Posts tagged “www.rakmilphotography.com

Fall No.2

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In black and white shapes and shadows often control the image. You hear people use the word impact with respect to interesting photos. The word is often too active for the scene it describes. I prefer in cases like this to think more in terms of the interest a photo engenders.


Something There

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I cannot help but think that there is some illicit treasure behind that clapboard. It’s a desolate back alley sight that intrigues, simply because there is no obvious explanation. Sometimes photography should let our minds wander and reach their own conclusion, it’s why some caution against explicit captions.


Fall No.1

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Fall is colourful, but at the same time a bit sad as flowers and leaves die off. I think this is better captured in black and white as colour distracts from that reality. It’s also in tune with the times, if not Halloween.


Bee

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This bee spent some time skimming along the edge of this group of flowers. Delicate, fast and energetically going about its business. I take bee shots with most of my lenses most recently with a 200-500 mm lens. The results are similar to using a 105mm with an extension tube, but the distance from the bee is more comfortable for both of us.


Goldfinch

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I saw several of these birds a year ago and they always seemed a bit magical. Moving quickly in and out of sight among the high flowers. In black and white there is spooky quality to the bird appropriate for this time of year!


Frog

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This week I thought I would try to do a week in black and white. I usually do photos in both colour and black and white which I find interesting. But I want to hone my skills in black and white. I have always loved black and white photography, but it was not until the digital age that I have had the option to really get into it.


Colourful But Back-lit (Two Photographs)

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There are many ways to be creative in photography. As cameras advance in technological sophistication we get new possibilities. One of which is the ability to ignore ISO and pull more out of shadows with little noticeable grain. It worked in these shots of a sweat bee.


I woke the Bird (Two Photographs)

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Birds often sleep with one eye open watching out for predators. Its called “unihemispheric slow-wave sleep (USWS).” When I come across a bird sleeping it’s never very long before its awake and checking me out.


Interruptions (Two Photographs)

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Our minds, if not our eyes, see patterns and interruptions in them. It’s the opposite of the leading lines that lead the eye to a subject. In the case of irregularities or broken lines there is a slight reaction that can help a photo and its composition make a mark on the viewer.


Local and Surreal (Two Photographs)

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At some point we all take well lit photographs of skyscrapers, they have great potential. Shoot a bracket of shots at different exposures and use HDR, the clouds move and often the software compensates with interesting patterns. I use Photoshop and not one of the stand-alone HDR tools for this, and it works very well.


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.