A couple of automotive “portraits” for today. No fancy photography technique here – just some scenes I saw while walking around. If the architecture looks different from my usual work, it’s because these were shot in Charleston, South Carolina. I was there for only a couple of days this week and most of that was raining, heavily at times, so I couldn’t really explore as much as I wanted. But it was a most interesting and beautiful city and I hope I can spend more time there in the future. I had plans of what I wanted to shoot during my visit, everything from the beaches to the plantations, but those plans quickly diminished due to time and weather.
As for the shots. I liked the simple composition and the pop of red in the first photo. It was dusk and almost dark when I shot that one. In the second shot, I liked the decidedly European look and, again, a pop of red, this time in the shutters. Plus I’m a Porsche 928 fan. I don’t see them as much as I used to.
While I was browsing through some older files I came across some shots that I did last year of some berries. Out of about 20 different shots, I chose one I liked at the time and that was the end of it. I didn’t think about the other photos since. But while I was looking at the photos I saw that I had two shots where the camera (well, I’ll go ahead and blame the camera ) mistakenly focused on the background for the first shot and the second shot was focused on what I wanted in the first place, the berries in the foreground. I didn’t consider either shot a keeper but they still remained in my files.
But tonight I noticed that the camera position remained relatively unchanged between the two shots and I wondered if I could combine them in processing creating, essentially, a double exposure. I didn’t have to wonder too long since it was an easy thing to do. I didn’t even have to realign them. I simply change the layer style on the second shot, ran it through Nik Color Efex for some color punch, added a little vignette, and that was it. Not a great composition by any means but it did revive two long forgotten shots.
I was trying to think of what to post last night, thinking that I had no interesting photos from the weekend, when the power went out at my house. My house and the surrounding neighborhood, for whatever reason since it wasn’t storming and there wasn’t an accident that I was aware of. My electric flickered off and on just a few days earlier and was out for an evening a few weeks earlier than that. I am suspecting a kink in the works somewhere along the line.
With that, I did feel a bit of relief that I couldn’t post anything. After browsing through a number of photos nothing, and I mean nothing, caught my eye. And that was the problem, I imagine – nothing caught me eye while I was shooting, hence, nothing caught my eye afterwards. Garbage in, garbage out.
Better luck next time.
I did manage to take a photo of this really cool old garage on the south side of Pittsburgh. The owner was just locking up when I strolled by. He saw that I had my camera and said that lots of people like to photograph his garage, understandably. He said he had to go, otherwise he would let me look around inside where he had more old signs and equipment. I thanked him and said maybe I could catch him at another time. As he left I peered into the window and snapped a shot of the brush and oily machine.
Just a few roadside finds from the weekend. Nothing much in the way of interesting subject matter but it gave me a chance to work on my B&W processing skills. Old junk cars look good in black and white.
The only thing I don’t like about this first photo is the newish garage doors in the background. Kind of the ruins the “abandoned” look. But I gotta shoot ‘em where I find ‘em!
I actually attempted some photography this weekend. Well, attempted in the sense that I drove out to shoot, but I rarely actually pressed the shutter. The problem was I didn’t really know what I was looking for and I didn’t know where to find it. I knew it wasn’t anywhere familiar and I knew it wasn’t anything familiar. The light is finally getting interesting this time of year but I wasn’t able to capitalize on it this time around. So I kind of reverted back to cruising through some nearby small towns in the hope of finding something old and interesting. I did see a few possible photos but, as usual, parking is at a premium (as in none) on the local rural roads, at least anything that could be done safely. But it was a cloudy day and I thought those subjects would look better in more dramatic light, so maybe I’ll try some other time.
But the soft light does help when shooting details and as I was sitting in a gravel parking lot trying to decide on which direction to drive next, I gazed upon this old payphone and thought it would be nice to at least shoot something so I wouldn’t go home empty-handed. I found it quite interesting as I got near to it. Lots of texture. It’s not exactly what I had in mind for the day but, as a detail study, I think it looks nice.
That’s the way I like to approach art. I think I do my best work, and sometimes my worst work, when I am either not thinking at all or when I need to think of something, if that makes any sense. By not thinking I mean not preconceiving. Just going out and shooting whatever I come across that interests me. It can be a grand scene or a tiny detail - pretty, pretty sad, or pretty strange, it doesn’t matter. And by thinking of something, I mean when I’m just not finding anything, or the light is just not good for a normal approach, or I don’t have the “right” gear with me and I have to make a compromise. I find that if I push myself in those situations, instead of giving up, I come up with something satisfying that I never intended. Which takes me back to the not preconceiving thing. It doesn’t always work, but when it does it’s a good thing.
It works for me, whether at the time of shoot or later during processing. It’s the circle of my photography.
As slow as spring was in coming, the blossoms aren’t sticking around too long. I tried some shots the other day but areas that I thought would be good for shooting were disappointing. It didn’t help that it hit below freezing aver the weekend either. So, to not bore you anymore (if I haven’t already), here’s my “greeting card” pic for the season.
Giving everybody a break from the spring theme photos.
The fact that this outhouse in the woods is at least 1,000 feet from the nearest house is a little frightening. That would be one long hard walk, especially in the middle of winter! Looks like it hasn’t been used in a while though. I didn’t dare look inside.
I mentioned earlier about trying to find compositions while shooting spring blossoms. Looking at a whole tree in bloom you either want to shoot the whole thing or focus on some individual flowers. I do both of those usually but I also like to find some interesting ways to mix it up a little. Trying to find some leading lines in a maze of branches and twigs can be a bit daunting but with patience and some trial and error you’ll begin to find little “photos within the photo”.
This photo was taken at the same tree I took the photo in my last post. I thought I was done shooting but as I started to put my camera away I saw my zoom lens sitting on the seat and I thought I would try a few more shots using it. I took a few standard telephoto shots and, again, was ready to leave when I spotted this small bouquet on the end of a twig. I liked the way the tree trunks angled behind it and took a few snaps. It has a whole different, darker look to it but still conveys the feeling of spring.
I thought this would make a nice black and white image, and it does, but I just couldn’t get away from the color version, even though I find some of the extra bark, especially on the left, a little distracting. So I tried a crop in a more squarish ratio and it was OK but it seemed to lose the sense of place, so I stuck with the original. Thinking too much, I guess.