 Last year this blog had record number of visitors and views. I am both grateful and proud.

No.2 Between the weather and life intruding it’s not always as easy to keep a daily blog going, especially going into my seventh year.

No.3 I see no reason to stop.

No.4 We get some great ducks in the fall! These ducks really have character.

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