Monday, November 16, 2009

It's a matter of Perception

I'm looking at a print I submitted to a recent club competition. It received a modest score. I expect the score was deserved, but I really should learn how to stuff ballot boxes. Any of you from Chicago?

Anyway, I can see a number of failings in the composition. It seemed like a nice idea at the time, but you can't spend several months at a shooting location to decide if a shot is worth the effort.

Two years and some months removed from the capture of this particular image I can see some compositional improvements. "Move the camera to the right a bit, and up a little." Yes, there is a nice diagonal there, and some color, but I cut the diagonal off too early and left some drab vegetation on the left side of the frame.

Now, why am I bringing this up? Well, it's been weeks since I've blogged anything......not a good enough reason for you? Would you believe I believe in the moment?

I can recall a photographer saying the image has to 'grab you'. Well, I startle easily. So, being grabbed is not high on my list of experiences, but waiting for the calendar to change before shooting is beyond my patience. So, my compromise is to look things over for a few minutes and to capture it whether it grabs me or not. I've accumulated a number of slides and image files that are pretty shakey compositionally. I've spent a few hours recently going over slides taken a few years ago and weeding out some highly doubtful shots. This far removed from 'the moment' makes the 'circular file' a more inviting target. I don't feel that bad about throwing away several dollars worth of film processing. My recent Marden's purchases have eclipsed the film expenditures. Those shots just don't stand up to my perception of what makes an interesting scene in 2009.

Luckily, the scene I'm looking at can he captured again later. Maybe it will be better the second time around!

Speaking of scenes, I'm open to some ideas for day trip suggestions. I've brought up an idea for a big weekend trip to the Philidelphia area in the spring, and there are some Clydesdales in Lewiston too, but it would be good to get out a shoot something other than the empty sardine cans piled up in the back of my truck. If you sense some desperation, you are fairly close. So, drop me a note if you have an idea or two.

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