Posts tagged “Fine Art Photography

Butterflies (Two Photographs)n

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When I am shooting in nature I try to get some context, contrast, or framing. Not always possible but I find focusing on just the subject is bit too clinical and not necessarily creative photography. An added bonus is it makes shooting some subjects just a touch more challenging.


Fill the Screen (Two Photographs)

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Almost every photography teacher will utter the words “fill the screen”. In journalism it’s a very good idea to include all the details in the frame, but in art and nature what is in the frame or not is a matter of opinion and how close we crop is a matter of taste.


Eyes

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Eyes are important in any kind of portrait, and I find it’s sometimes a neglected element when it comes to some animals, like birds. I suspect this is because it is hard to get a catch light in the eye to make the eyes interesting and look normal.


Falling (Two Photographs)

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Once you master the basics of photography and have found subjects you like, the two stage process of composing begins to take on more importance. First there is composition in camera and while filling the frame sounds great (and it is for journalism) remember the sensor format in your camera is not 8×10 or the size of any standard picture frame. Nor does it usually follow editorial requirements. So the second stage is the crop in post production.  As a personal rule I try to leave room in the camera composition to enable a reasonable crop in post processing.


Negative Space (Two Photographs)

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Your subject needs space to sing (talk) into, as one of my photography friends once said to explain negative space. It’s not a rule. If it were, some of Buster Keaton’s better scenes of being hit by a door would not have been allowed.


Realism (Two Photographs)

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Sometimes when it comes to processing a photograph I find the raw photo extremely realistic and there is little or nothing to do to the shot but prepare it for the web. I don’t call this out-of-the-camera as the camera’s computer and the import into Lightroom modify the shot.


Hummingbird Moth (Two Photographs)

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The second photograph could be my ode to Halloween. Hummingbird moths look better just a bit further away. Their flight pattern is more like helicopter than a plane which makes some shots a little easier.


A Happy Accident

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Happy accidents do happen in photography. I took this photograph when I was distracted and not thinking about all the things I should have. Yet the photo that I saw in my catalogue caught my eye and I was pleased with the result. Doesn’t happen often but its nice when it does.


An Old Complaint (Two Photographs)

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It used to be that the phrases “time is money” and the “customer is always right” had meaning. We didn’t toss things out that worked for other things just because they were shiner and newer. Clients were not made to work harder for a not quite the same result. Help lines and complaints were listened to and not downplayed. But as corporations grew, seeing innovation as a mark of progress and their clientele grew into large numbers, only the corporation’s time mattered, only the corporation’s concerns mattered and those who had problems became whispers in the dark talking to help centres that could do nothing but parrot the corporate line.

At the end of 2021 unless WordPress keeps the old editor I will end this blog. I have better things to do than rail at a windmill.


Depth of Field

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Narrow depth of field, to isolate your subject is not just a matter of the aperture you use (the smaller the better). It’s also influenced by the distance between your subject and the camera, as well as the distance of your subject from the background. You want the background to be further away from your subject than the camera is to the subject.

 


More on Choices (Two Photographs)

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The approach we take to a photograph, the cropping, etc. all involve choices. For some that is what make photography interesting. We would all prefer to spend less time behind a computer screen, but in many cases that is where the photo comes to life and lets us further interpret the scene.


Choices (Two Photographs)

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In my last post I said photographers interpret the world around them, in other words, have choices to make as to their final product. The choice between colour and black and white could not be easier today, given that many software packages make conversions easy. Given all the options I am often stuck with hard choices.


Monarch in the Light (Two Photographs)

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If you read my last couple of posts on colour and shadows you will notice in these photos taken a few seconds apart, the change in colour due to shadow and positioning. It’s not a question of which is right or closer to reality, but that colour and shadow are variables. As a result there are choices to be made when taking the photos and some latitude when it comes to processing. In this sense (and others) photographers interpret reality.


Shadows (Two Photographs)

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In these photos of what I believe is a female goldfinch, shadows play a role. Shadows can give depth or interest to a photo, complement a portrait. In the first of these shots, the shadow can be seen as somewhat humorous, but in the second it adds to the portrait.


Colour (Two Photographs)

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Most photographers today grew up in the world of colour photography, TV and movies. That does not mean we have less appreciation for black and white. It’s just that colour is seen as closer to reality and more familiar than monochrome. The danger is of course two-fold: the technicalities of colour reproduction make it hard to be true to life, and secondly the temptation that few can resist, to improve the colours (even with just a bit of contrast). In black and white the latitude for “reality” is arguably wider as one works with shadow and light.


Painted Lady Butterfly (Two Photographs)

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By far the most compliant insect I have seen. They pose! It takes a bit more movement to frighten them off, and they usually have great eyes. Whenever I find one there are dozens and its great fun for photography.


Black-Crowned Night Herons (Two Photographs)


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The grey bird was my first and only female black-crowned night heron. The second photo is of a far more familiar male heron (the white plume indicates mating season). The male looks a little like a penguin.


The Sweep (Two Photographs)

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You don’t have to read a lot about photography before you hear about how leading lines lead the eye into your composition. Taking that one step further, the leading line can be the subject. Think of majestic staircases or vines like the photos here.


That Owl

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I was not able to see our resident Eastern Screech owl this year, and I miss seeing it. This is the last of my shots of him from 2019. The closest nature reserve to where I live is uncomfortably full of people, and as long as the current situation remains, I intend to stick to less populated locations.


Contrast (Two Photographs)

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In photographing insects its always great to have colour contrast. Many insects blend in with camouflage so colour contrast is nice to have rather than a must have. Besides beautiful flowers add to any subject.


A Background (Two Photographs)

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After my suggestion to take photos from many angles, my next suggestion is to be mindful of the background. It can help or hinder your photograph. Simple is only better sometimes. In short watch your backgrounds, change your angle or distance to get a nicer one.

 


Reflections (Two Photographs)

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I try to use reflections in water when I can. Sometimes if the water is still enough you get this mirror effect that makes the photo a bit surreal. Often it makes people take a second look at the photograph to fully understand what they see.


Local Art (Two Photographs)

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There has always been a rich array of public art where I live, these were taken pre-pandemic. Since the pandemic the growth has been exponential to the degree that many of the latest murals are reported in the local paper, giving due credit to the artists involved.


Awkward Angles (Two Photographs)

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Since I started writing about photography, I have made a point of suggesting that photos taken from different angles or perspectives make it more likely you get a unique photo. And it is true that some angles result in awkward looking shots but sometimes those angles may be all you have to work with. In my case that means taking more shots however I can when the subject is interesting, in the hope of a successful shot.