bel air

Bel Air in the Fog

 

Sunday morning, Josh and I went for a drive and had breakfast out. He was driving and quickly learned to handle my sudden screams of "Stop!" He never even complained. This is one of the resulting photos. 

I love to drive around in the morning with no destination in mind. I never know what I will find.

 

lake experiment

Foggy lake
Lake Experiment 1

 

Do you ever get inspired to try out new techiques in your photography? I am always in pursuit of some hidden or undiscovered photography knowlege. I am convinced that after years of experience, I still have a lot to learn.

During a recent foggy morning outing, I decided to experiment with low contrast images. My goal was to create images that were recognizeable (no abstracts) while at the same time, use a minimal number of tones.

 

Foggy lake experiment
Lake Experiment 2

 

This is a new approach to landscape photography for me. The images certainly lack any sense of drama. On the other hand, they have a serenity and calmness to them that stands out. While they were shot in color, black and white seemed to be the way to go. I made the conversion from color in Aperture, adding 15% sepia to the images in the process.

 

Foggy Lake Experiment
Lake Experiment 3

 

Sometimes the value of an experiment is in the learning that the process triggers. Other times, it's in the end results. For me, I am pleased with the results in these images. It's taken me some time to get used to the low contrast tonality of the images. However, I am beginning to think that they can stand on their own. They certainly bring a new look and feel to landscapes. I think the emotional content has changed as well. I suppose that you could say that they have grown on me.

What do you think about the results of the experiment? Would you take this approach to your landscape images? What recent photography experiments have you conducted?

 

uncomfortable mo

Irrigation 1

 

I have a friend named Mo. It is one of Mo's pleasures to create photographs that make the viewer uncomfortable. I don't know why, but then, I don't know why she is named Mo either. However, Mo's delight in uncomfortable images has gotten me thinking about this image that I took a couple weekends ago. It makes me uncomfortable.

I don't like to be uncomfortable looking at my own images. I tend to want my photos to embrace me with comfort. I want my eye to flow smoothly into the image and rest on the subject without any effort at all. I work hard to make that transition from reality to the image as smooth as possible. 

After giving the photo some thought, I believe that what throws me off in this image is that the irrigation system recedes to the left, away from the center of the image, instead of towards the center of the image.

 

Irrigation 2

 

In this second image of the same irrigation system, I framed the photo so that the irrigation system recedes towards the center of the photo. I am much more comfortable with this image than the first. I also like the parallel lines formed by the edge of the road and the edge of the plowed field. Comfort and balance. Peace with the world. 

I don't know which image is the better image from a technical standpoint. I don't really care. I do know that I prefer the comfort of a balanced image. Evidently, I don't want to work too hard when looking at a photo. I will leave that to Mo. Me? I am a lazy viewer.

the watering trough

Watering Trough

 

If you know me, you know that I never tire of the simple scenes and images of rural life. This picture is a perfect example. No animals, no machinery, just the side of a barn, a watering trough, a fence and, a foggy landscape. When I look at this image, I can hear the silence brought on by the fog and I can feel the cool, crisp, and damp morning air.

As simple as the scene is, the red wall seems to take away from the watering trough. I wondered if I could simplify the scene even more and place the focus squarely on the water.

 

Watering Trough B&W

 

And, it seems that I could. The B&W conversion neutralizes the red wall while bringing your eye to the water's surface. Simplicity… simplified.