Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Look Deeper

Wherever you are, whatever you are photographing, look beyond the obvious. While we all want to get that perfect shot of a beautiful scene, landmark, animal, or bird, once you have photographed the subject in the traditional ways, it is time to go deeper.

Look beyond the surface, get past the literal, and look for something more representational or abstract. Look for the unusual. All approaches are valid, and all can result in lovely and meaningful images.

It is easier to examine a subject more deeply when photographing with like-minded people. Other photographers will understand your desire to stay at the location a few minutes longer, and will not laugh at you when you have to contort yourself into a less-than-flattering position to get the shot you want. Of course there is no guarantee that someone will not photograph you in this odd position, but that is the chance you take when traveling with a group of photographers!

If you are a member of a camera club, go on their field trips. You will enjoy the camaraderie. If you want to increase your skills and your creativity, if you want to learn more about yourself and your camera, consider taking a photo workshop. Spending several days in a row immersed in photography will hone your skills faster than anything else. And the instructor is there to answer questions and provide some guidance.

This close-up shot of the back of a duck, shot from overhead, becomes an abstract of feathers. We do not know what species this is, and it does not matter. All that matters are the shapes, textures, and colors that work together to form an unusual image.

Normally one does not get this view of a duck. But at this week’s Captive Bird Workshop it is possible to stand securely on a wooden deck and shoot straight down on birds swimming below.

So look for the unusual, allow yourself to see things with fresh eyes, try extreme close-ups when possible, do all you can to capture the world around you from a new and different perspective.

Shutter Speed 1/640 sec.  Aperture f/8.  ISO 800.  Lens: Canon 400mm f/5.6L.  Camera: Canon 40D.  Handheld.

TODAY’S QUOTE: “ There are times to stay put, and what you want will come to you, and there are times to go out into the world and find such a thing for yourself.”  --Lemony Snicket

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