Posts tagged “Fine Art Photography

Formats (Two Photographs)

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Besides deciding to shoot in portrait or landscape format, we have to decide what format to cut the photo down to e.g. 8×10, or 4×5. There may be a number of factors at play over and above the subject matter. But the one trap is filling the frame in camera in such a way that you cannot format the photograph in post production, the subject fills the screen. I make this mistake every so often and the portrait shot here is one case of that.


Colour (Two Photographs)

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The more photography you do, the more you learn how arbitrary colour reproduction is. The camera, and editing and printing software all add colour profiles; sometimes it’s hard to tell what is real and what is not. A proper white balance helps, but it’s just a start and often the brightness, and saturation of other elements of our photos need to be “corrected” to get realistic colour. My advice would be that the photographer should be the judge of what is right, it is their product after all.


A Grumpy Hummingbird (Three Photographs)

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I am not sure if all hummingbirds glare like this grump, but this one certainly did. I took this in a small garden and I suspect the bird wanted the place all to itself. A friend pointed the bird out to me. It was coming and going at irregular intervals to different spots which made it a bit challenging to find.

 


Mating Monarchs (Two Photographs)

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I may have posted these before; but they were one of the highlights from last summer. I doubt I will be seeing anything quite so good this year. In fact I am seeing little opportunity for photography without risk these days. I took a quick look at a favourite nature reserve and it was packed with people.


A Wigeon in Fall (Three Photographs)

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I cannot resist these ducks. They are fairly rare here, and arrive in fall when the colour is great. Wigeons are hard to disturb and can come quite close to shore unlike most of the mergansers and other rare ducks in our area.


Flower Photography (Part Two)

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You may have seen these shots earlier this week in colour. I know of few photographers that do floral work in black and white. It certainly is one of the more interesting approaches to flower photography.


Female Goldfinch (Three Photographs)

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Having shown a male goldfinch earlier this week, it’s time for the ladies. In this case I thought the light was very flattering. It reminded me of the days when we would shoot portraits through glass smeared with vaseline or through a thin piece of cloth, to add texture and bend the light a bit.

 


Just There (Two Photographs)

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Studio and professional photography often involve finding a location for a subject to be shot in. Just that step can take a lot of time and effort. But there is almost always something “just there” on my walks, that rises to the level of classic photographic art. I am not alone, I seldom go a day in good weather without seeing another photographer on the hunt.


Flower Photography (Two Photographs)

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I take as many photographs of flowers as I do of birds, if not more. I also like to read about photography. It struck me that the work on flower photography that I have seen is very limited in its ambition. Flowers are the perfect object to experiment on with a camera. Try everything you can think of, it’s definitely worth it.


Male Goldfinch (Three Photographs)

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You cannot help but smile watching goldfinches search for food in the bushes. There is an intensity to their movement. I found this bird late in the summer before its migration south for the winter.


Hanging In (Two Photographs)

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The way these dragonflies have landed illustrates how delicate and light they are. I have seen naturalists capture them and hold them in their hand before letting them go again, a very delicate manoeuvre. In photographic terms the position of the insects says something about them and that’s a story.


It’s All About the Light (Two Photographs)

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An important component of photography is the capturing of light. It’s also about framing, subject, texture, colour etc. I think it’s important to avoid catch phrases like, it’s all about the light and focus on bringing together the technology, the subject and your own sense of the art. Here light plays a bigger role and makes for a better picture.


White Admiral Butterfly (Three Photographs)

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This was one very nice butterfly, and I took over sixty shots (more to come). It was late in the season and as you can tell from the last photo its wings had been damaged, a sure sign of age in a butterfly.


A Turtle Approaches (Two Photographs)

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I was taking a photograph of the duck against the flotsam, thinking it was interesting. The duck was distracted by my presence and the turtle was getting closer. I figured I should leave not wanting to be part of any subsequent problems. When I processed the photograph in black and white I gave it a sort of old time contrasty look.


Flora in the Concrete Jungle (Two Photographs)

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On a walk that led me into a kind of industrial park, I found this bit of nature. I thought it would look good as a black and white photograph, but it turns out the colour, after a little work, was not so bad either.


Bird with an Attitude (Two Photographs)

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I am guilty of anthropomorphism, applying human emotions to animals. It makes things a touch more fun. If photography wasn’t fun you would not find me behind a camera. I am hoping some opportunities for photography open up this summer, but I am not holding my breath.


A Break in the Fence (Two Photographs)

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I am still undecided if I prefer to work in colour or black and white. But this photograph which works both ways, in my view was a more powerful image in black and white. Often black and white expresses sentiment better than colour photography does.


Flying Bees (Two Photographs)

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I have mentioned bees in flight before and the problems of capturing shots of them. These were taken at a relatively low speed for anything in flight 1/800th of a second. These shots were enlarged and I would prefer to be closer to the bee for more detail. I am beginning to think that taking shots of bees in flight is not a skill but luck.


Stalker (Two Photographs)

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As the season progresses the ducks get used to people in the reserve. It’s not uncommon to be followed by a duck or a duck to come closer without much fear (especially if you yourself are slow and silent). In this case the balustrade of a bridge served as passageway for this great duck.

 


A Monet Background (Two Photographs)

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If you ever get the chance to see Monet’s Lilies (a painting that is semicircular and covers many meters of wall you will know what I mean by a Monet background.) An impressionist, he looked down from a bridge and what he saw was cacophony of colour both organized and unorganized. The paintings capture your imagination. In my work I look for backgrounds that have that touch of colourful play.


Two Errors and a GoldFinch (Two Photographs)

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I am always looking in my collection for photos that illustrate an important point in photography. In this case we have a great bird shot with lousy eyes and an imperfect shot of a bird with great eyes. Yes its possible to “fix” this. But it would immeasurably better if it were not needed and the originals worked as one would wish.


Window (Two Photographs)

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These two photographs, or edits of the same image are designed to make a specific point. I should not have to squint to figure out what the subject is in any photograph. But I often have to and that’s a problem.


Simple (Two Photographs)

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They say that sometimes simple is best. And in these uncertain times simplicity and clarity would be a godsend. In photography it’s not always easy to get that artistic background that makes this kind of photograph work.


Almost Ethereal (Two Photographs)

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Sometimes when shooting with what we think should be the best settings (e.g. shutter speed and aperture), something wonderful happens – our subject is in focus but the background isn’t and the subject has enough of “je ne sais quo” to make it look unreal. And for once I don’t care if the eyes are not perfect.