Over time I have developed a “photographic habit” of always looking for patterns, textures, design and simple objects which I think might make for an interesting composition. The key is to be able to focus in and compose a scene in the camera’s viewfinder that shows something special and perhaps interesting. I think the first photo below shows best what I am talking about. This was the entrance to a store front, but by focusing in on just a small part of the entrance way where I could frame several different colors and patterns, I got something different. The second photo is a perspective view of the front windows to a Mexican restaurant, with a brightly painted stucco front. The last one with the birds is simply the result seeing a large decorative design on one wall of a deli we were eating lunch in one day, and focusing in on just a small portion of the artwork design. This is all about having fun with your camera, but doing so with a purpose.
Category Archives: Artistic and Creative
There is no question that good lighting can make a photo special, even when it’s a simple subject. Here are two examples, one man-made and one natural (sunlight). I really like the simple nature of our back porch light on a rainy evening. So much warmth. The sunlight was reflected in a special way on “weed” type plant I saw in a field late one afternoon. It made the weed stand out in a special way. See the light when you make photos!
Fieldale Virginia near our home was once a vibrant, prosperous community, and today it still is, but in a far different way. In 1916 Marshall Field who started the famous department store in Chicago purchased the site which was previously Waller’s Ford and built Fieldcrest Mills which became one of the largest textile companies in the region. The intent was to have a direct, quality supply of textiles for the department store. Over the years the Fieldcrest brand become one of the most respected in the United States, however economics and other factors eventually led to the decline of the textile industry in the south. There is today a large amount of pride in the accomplishments of those who worked for decades in Fieldale; and to celebrate that history, residents annually conduct a weekend long festival. For me, it’s a treasure trove of photographic images, several of which I have included here.
I like to make photos when the sun is in front of me, or off to one side, and my subjects in between are “backlit.” This is not simple to do, because first we were all taught when younger not to look directly at the sun, but when you position yourself such that you are in a shady spot, and the direct sunlight is reduced, you can get some nice results, especially with trees as the main subject. If your camera allows you to adjust your lens aperture, close the lens down (higher aperture number such as f22) and you will get a “sparkle” effect. Here are three examples I made recently.
I made these two images with my iPhone 5s camera last week. In essence they were “targets of opportunity” because I did not have my main camera (Panasonic Lumix GX7) with me at the time. It was after I imported them for processing that I noticed a good comparison — man-made patterns and patterns in nature. Both make interesting photographic subjects. Takes a bit of luck at times — such as with the metal foot bridge — which had the sun shining exactly right to show the shadows on the decking of the bridge.
Making photos of colored pencils was not something I would have thought about on my own. But when I saw an article about a photographer who on an inclement weather day, decided to seek something original to photograph. His work making photos of colored pencils resulted and when I looked at his images I decided to give it a shot, and fortunately my wife Barb had a box of said pencils in her fully-stocked “craft” room. So, here’s what resulted. No where near as good as the photos I saw in the article, but fine by me — because it was all just for fun.
Last week I went for a short walk in a park in Greensboro, NC, after returning home from the local Apple Store, where I had just purchased a new iPad Air. I was torn between my strong desire to get home as quickly as I could so I could test on my new device, which was to replace a much older and well used iPad. But, I had brought my camera bag along with me, and as I was driving home I passed a nice city park which I had visited several times before, and in which I knew existed some nice photo opportunities. So, I stopped … putting out of my mind momentarily the new iPad sitting in the nice plastic Apple Store shopping bag. So here are two photos I made to show you what I saw. As an aside, the new iPad Air is great!
Sometimes non-color versions of original photos look better. In this case I used computer software (Silver Efex Pro) to transform color photos I made of these rugged trees located above 3500 feet in elevation in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Trees have to be hearty at this elevation to survive, given the harsh winters and high winds year around. These trees obviously did not make it, but they look old enough to have given it their best.
Some want to know what the “best”camera is. I’ve read where many professional photographers say that the “best camera” is the one you have with you at the time it’s needed. Given that most of us today carry smart phones with built-in cameras, and that these devices are as capable as were many high end cameras less than ten years ago, it does indeed prove that statement to be true. Here are some examples I made recently with my new iPhone 5S camera, which I have to say is great. The only thing about using it is that I sort of feel “naked” not having my usual camera in hand, with a bag full of gear hanging on my shoulder. Having just the phone in my pocket made me walk around at first thinking I had forgotten my camera. Anyway, if you have a smart phone camera, give it a try at making more than just the typical birthday photo. Be creative!
Moving in close to your subject often results in some nice photos. Had I not done so with these two photos, I might have missed the bumblebee in the center of the flower, as well as the silky spiderweb, covered with early morning dew. I wondered if the ole spider was looking out at me from inside its hole … but I didn’t want to get “that” close to see if that was so.