I was watching a documentary today that covered the life of a famous photographer who made a statement that summed up how I often feel about my photos. He said, “The finished photo image is often much more than just the result of a mechanical process, it can also be the result of some artistic vision.” In the case of photojournalism, where realism and truth is key, I understand that the original image should not be altered, and in fact publication style-guides state that as a requirement for it to be published. But, otherwise, when the photo is used by the originator to present a specific artistic view, then I say, “have at it.” Thanks to digital post processing software today, it’s possible to alter an original photo’s appearance in subtle or dramatic ways. I prefer the subtle. Here are several examples, I call it “soft focus.”
Category Archives: Artistic and Creative
There’s nothing that special artistically or photographically that makes these two photos I made recently truly stand out … other than the fact that I like them. I knew that to be true right after I made the shot. For example, when I opened the front door to our home early one day last month to go get the morning newspaper, the cold hit me like a blast. Regardless, my eyes saw the clouds and blue sky with trees silhouetted in a nice way. Boom, I grabbed my camera. On a much warmer day this month, while walking along a lake shoreline I happened upon this swan drying its plumage in the sun, with its body angled just right so the feathers stood out. Not special, really, about either of these two images except again, I liked them.
I “paint” with my camera, as do many others like me. When I see objects which I think might look good in a framed artistic work of art, I snap the shutter of my camera, and then when viewing it on my computer during post processing, I sometimes smile when I see success. On the other hand, some images get the “boot” to the trash bin. It’s all about having fun. These were made using my new Fuji x100t camera, and are essentially out-of-camera results, with some cropping.
I check out an online “Photo School” website that places its focus on how to be a better photographer, versus having lots of basic “how to’s” and camera techniques. Just like we were used to in school when I attended, there are “lessons” and some “homework” involved. One such frequent assignment offered is to have viewers consider focusing (no pun) their work for on a single, subject. The latest got my attention and I decided to try it. Essentially, the assignment was to wander around one’s home and make interesting and unique compositions of familiar things. Guidance was to use one’s imagination, which I did as shown below. No need for explanation of any of these photos, other than to say that are familiar to me, every day.
I spent most of my professional life working around “dirt” in some fashion, having spent almost 30 years as an Army Engineer at home and abroad. Thus when our two girls were young they listened to me talk about what I was doing, and sometimes saw first hand what that was. One of them coined the term “pickin’up dirt thing” to refer to any sort of heavy construction equipment they saw. Recently, we hired a local construction guy to come demolish our in-ground swimming pool, and to then dump loads of fill dirt into the resulting hole. Yesterday, looking out the window at the Case front-loader sitting out back waiting to complete the job, I laughed to myself when I said, “There sits a pickin’ up dirt thing.” Then, I was inspired to make some close up, and somewhat unique black and white photos of it, just to be a bit creative. So here you go!