So it’s been awhile since I’ve posted to this blog. Life’s other priorities of a full time job and many other things have taken much of my attention especially my time. But I haven’t quit shooting professionally or personally. I photographed a wedding a couple weeks ago and when I asked the bride if there was a special photo she had in mind her answer was that the priest kept saying how great the photos usually are when the bride prays to Mary during the ceremony. I’ve been to this church before and I’ve done the “from behind” photo before too as it’s an obvious must have shot and the priest and staff at St Maria Goretti Parish in Hatfield are very open to photography during the ceremony and a pleasure to work with. But since it was a clear focus for the bride, and also because I’ve “done it before”, I wanted to do something different, somehow. Luckily the light worked in my favor and I was able to take a “typical image” to the next level for the bride using some minor enhancements because of it.
Why on earth would anyone subject themselves to traffic jams everyday for a job in the city? Ugh.
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.
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.
This alpha tom turkey struts it’s stuff for a nearby hen that was already sitting on it’s nest. I was thankful for the spot of light that helped to backlight it’s feathers adding dimension and texture where it was needed most.
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.