These two photos are similar to what a 1950s image might have looked like in terms of subject and composition. Modern, retro or whatnot.
Category Archives: Artistic and Creative
There are times when I see photo opportunities I’d most likely miss, were I not paying attention to what’s around me. We have a relatively new concrete driveway at our home. It’s been raining a lot lately here in SW Virginia, and leaves are falling onto the wet concrete and then as the remaining colors bleach out from the leaves, they place an imprint of themselves. Here I got a couple of such patterns, and was fortunate to have a single yellow leaf laying there as a nice contrast. This photo will make a nice wallpaper for my iPhone. There point of my brief story is that nature is full of wonderful sights, if we’ll just “see” them.
In the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, there is a landmark which, legend says, was for years a sight seen by young people who were told, “Stay close enough to home where you can see The Buffalo.” By that instruction, parents were referring to Buffalo Mountain, which from afar looks like the “hump” on the back of a Buffalo. Today, the mountain is seen and often photographed from an overlook while driving the Blue Ridge Parkway. Several years ago, I drove a steep winding rocky road that led to a dead end, at which point I parked my car and hiked a fair distance to the summit of The Buffalo. Standing there on large rock outcrops, I surveyed the beauty of the Blue Ridge, and felt like I’d gone back in time a bit. As such, I wanted to process my recent photo of Buffalo Mountain, taken miles away, to look like a vintage picture.
Here are two images I saw in Reidsville, NC recently. While one of them is a single section of a large wall mural at least fifty feet wide, the other is a small window scene painted on the upper level of a retail establishment. That one was so realistic as I walked by on the opposite side of the street, at first I though the cat in the window was real. Nice work by the artists who painted these.
Not many words to be said about these photos, other than one … “wet.” Now to the technical details. Used a slow shutter speed for the first three, (1/20 sec, f22) hand held, and higher speed for last ones (1/200 sec) I wanted to show a misty scene with the first images using the flowing water, and sharpness and contrast with the close ups of the rocks. Found this “waterfall” in a small alleyway park in downtown Reidsville, NC.
If you’ve been a frequent visitor to my blog, you’ll probably remember me posting photos that show contrasting colors, textures, lights and shadows. I’m especially attracted to compositions that show bright green vegetation on red/brown brick backgrounds. Here are “just three” images that illustrate what I’m writing about. I have more in the archives, and many more to come … I’m sure.
Cameras today are very impressive, each in their own way; all having tremendous capabilities from traditional stand alone models, to those on mobile phone devices. Obviously, without the camera, nothing one “sees” can be recorded. There is much to be learned about this “seeing” business. The image above is about as simple a image one might find. It’s colorful, it’s interesting in a way, it’s historical, and above all it’s simple. The key point is, however, I saw it and I bet few others did from this same perspective. It’s nice to be able to recognize a nice photo composition such as this while you’re wandering around with camera in hand.
Digital images are easy to record on large capacity memory cards today, being very reasonable in cost. It’s not at all like the film days when we were limited to a small number of shots. Back then we were a bit more selective in how we used the limited 24 or 36 exposures we had on a roll of film. Today, with even a small capacity memory card installed, some may try to capture everything they see. For instance, while traveling through popular vacation destinations, not wanting to miss anything, their thoughts may be, “I’ll just click away and sort it all out when I get back home.” What they wind up with could be a mix of common images, few if any being really that interesting. And then they’ll take (say) those fifty photos made while standing in the same spot at the main overlook of the Grand Canyon, and share them all on social media for all their friends to see and admire. I’ll call that “photo overload.”
Now, there’s certainly nothing wrong with making several photos of the same thing. But if we’re going to do that, can we compose each image in the lens a bit differently from the others? And then, when we get ready to share our work, might we select the “best” compositions and publish only those for others to admire? Don’t stand in the same spot when you make those images. Perhaps make one image a wide angle view, and another a close up from a new location. Moving your feet from time to time can have nice results when photography is involved.
So, I say “be different” with each image you make. Move around getting contrasting views of the same scene or object. Limit what you share online to those images you select as being your best. And lastly, keep it simple. Over time if you’ll do this, I think you’ll start to develop a “photographic eye” causing you to see things around you that most others might miss entirely. This is what interesting photography is all about.