Chapter 1: My Favs
As I was looking through my library on Lightroom, I actually had a hard time choosing which pictures I wanted to put up.
For a little back context for those of you who are reading, our class assignment was, “Sit down with your favorite photographs. Not the ones everyone likes, and not the “perfect” ones (though they might be the same). Your own favorite images. What do they have in common? …”
I have over 1,000 pictures I could chose from so this assignment was hard for me, but ultimately I had a few pictures in mind which are below.
The first 2 pictures are from my trip to Italy this summer with my family. We saw so many different sights and landmarks, but I think these pictures were 2 of my favorites that I took on the trip. I think they show off a little bit of the architecture in Italy as well as how carefully the land was crafted. Although the picture of the staircase in Vatican City is black and white, the way I chose to edit it (at least I think) speaks volumes to the color, just as the color in the picture from Capri. The last picture of my dog, though, is my favorite picture of all time. I remember taking that picture and just being genuinely happy looking out on my backyard and looking down to see how relaxed he was – everything about that day was really as vibrant as it looks it that picture. I think looking at all these pictures, I like to focus mostly on point of view, as well as the color and the mood the picture sets.
Chapter 2: Questions
There are 12 questions in chapter 2 that David Duchemin poses that make a photographer think about the way they’re capturing pictures. For my first photograph of Capri, I decided to focus on the questions of,
- What role does color play?
- What is the light doing?
- Is there depth in my image? Could there be more? Would it benefit from less?
I think color plays a huge role in this picture. Because the side of the mountain and the pathway are grey and brown, it helps the greenery stand out as its own factor in the picture. And of course, you can’t forget that beautiful Mediterranean water. That in itself could be a whole other picture with the different blues in it.
The lighting is hitting the water in just the right way that it’s illuminating the water instead of the side of the mountain. If it were opposite, it would draw the viewers eye to the mountain and not the main focus of the picture – which is the water itself.
There is depth to this image. I don’t believe that having more or less depth would give the picture a different feeling, it would just show more of the mountain and the ocean. I like the depth that I capture within this image, it forces the eye to concentrate on what’s there.
For the second picture of the black and white staircase I captured in Vatican City, I decided to focus on the questions,
- What is it about this specific moment that made me choose it instead of waiting a moment or two longer, or making the photograph a moment sooner?
- What are the lines in this photograph, and would a change in framing (vertical or horizontal), aspect ratio (square frame, 16:9, etc), or lens make them stronger or weaker?
- Are there repeated elements in the scene that provide a visual echo or rhythm to the photograph? Could I pull out a little and include more of them, or tighten up a little and include fewer?
The reason I took this picture when I did is because of the way the sun was coming in through the roof. It was hitting the lighter side of the picture but not the darker side. I knew when I was taking this picture that I wanted to edit it in black and white because of the architecture of the stairs, so I waited for the sun to come out from behind the clouds and waited for the moment when it hit the spiral the right way. If I took it too soon or waited a second longer, I don’t think this picture would have the same visual appeal as it does.
Because the staircase is spiraling, flipping the picture to a vertical view would have a completely different feel. I feel as though taking the picture like this helps the eye track the natural spiral of the staircase, so like I said above its visually appealing to the eye. I think changing the way I placed the lens would make the picture a lot weaker over all.
The spiral of the staircase as well as the lines of the steps themselves are the repeated elements in this picture. I believe I did a good job at capturing the right amount of this structure, so pulling out more or cutting in more wasn’t even an option for me. Doing so would change the feel overall.
For my third and final picture of my puppy, Luke, I chose to focus on the questions,
- What are the relationships between the elements, and can a shift in my position, or change in my lens, make those relationships stronger?
- Is there depth to my image? Could there be more? Would it benefit from less?
- What thought or feeling am I trying to express in this photograph?
I’m from Lancaster, PA, so of course I have a farm in my backyard. When someone thinks of Lancaster, they think of open fields and horse and buggies, and this picture basically encompasses what Lancaster is all about. I wouldn’t shift my position or change my lens because it was a more cut in picture, I feel like people wouldn’t get the whole effect the picture is portraying. I think the elements of the blue sky, the super green grass, the farm and my dog all tie together because they’re all related to nature in some way or another.
There’s a very large amount of depth in this picture. I think it uses the depth well because at the fore front – and the main focus – is my dog, but you also get a feel of what the area in the background is like from the amount of depth used.
When I took this picture, I remember it being the perfect fall day – the air was chilly but not too cold and it smelled like fall (as weird as that sounds I think people know what I’m talking about). Obviously Luke was so relaxed laying there with me, as was I, so I want people to feel that when they look at this picture.
Chapter 3: The Manual
Reading the manual for my camera was definitely interesting. I’m the kind of person that learns by doing and not by just reading and absorbing, so personally for me it didn’t help at all. I already know how to use most of the features on my camera, but I just went through and played around with it a little more than what I did in the past.