Why this Blog

Posted on November 18, 2013

So why am I writing this blog and why am I posting it here? It’s not a question anyone has actually asked me but I know it’s a question burning to be asked.

Let me start by saying that I have never thought of myself as a very good writer. So maybe the best reason to write this blog is to become a better writer, which is true but it really goes much deeper than just improving my wringing skills. It’s been said that if you want to become a better writer, you need to write about things you know about. Not so long ago I felt knew a lot about photography and composition but the farther I go in my development as a photographer and artist, the more I realize that I’ve only scratched the surface. By committing my thoughts to the written word and then posting it for people to read, it forces me to discover the true meaning of what I’ve created. They say that the best way to learn something is to teach it, so this my way of doing just that.

This image is titled “The Master.

SONY, SLT-A77V, 50mm F1.4 ZA SSM
1/500, f/2, ISO 50


Posted on November 15, 2013

Something I’m always trying to capture in my photos is a sense of timelessness. Small hints of present day are Ok but for the most part I like a photo that feels like it could have been taken at any time period in the last hundred years. By not giving the viewer a lot of clues to tie the image to present day, theres a sense of making time stand still.

This composition has a nice contrast of shapes. At the top of the frame there is a series of rectangular shapes. While in the lower part of the frame there are more curved shapes. The row of trees is a nice dividing area between the areas. The curve area is dominated by the bus with additional elements in the figures. The top is mostly buildings and windows accented but the streetcar wires. I’ve been finding that I like to layer my compositions. This is all very instinctive as I never try and preplan such things before I go and shoot. I try and go out empty and let myself find something new. The goal is always to see something with a fresh eye and try and capture it in an extraordinary way.

SONY, SLT-A77V, 50mm F1.4 ZA SSM
1/3000, f/2, ISO 200

The Conversation

Posted on November 14, 2013

Normally I try and walk a different way to work in the morning to explore the world around me and look for something I’ve never seen before. But on the day this image was captured I was taking a more direct route to work, one that I’ve taken many times before. Little did I know that I would capture one of my best images on such a routine walk to work.

Just outside the train station staircase I noticed two men having a deep conversation at the newsstand that I normally walk right by and pay no attention. But I got my camera out as the as quickly as I could and snapped 3 or 4 shots. The first 2 shots were taken from the hip, I wasn’t even looking in the viewfinder. The shots were Ok but I then used the viewfinder and composed this shot. I was luck they were still deep in their discussion.

To look at this image in its original state as it came out of the camera you wouldn’t really think much of it. The color didn’t add anything to the composition and the light was very flat. But when I converted it to black and white, the composition revealed itself to me in a stunning fashion. The structure and the placements of the elements are exactly what followers of Henri Cartier-Bresson would call “The Definitive Moment”. This is when everything in the composition comes together, the meaning and structure become one. This image is a quiet moment and the composition reflects that. There’s a slow rhythm that starts with the people walking on the left side. The viewer makes their way to the first conversationalist and then follows the papers, hanging in the background, to the second figure. From there the eye is free to explore the rest of the frame discovering little things like gestures and interesting objects. Without this slow tempo, this image would have just been a jumbled mess. Not only does the composition support the theme of a quite moment in the city; it allows the viewer the chance to slow down and explore a little, it give them a chance to discover something they’ve never seen before.

SONY, SLT-A77V, 50mm F1.4 ZA SSM
1/60, f/2.8, ISO 50

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