Long time, no write!
This project fell by the wayside as many do. I have been busy taking many better photos, seeing many interesting places, and trying many new things. All things I could have written about here, but have not.
The majesty of sunsets and sunrises is amazing. The palette of reds, oranges, and yellows are both short-lived and beautiful. If you look on Instagram, the number of pictures assigned to the sunset hashtag alone sits at about 187 million as of this publishing date. However, many sunset pictures can start to get a "same-y" look. While most objects are geographically locked in or are otherwise elusive to most of the world's population, sunsets are not.
"It's easy" is not an instruction. At best it's an assurance and at worst it's a dismissal to get a knowledge seeker off your back. Working in and around photography, programming, and music I hear the phrase often.
Q: "How do I fix this bug with the Wordpress template?"
A: "It's easy".
Q: "Oh cool, thanks."
Silhouettes are a fun concept to dig into because you can achieve so much with this constraint. You can capture sunsets in a more meaningful way, you can highlight lighting phenomenon, or you can feature the lines of your subject. One of the funny things about artistic constraints is that they actually fuel creativity. It sounds counter-intuitive, but the limits force you to think outside of the box. I enjoy shooting silhouettes because it forces me to focus on the geometry of the object and how it relates to the background of the composition.
What is the difference between seeing drops coming off of a dog shaking dry and a dog-shaped blur? The length of time a photograph has been exposed. Shutter speed is important because it is likely to have the greatest effect on on your shots; it is how long the shot is exposed to light, measured in fractions of a second. Most generally, when taking a shot the shutter allows light onto the sensor for only a certain amount of time.
One of the joys of shooting manual photography is the deep pool of jargon that you end up wading through. It isn’t strictly necessary to know, but unfortunately, if you want greater control over your photography you have to learn the most prevalent terms and concepts. There are three parts of the “photography triangle”. Shutter Speed, Aperture, and ISO. Let’s start with ISO and dive into what it is and how it affects your pictures.
A common thread among our observations of art is the inevitable response, “I wish I could do that” (Occasionally, “even I could do that” comes up, but that is a different discussion entirely). The answer invariably is, “You can”. However, the question then becomes, how much time are you willing to devote to your craft in order to be able to do so? Music, painting, writing, and photography are all crafts that need to be practiced in order to improve. Works by the great masters may seem inhuman and nearly divine, but they are done by those that honed their skills to a high level.
Did you know that if you rush toward an animal, they'll run? Who knew!
Let's look at the story of a turtle. One day in September of 2017 I was walking home from work along the Schuylkill river, and I came across a turtle sunning on a log. It was sunning, presumably assuming he was well camouflaged. I hadn't seen a turtle along the river, especially this close to the city center (near the Philadelphia Museum of art) and I had just gotten a brand new lens the week before. I knew I wanted to nail this picture.
Autumn, or Fall, is a particularly nostalgic time of year. The earthy scent of leaves, the bright primary colors in the trees, cool brisk mornings, and the chittering of squirrels meticulously hiding away food stores for later. Autumn invigorates our senses and we become keenly aware that time as a whole seems shorter now. Despite seeming to have less time, we have more of everything else. Crops ripen and an absolute bounty of goods become available for us to eat and enjoy.
This photograph is a case of getting something better than what I wanted.
I was in Jamaica visiting my sister, and I knew this was rare travel and photo opportunity for me. I specifically got my camera well in advance for this trip. I spent months practicing with the camera, and photography in general, so I could really knock this trip out of the park, photographically.
I didn’t get the exact shot I had in mind, but instead I got something far more dramatic and appealing.