Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Sometimes You Get Lucky

One morning, while still living in San Francisco, I got up early and went over to Treasure Island in the S.F. Bay to shoot sunrise on the San Francisco Ferry Building.  Waiting for the light, I got into a conversation with another photographer further down the road.  Facing to the left of my intended target, I started feeling the warmth of the sun on my left cheek.  I turned around away from the Ferry Building and saw this:

Masts at Dawn

These are the masts of boats in the Treasure Island Harbor with the Oakland Hills in the background. And had I not been looking in a direction where I felt the sun, I might have missed this.

After shooting this, I did turn back to my intended target and got a shot I like very much as well:

San Francisco Ferry Building

Just goes to show you, sometimes you get lucky.  But you have to pay attention, look around and manufacture your own luck.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Everywhere you look

I have always thought that art, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. And therefore it can be found all around us: water lilies on a pond, a cafĂ© at night in Arles, France, a girl with a pearl earring.  I often try to create a pleasing, artistic image from the simplest of subjects.  Sometimes it works, sometimes not.  But I really like the challenge and sometimes the results.

Dockside (Bollard)

This image is from a trip my wife, Michele, and I took to New England about a year ago.  I went out on the docks of Portland, Maine, one foggy morning and just started shooting things with an eye for elements, structure and composition.  I believe that using these three design notions are what make a simple picture into an interesting image.  Here I also did a bit of cloning to simplify the image, as well as Nik software's HDR Efex Pro filter, which I made adjustments by hand and eye, of course.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Digital Art II

This is an argument I have heard many times; some photographers believe that if you use digital software like Photoshop, Lightroom, Corel Painter, etc., that you are manipulating the image and that is cheating.  The in-camera image is the only "true" representation of place or thing photographed, purists would take the image direct from the camera to printer.  If it's not very good, you didn't do a good job at capture. I would ask the person saying this if they thought Ansel Adams was a good photographer. "Yes", they inevitably say, "he's fantastic".  "Well, I reply, "Ansel Adams 'manipulated' every image he created".  "What?", the purest would say.  "Yep", I continue, "he spent days, weeks, months, even years in the darkroom of his time dodging, burning, filtering the enlarger lens and using different grades of paper to produce exactly what he wanted."

Places des Vosges

Every photographer manipulates their image from the beginning: choice of lens, focal length, aperture setting, exposure time, etc.  Not to mention  angle of view, composition, elements in or avoided in the frame.  And I'm not a photojournalist.  I'm not necessarily trying to document, I trying to create art.  So for me, anything goes.  As long as you like the final image, I don't care how you got there.

This is a picture of the Place des Vosges in Paris, France.  I used Photoshop and hand painted in Corel's Painter to get what I hope is a "painterly" effect.