Posts tagged “Nature

A Garden (Thee Photographs)

a-gardenTo view more of my photography please click on www.rakmilphotography.com

I came upon these trees against the wall of a school. I took three photos of the garden: a color photograph that is pretty much as shot with all the discolorations etc.; a B&W version where I have been kinder to the garden than it deserved; and a third in B&W where I have been far less kind. In general, efforts to spruce up a building with planters like this show more of a love for concrete than for trees.

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Standing Egrets (Three Photographs)

standining-heronsTo view more of my photography please click on www.rakmilphotography.com

When birds like these choose to stand like statues, it’s time to focus on the surroundings and context. Birds, even rare birds, doing nothing in boring surroundings could do with a good background. This is one reason why cropping is important, to get the best background. A second reason to crop is that the bird may be too far away for people to get a decent idea of detail. A distant subject, in my view, only works when the bird is an element of a larger composition.

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Great Blue Heron Landing (Three Photographs) and a Word on Cropping

green-heron-in-flight-2To view more of my photography please click on www.rakmilphotography.com

Seems a shame to show this Heron in flight and landing and then talk about something technical, but the bird has done a wonderful job of choreography that my words cannot do justice to. You hear a lot about rules and suggestions concerning cropping. However, all those rules, in my view, add up to ensuring context and/or drama. We crop to keep out the unnecessary, to highlight our subject, and for emphasis. Having said that, when there is drama and/or something specific about a subject that needs highlighting, I see no reason not to center the subject and ignore the rules and suggestions made by most “rules” of cropping

 

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Dynamic Range (Three Photographs)

leavesTo view more of my photography please click on www.rakmilphotography.com

One thing that is very hard to correct for and makes most of our photos interpretations and not absolutely accurate, is the fact that camera sensors cannot capture the full dynamic range of light our eyes can see. Color negative film has the widest range and digital sensors the least. Both are far from what our eyes and brains can interpret. HDR software (high dynamic range) has come some way in helping get a naturally larger range of light, but is somewhat stymied by the narrow color space of the web and print photography (that is the range of colors as well as light that can be seen in a print). Melding photos taken with different exposures of the same scene may help, but are also interpretations of the original scene. Camera makers’ attempts to deal with this with specialized dynamic range settings have not been ideal (they arbitrarily open shadows and darken highlights). The aim, whether you work in color or in B&W, is to make sure that the shadows and/or highlights of interest are properly represented, recognizing that sometimes compromise has to be made between them. Just because the sky is blown out does not in my view make it a bad shot.

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Wood Ducks (Four Photographs) and More on Black and White

wood-ducks-4To view more of my photography please click on www.rakmilphotography.com

Someone is bound to say that wood ducks are colorful and should be seen in color, so I left the color version in the post. In the days of film when shooting B&W, photographers would put color filters in front of their lenses to affect how color contrast showed up on film, For example, if you wanted a dark sky you placed a red filter on the camera and the sky would turn darker. In B&W conversion software we have the same ability to apply color software filters (only now because you can see the effect we do not have to memorize what each filter does). So in the first B&W shot  a yellow filter brightened the background and in the second,I used an orange filter that highlighted the eyes and beak . In my experience experimenting with these filters as a starting point is the most important step in the conversion to B&W. That we can apply filters in post may or may not be an improvement over the days of film, but it certainly makes digital B&W very versatile.

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Dragonflies (Two Photographs) and a Note About Black and White

dragonfliesTo view more of my photography please click on www.rakmilphotography.com

I have noticed that compositions are more impressive in black and white when there is sufficient contrast to set out the subject and where the background is or can be made less intrusive. If you look at these two photographs you will see that the first works very nicely while the second marginally meets both criteria. I like both photos or I would not post them, but the second is a challenging shot in B&W.

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Focused Detail (Three Photographs)

focused-detailTo view more of my photography please click on www.rakmilphotography.com

An entirely out of focus photograph that has impact and makes a statement is not unknown. From everything being tact sharp to nothing in focus is quite a distance. We use selective focus in most cases to draw attention to a subject or part of a subject. I believe there is a third element to consider, selective focus as in the scenes here can be either chaotic, or make the photo interesting,. In saying that I think focus also has a certain emotional angle to it, with things sharp and clear our understanding is also clearer. So when things are in and out of focus, it may be disorienting, leaving an unsettling feeling.

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