Driving by this field today I noticed how the light was wrapping around a silo to give it some shape, and how the domed top was showing up against a pretty evenly clouded sky. It begged to be a B&W image so I took the time to set up and play around with it. The sun in this image is coming from the upper left, sort of over my shoulder, but the even cloud cover turned it into a giant softbox so very slight shadow on the right edge of the silo was wrapping evening around. I was hoping it would be enough to give it some three-dimensional look in the image but I couldn’t bring that out with my processing tools without making it look artificial.
Simplifying down to a single element is something I have to really force myself to do. Looking through the viewfinder the scene just feels naked to me. Perhaps I’m choosing subjects that don’t have the power to stand alone or maybe I’ve got an in-borne need for more elements in my photographs – usually to an extreme degree.
Modern artists who push this to the extreme – think one white spot on a totally black canvas – mostly annoy me. I mean, think about it; what great decision is there in something like that? How big a circle to paint? Where to put it? Try to visualize some starving artist agonizing over these two decisions. Yeah, I know, can’t really bad-mouth artists who have paintings hanging in galleries when all I’ve got are photos hanging on my walls. Who knows, perhaps they are on to something. Like I’m trying, perhaps they crystallize their perspective down to the bare minimum and then start building up, painting after painting, until they are confident in their ability to tell stories as they want and visualize.
So, here’s an ultimate simplification. It’s a silo. The light was nice, the clouds even. Not much more to say.
But I did see it and stopped to photograph it…..