Saturday, December 22, 2012

more snow and better light

In a recent post, I went to take photos in the snow and was disappointed.  Since then, we have received over 20 inches of fresh heavy white stuff...but more importantly, we had good light.  The dull, cloudy day that I had before made an already flat looking landscape (because of the white on white) even flatter.  With direct light (especially from the side) we now have dimension and depth because we have highlights and shadows.

I think I still like a human element in my photos though.

Lesson learned: mix a little fresh snow (so it is still on the trees) with some good light, and your photos will look more like the scene you remember.  The great thing about winter here in the upper Midwest, is that even when it is 12:00, the sun is still low enough to be pleasing!  But the sooner you get out in the day, the more the snow will be fresh.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

snow plowing

A week or two ago, we got our first snowfall.  But really, today was our first REAL snowfall; 18 inches in less than 24 hours.  Oh, and it was heavy.  Heath called me up and asked if I wanted to ride with him as he plowed the church parking lot.  Foolishly I accepted, thinking it would be fun to see what it is like to plow.  Little did I know that the back a forth is sickening, especially because you can't really see out the windows...and when you can see out, the landscape is all white anyway so you have no reference for your movement.

It was still worth it.  Brought back California memories of digging out 4x4 stuck in the mud...except this time is was colder...

It was also just fun to get out, the first major snow really makes things magical.

And thanks Heath, for not only letting me tag along, but for taking so much of your time to do this for the church.

Monday, December 10, 2012

first snow - and a little philosophy

We finally had our first snow, little late but we will take it.  It is funny how before it snows, I want the great white stuff to fall for interesting photo opportunities  but after...I just feel like it can be very...blegh.  I guess you still need good light to make it work.

But I still decided to go out, despite the fact that I thought the images would turn out like they did.  Also decided to call a friend to torture tag along with.  Dan and I talked a little bit about how to expose for snow, and a little about composition, but very quickly we started talking about what is a good image.  Many times, other people seem to like some of our photos that we ourselves do not see as our best. We started talking about how everyone brings their own personal experiences when they view your photos.  Many times reading into an image with more than what was intended.  And conversely how people may not see what you saw.

I was trying not to feel depressed (weather didn't help) but soon realized that it doesn't really matter what everyone thinks about my photography.  Especially the photography that I do for my own enjoyment.  I starting thinking about what I do like, and what does make me think.  After the photo below, I remembered I still like a human element in my photos.  For me it grounds the location with a scale and shows the meaning of the place.  But that is just my philosophy on photography.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

hike challenge - shoot like its film

Digital is a great tool, and probably one of the reasons I am still into photography.  I love that it doesn't cost $0.40 each time the shutter fires, so I can ditch 80% of my my photos without cringing.  But sometimes I have found myself machine-gunning away and "choosing the best photo" later.  Not entirely bad (sometimes) but not entirely good either.  So I revisited a practice I once had, a more methodical and intentional approach to photography.  Emma and I took a hike in the morning and I decided to bring along my camera and treat it as it if had film in it.  Here is EVERY photo I took...usually I only display 80-90%.

This was an exercise in craft, not an attempt to create the best body of work that I could.  (Keep in mind, I had a 4 month old on my back too.)  So these will not be heading to the portfolio...but I might have learned something in the process, and that was really the point