It’s All a Blur
Yes, another soft-focus, blurry flower photo! Do you mind? Well, if you do, I promise that the next post will be on something entirely different.
For now, though, while perusing the book I had referred to in the previous post, Botanical Dreaming; Using Photoshop, your camera, and your heart to create inspiring images by Mark S. Johnson, I came across this interesting quote by Katrin Eismann:
For many photographers, sharper is better; but for quite a few the softness, unpredictability, and serendipity of toy lenses and alternative process appeals on a deep emotional level that may be difficult to express in words but is wonderful to explore and learn from.
Eismann’s quote got me thinking and led me to ask you a few questions:
If you prefer soft-focused, dream-like photos, do you know why? Does that say something about your personality? Does it mean you like to “escape” into another world? Are you more an artist than a documentarian?
Conversely, if you prefer sharp-focused, realistic-looking photos, does that say something about your personality? Does it mean you tend to prefer facts over feelings? Are you perhaps someone who likes to “get to the point”?
I’m not purporting that one approach or style is better than the other. I simply find this to be an interesting topic, given that I continue to encounter folks who clearly (no pun intended) prefer one approach over the other. And as they express their preference, I can tell that it’s deeply held.
Let Me Have It
So what do you think? Have I shown one soft-focused, or over-saturated, or highly unrealistic artsy photo too many for your own taste?! Of course, in all honesty, although I’ll keep doing that, I do like a really good conversation. So please let me have your feedback.
Meanwhile, if you’re up to it, continue to the NEXT SECTION to see two more soft-focus flower photos. Sorry, I just couldn’t help myself! CLICK to see more soft-focus flowers!
While I was preparing the photos for this post, I was reminded of a flower photography book on my bookshelf that I eagerly purchased over a year ago but still have not gotten around to reading and enjoying. The book is Botanical Dreaming: Using Photoshop, your camera, and your heart to create inspiring images, by Mark S. Johnson.
The title of the book truly reflects the feeling you get from viewing Mark’s flower photos — they’re dreamy and ethereal. His photos are simply exquisite — far beyond any flower photos I’ve ever produced. I do hope to make time at some point to delve into Mark’s advice and tips for shooting flowers in a fresh, new way.
For more info on Mark’s work and to see more of my recent flower photos, please continue to the NEXT SECTION. CLICK for more flower inspiration
Several days ago, in the Someone’s Story post, I mentioned visiting a broom sage field one morning that was bathed in golden sunlight.
In the scene above, I was attracted to the tonal and color differences between the bright broom sage in the foreground and the dark forest in the distant background, as well as to the difference in the focus between the foreground and background.
The small range of in-focus area in the broom sage was due to using a nearly wide-open aperture on a telephoto lens. Admittedly, it’s a little hard to distinguish the details in the relatively small version of the image shown above.
Later, as I reviewed the images I’d taken of the broom sage, I was somewhat disappointed in them. There were aspects of the shots that I liked, yet none of the images really wowed me.
But being disappointed in one’s photos at times is to be expected. When we’re out taking pictures, we often have tucked away in the back of our minds a grand image that we hope to capture. And quite honestly, there’s sometimes a huge chasm between what we’ve envisioned and the photos we actually end up with.
I have a few other thoughts on why our photos sometimes disappoint us. CLICK to read more on the photos that disappoint us.
A heavy fog rolled in as the sun rose over Lewisville one recent morning. Shortly after pulling out of the driveway with camera gear in tow, I came upon a biker making his way through the mist. The biker looked mysterious and lonely in the gray haze, with just a hint of the full, round sun hanging above him.
Within a split second, I was passing the biker while thinking, “What a great shot!” — immediately followed by, “Oh, man! I’m missing this great shot!” as I made the left turn that I’d planned to make. And the biker? He just continued ever so peacefully on his way.
For a moment, I thought about turning around to follow and get ahead of the biker, and then scramble out of my truck to photograph him once he passed by. But honestly, I wasn’t feeling that energetic! Instead, I gave myself permission to skip that pursuit, but only after thinking a minute or two about how I might handle a similar situation in the future.
Surprisingly to me, I drove around for quite a while looking for a foggy scene that said, “Take my picture.” Even on the outskirts of town, where it’s more rural, nothing clicked. I began to be concerned that the fog would fade away before I took a single shot.
As I drove back into town, I noticed the scene above and decided to stop and explore it. Even though the fog had lifted some, once I looked through the viewfinder, I knew I had a shot.
In preparing the photo for this blog post, I created several variations and selected the above image. But I thought you might like to see the optional shots. Maybe you’ll prefer one of them more. If so, then declare your vote in the Comments section!
And for those of you who live in Lewisville, can you determine the location of the photo? Please leave your comment, if you’ve got an idea. Give it a try! [Hint: It's somewhere along the main thoroughfare through downtown Lewisville.]
CLICK to see the optional photos.