» Photograph it all, enjoy it all, learn from it all

Autumn Morning Moment

My time has been limited this past year for photography during the “prime times” so seeing the sunrise through fog as I was driving to a business appointment I figured I would be frustrated once again for missing a photo op. However arriving at my destination there was still a little atmosphere left and I tried to make lemonade from lemons and forced myself to find an angle and composition on the side of the corporate center parking lot where I was at. Having the small Fuji XE1 and 18-55 lens in the truck at all times is still a blessing and I continue to enjoy using it whenever the moment strikes.

Light Through The Window

When I critique, judge, or teach others one of the things I am always mentioning is how a viewers eye sees things. One of the big things is that in a non-people picture how they eye usually goes to the brightest part of an image, or hottest color tone, first and then starts moving around an image. I have walked past this work shed numerous times and rarely took notice of it for photographic reasons. Yet on this morning someone left one of the doors open and I happened to walk past just as it was lit up by the morning light. That light, and the bright spot it created in the composition, gives this scene depth and interest. Think about how this same scene would look if that door was closed. Also I chose to photograph this scene in infrared black and white to further accent the visual interest from the light vs dark tones and the line and texture in the scene. Post processing is also important in this regard as I didn’t want the bright foliage to overpower the window and compete visually with it. I also made sure that I had a full tonal range from deep blacks to bright whites as a muddy image usually doesn’t work effectively. So remember that the brightest part of an image can be an asset or a distraction and you should think about it when composing in the field and also later when post processing.

marty golinJune 24, 2013 - 1:06 pm

Always fascinating to me how many scenes as you describe (hiding in plain sight) “present” themselves with a single, sometimes minor, change. I viewed a graphic arrangement literally 3 feet in front of me in my cubicle for months, & one day… poof. The algorithm in our head by which we “see” images is very curious indeed.

Red, White, and Blue but not our National Bird

This was the dominant gobbler in the flock and when other younger gobblers, called jakes, approached the hen he was with he puffed up into full strut and postured strongly to keep them at a distance. Compare this gobblers coloration in it’s head and waddle to the previous days photos published here and you can see how it changes color based on how heavily it’s displaying and also it’s temperament. It might not be our national bird but I still think a turkey gobbler at full strut is damn regal.

veroniqueJune 8, 2013 - 8:53 am

Thanks for this series

Wild Turkey Gobbler On Alert

I’ve said it before but I don’t mind repeating it spring isn’t official for me until I hear a turkey gobble breaking the morning silence. I enjoy photographing turkeys because they are a challenge due to their skittish nature, fast jerky movements, and also because of the myriad of colors their heads and plumage have. Most see turkeys as plain black but up close and in the right light there is a lot of colors in their feathers. Did you know that an average adult turkey has 5 to 6 thousand feathers? The gobbler, pictured above, knows something isn’t right and is “periscoping” looking for danger as I took it’s portrait.

See the difference in this image with the turkey’s waddle? When displaying or around females the waddle droops over the beak, as in the image above, and the head of the turkey changes color tones too.

Anita BowerJune 5, 2013 - 5:59 pm

Hi, Dan:
I appreciate your visit to my photo blog!
Interesting info about turkeys, and, of course, great shots.

Working A Scene, Step by visual step.

Let’s go through the thought process of working a scene. Here is the scene setter. The line of the parking lot, the dramatic light from breaking storm, and the strong tree initially grabbed my eye. So I underexposed to create some drama.

But maybe that tree by itself would have more impact since I was shooting in infrared b&w and it creates nice ethereal effects with foliage by turning them white…

Maybe two is better? Place the first tree to the left.

But the clouds are really to the left and hey that tree frames the scene nice…

And if it framed the clouds on the left maybe going right would do it. And horizontal fits there but…

… that right view has some nice lines with the field edge and the image can be simplified again to create a whole new image.

In less then a minute or two you can produce several compositions at almost any scene. Just move, think, and experiment. Doing so will help you to see and create stronger images.

Anita BowerJune 5, 2013 - 6:01 pm

YOU can create several excellent compositions of any scene in a few minutes, but some of us are hard pressed to create one!

martyJune 3, 2013 - 1:14 pm

God Dan, I take a week off & you flood your site with new stuff. (I should take more time off since it benefits both myself & the world at large.) Excellent examples.

Just a minor twist to your advice (move, think, experiment)… Sometimes just scan all around/above/below from where you’re standing & simply SEE what you see even if it’s not what you first saw. Never think that you’ve seen it all, but on a practical level, at some point one hits the point of diminishing returns; then move & repeat.

Mindful seeing leads to unexpected realizations & experiments. As you illustrate, the line from A to B to C is rarely straight.

veroniqueJune 3, 2013 - 10:49 am

Thanks for this !