Friday, October 19, 2012

Exploration is the key.

As photographer with over 40 years experience and an instructor for the last 12 years I am often asked how to create great photographs.  Now this is a loaded question and I know that I am a good photographer but far from great.  So I am constantly looking at photographs and reading articles to try an improve myself as well.  Through the years I have heard and read many things and I have finally come to what I think is the key to improving and creating great photographs.  I believe it is exploration.

What I mean here is that one has to explore the medium in all aspects.  This starts with pre-production which varies with different types of photography but is generally the same, one must research what one intends to photograph.  Here you are exploring all the factors that you need to create your photo. Locations, times, story, technical aspects, lighting, equipment and so on are key components that I have noticed that the best photographers utilize more then the rest of us.  By researching and exploring the endless possibilities they create the photo's that make other's stop and go WOW.

For me major exploration has been a few and far between this last few years as I have focused my efforts on my family.  So I now spent my time pursuing my own personal photography and sharing what I learn and discover with others.  Lately I have spent time exploring the capabilities of the iPhone and the apps available for it. This has given me new possibilities with my own photographic art.

I also have taken to exploring the city which I grew up when the family is busy with school and other activities.  Although I have lived here for 49 years, there are many areas that I have never visited.  Today I parked at the end of 14th street and walked across the Glenmore Dam for the first time.  As I walked I was looking for interesting photographic opportunities.  I walked down the stairs at the far end and found myself at the base of the dam.

The first image was taken using the Hipstamatic app which I have been exploring lately.  I knew I wanted to use the BlackKeys B&W film and wanted to see what the Salvador 64 lens would give me.  Now no matter how much you research there is something to be said for random chance.  This is what this particular lens does as it gives a double exposure but randomly chooses the positioning of the second exposure.  So in some ways I got lucky for my Instagram 366 photo for today as the randomness gave me an image I really enjoyed.  I love the reflection that was created and the way the reverse image complimented the main.
The following images were taken using the iPhones native camera and then post processed using snapseed getting results that I knew I could achieve.  I wanted to do some more Black and White photo's and found the conversion in snapseed gave the look I wanted for each of them.

I kept the color for the last two images as these were shot on the top of the dam and as the sun had created some wonderful reflections of the building and the pipeline.  I used the drama app to enhance the silver look on both.

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