Been out and around for a bit working on new photos and taking a workshop on the business of outdoor photography. It’s good to hear new perspectives and get some feedback on how my images are structured as well as getting tips on getting images in front of people who will pay for their use! Small, individually owned businesses require hard work and commitment, none less than photography, so it’s been great hearing how a successful photographer maintains their business.
As I’ve been making images this week the mood for simplification has been a creative force. Don’t know why – maybe I’m seeing more beauty in tones and composition than in the brilliant colors and contrasts of “regular” photographs.
Looking for the basic elements of design in a landscape is soothing for me right now, reducing the stress of remembering all those compositional tips I’m supposed to keep in mind while putting an image together. Telephoto lenses are great for this type of examination of nature – you can zoom into a small part of the landscape and exclude all those other seductive pieces like color.
The search for suitable black and white ‘potential’ images is also interesting, to see while in the field what range of tones and shapes will result in a good final photograph. It’s a significant advantage of digital over film – you can quickly see what the composition will look like and while working on the computer you can see how the black and white conversion will affect the final image. Hard to believe the results film photographers achieved with their developing, dodging and burning to prints.
This last image was a fortunate one as we were sitting up for sunset pictures on the day right before the full moon. At that time the sun will still light up the landscape while the full moon is coming up over the horizon. Because the brightness of the moon is close to the brightness of the landscape you can get details in the surface of the moon with an exposure that will maintain details in the landscape. After a half hour or so the moon is too bright to get it and the landscape in a good exposure.
That’s where I am right now, contemplating a more Zen-like approach to composition and lighting. Probably more to come.