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Monday, February 27, 2012

Emotionally Challenged Photography

Showing emotion in your photographs.

It is impossible to consistently guess what emotion your viewer will connect with when looking at a photograph or piece of art. In addition to that, your own mood at the time you are taking the photograph can be reflected in your work. Try to think about what emotion you are trying to convey with your photo.

While wide, sweeping horizons and impressive panoramic photos can be breathtakingly gorgeous, the real emotion usually lies in the fine details and personal space of the scene. Kids playing in a park and having fun is ok, but try to get more personal and get close enough to show their faces and their emotions. Keep the photo simple and try to avoid a lot of clutter so that the viewer can easily see the main subject of your photo. A wide angle shot of the destruction and mayhem on a street filled with scrambling frightened people while military troops pursue them is great at setting the stage. To grasp the full emotion of what is happening, tighter shots of the faces of the soldiers and/or people's faces will more clearly define the chaos of the scene.

Consider the angle that you are shooting the photograph from. Perspective can go a long way to conveying the emotion that you are going for. Getting down low and shooting up towards the subject gives the subject a more towering and powerful feel, while doing the opposite and shooting down towards your subject tends to minimimize it. Getting yourself level with the subject, especially when photographing kids, prevents you from consistently have shots that seem to tower over the subject. Take a moment to consider your angles and perspective when your are taking the photo.

If it is practical, try taking part in the action for awhile. Get to know the subject or activity a bit better and you will have a better understanding of what you are trying to convey in your photo.

Don't forget about post processing. You can change up the lighting and add contrast and saturation to your photos. You can also take time to crop the photo for best effect.

You may be surprised, but setting your camera to black and white (or even just your view finder if that is possible on your camera) and taking photos like that for awhile. When you should in black and white, the scene is not all cluttered with colors and your eye can concentrate on the contrast, composition, and subject.

One piece of advice that I read years ago was given by a teacher to his students. He actually assigned to them to find a place to take a picture and then to photograph that exact same place at like 4 different times throughout the day. The lighting changes constantly and can affect the mood of the scene in your photo.

Here are some inspirational photo links for you to browse that set the mood and/or show emotion:

And I just HAD to share this one, definitely see the emotion here. Feel sorry for him but it is just so darn cute!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

January 26, 2012

Ok, ready for the snow to melt and the sun to shine!!!!!!!!! 
I love being in the garden, what little there is of it due to space constraints. 
 I particularly enjoy using Earth 'Tainers for my gardening needs.  
Another neat way to garden is winter sowing your seeds.  The lady who has this site, WinterSown ,
has some really great ideas.  I got one of my all time favorite tomato seeds from her on a seed exchange as well.  It is an unknown pink tomato that will rock your tomato world. 
I am waiting for some Alpine Strawberry seeds to arrive.  In the meantime, I am dreaming up creative and useful ways to plant them once they sprout.  Yes, I am pretending that I have every confidence that I will achieve successful germination.   :)  The power of positive thinking.   Don't you think that a living strawberry wall in the dining room and on the patio would be divine????  Well, I do.  And that is all that matters in my living space, lol.  Now, how to pull it off......

While time passes and the snow sssslllllooooooooooooooowwwwwwly melts, just know......

We're in this together.....

Saturday, February 25, 2012

February 25, 2012

Life is not pristine.  Things get a bit wrinkled and bent and dusty and scratched.  Halos get tarnished.  Morals get cracked. I have a great life, but it is definitely part of the dented and scratched shelf of goods.

This is how art is.  And photography is an art.  Unless you are shooting photojournalistic types of things for news publishers, you are pretty much free to interpret your photos with wild abandon. That is where I come in.  I am not a genius sci fi creator with wild creativity.  I do like mess with things though.

I have found that mostly people just do not get it though.  They see the clean original shot and say that is what they like.  Maybe because it is easier to interpret? Sometimes it is nice to look at a vivid beach scene and think, " I would really like to be there right now instead of sitting at my dreary desk in this drearier office. "  Not that anyone would be surfing the web at work.  :)   Sometimes it is also nice to try to imagine what a place is like.  What happened there? What will happen there? What was the artist thinking?

Generally, the artist was thinking.....I want them to answer that question.  I want them to imagine a story in their head.  I want this piece to get their minds flowing and let it be whatever they imagine it to be.  It's fun to be a kid.  Kids know the difference between reality and fantasy.  They just enjoy the fantasy much more because they reject societies reality and insert their own.  They spit in the general direction of societies rules.

For me, it is an exercise in personal creativity.

For today's easy one because I am feeling nice.

Friday, February 24, 2012

February 24, 2012

Food photography.  Sometimes a gal just gets hungry.  This is called a Gorilla Sandwich copy cat kind of recipe.  It is basically a cored cucumber with your favorite fillings.  This one happens to have a mix of avocado, grape tomatoes,sea salt, pepper, balsamic infused Hawaiian sea salt, onions, garlic, and cilantro.  For the shot, I sprinkled some red sea salt, and black lava salt in front as well.  Good stuff. And nice to have a grab and go sandwich/salad that requires no silverware!  No special lighting.  Just the under cabinet flourescent and head light on my camera.  Of course, I covered it with a solo cup.   :)  It is setting on a plain granite counter.  That is the entire set up in a nutshell.  Nothing fancy here. The reflection was not added in post processing, it is the actual reflection off of the granite.

For those of you who do not think your camera is professional enough to take these shots....I do not use a high megapixel Nikon or a Canon.  This is a simple Olympus E520 and a kit lens.  Hand held.

See?  Not a pic from the Botanical Garden.  Wait til you see the one with my cat eating his salad....

Thursday, February 23, 2012

February 23, 2012

Some people that know me know that I am fascinated by old toy cameras.  I do not yet have any, nor do I have a darkroom to play in.  That will have to wait until we are settled in one place permanently.  We currently rent a home and will not be in a place of our own until our house in Missouri is sold.

In the meantime, I have been reading, learning, and fiddling a bit and attempted my first "lomo-izing" of one of my pics from the Denver Botanical Gardens.  (Yes, I do have pics other than from there.  These are just so easy to snag because they are on my hard drive instead of on my external drive.)

This is an attempt at a combination of toy camera and cross processing.  Some photographers would take pics on film for a camera or slides and have it processed in chemicals meant for developing a different type of film.  That is cross processing.  Still, others will take perfectly good film and destroy it prior to putting in their camera.  They dip it into various chemicals and/or liquids, scratch it, all sorts of creative destructions.  When they shoot they will sometimes load it to intentionally get crazy double exposures.  I even read a photo blog where a photographer shot the roll of film, took it out, and then put it back in either upside down or backwards.  It is all about the surprise of the results.  Not having complete control of the creative process.

Yes, that sort of lunacy absolutely fascinates me.  I can not wait to join the ranks of the photographically deranged.

Here is my toy camera, cross processed before and after for you viewing contemplation.



Wednesday, February 22, 2012

February 22, 2012

Well, I am getting impatient for spring to arrive.  Or at least for the snow to melt.  These pics were taken in January and there is more snow now than there was then!!! 

Actually, I really enjoyed this particular day and hope that we soon get a season pass for the family to the Denver Botanical Gardens.  It is gorgeous there and it wasn't even in bloom when I went!

I have some of my garden seeds started and growing.  Mostly herbs, heirloom tomatoes, lettuce, and kale.  It is a start though.  I have Alpine strawberry seeds arriving on Tuesday!! Woohoo! They are the Mignonette variety.  Hopefully I will sort out how to get them started and all will work out wonderfully. I am debating creating a living strawberry wall in the dining room.  Wouldn't that be something to see???

Sunday, February 19, 2012

February 19, 2012 NOT posting everyday!!

LOL. Do not seem to have enough to post about to do this every day.  My life is just not that interesting!

Have spent the last week sick, sick, sick.  BLAHHHH!!!!!

Today, as I am mo betta than yesterday, I have been playing with some of my old images.  But that is about as interesting as it gets.  Here is a total destruction of one of my botanical garden images .....