In photography, we are all too often looking for the perfect shot. We want to get the exposure just right, catch the ideal light and, of course, create a rule of thirds composition that is by the book.
In principle, I have nothing against taking a beautiful photo, but there have been numerous occasions when I decided to take a slightly different approach. Part of what drives this for me is the desire to experiment with my photography; sometimes I want more than just capturing a scene that has been capture many times before.
Here’s an example of what I’m talking about…
This railway segment runs through the town, where I live, and I used to cross it every day on my commute. One day, on my way home, my eye caught the splash of color next to the steel rails, so I pulled over and went to take a closer look.
The rails looked great going toward the horizon, but I noticed that I was getting some lens flare due to the Sun’s angle. I was about to move my hand to block the effect, when I noticed the look that this created: desaturated on the left and bright color on the right! So I decided to go for this look, as it spoke to me of a deeper meaning in the juxtaposition of the two sides!
Definitely not the perfect shot in the classical approach to photography, but I felt that it created something more interesting!
Oh, and lest I forget: this was captured with an iPhone, as that was the camera that I had with me. But that’s material for another blog post, as the best camera is the one that you have with you!
A Fresh Perspective
Photography is more than just a vehicle for capturing the world around me; it provides me with a palette and a set of brushes, with which I paint not only what I see, but also look to express the emotions that are evoked by the scene in front of me in that moment.
Growing up in the Netherlands exposed me to a wide cross-section of visual arts that laid the foundation of my photographic view of all that surrounds me. Early influences were the Dutch Masters of the 17th century, to whom I was introduced by my grandfather during museum explorations; favorites among them are the scenes of quotidian life depicted by Jan Steen and Frans Hals and the vivid landscapes of Jacob van Ruisdael.
My classical high school education was supplemented by the Boijmans Van Beuningen museum, where I spent many a lunch hour exploring its great collection. Here I was introduced to surrealism with a particular love for the approach taken by Salvador Dali; Dali also rekindled my appreciation for the work of Hieronymus Bosch, who often showed the folly of us mortals.
My approach to any photographic subject is to look for understanding first; in this I look to establish either a connection between the viewer and the subject or capture the connection of the subject with its surroundings. The captured image then aims to portray this connection from a perspective that is part of my personal interpretation.
This interpretation is often a form of externalized introspection, which may alternately display the connection of isolated beings and items with their environment or highlight the whimsy of the profound world, in which we find ourselves. The universe is full of connections, many of which are waiting to be discovered; part of my journey as a photographer is to document these connections.
Any assignment, be it an event, a product shoot or a portrait session is always approached through communication with the client; this is where the first connection is established. Ideas are exchanged and a collaborative plan of action forms, ultimately resulting in a set of images that aim to exceed the expectations of each client.
And, lest we forget, it is important to have fun while practicing the serious business of photography!
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45 thoughts on “A little bit of Imperfection”
je n’ai jamaios refusé de sejourner aux pays bas _ Hcup. expulsé from millau ; ‘cos mancunian !12 iom -cpi
On Wed, Jan 30, 2019 at 12:00 PM Dutch goes the Photo! wrote:
> jansenphoto posted: ” In photography, we are all too often looking for the > perfect shot. We want to get the exposure just right, catch the ideal light > and, of course, create a rule of thirds composition that is by the book. In > principle, I have nothing against taking a bea” >
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As if that track is the separation line between two worlds 🙂
It is indeed!
I think this is a beautiful photo. The disappearing tracks. the sunlight, the color of the trees. I love the flare effect. Beautiful
It’s the flare that makes this picture special! Though I’m no expert in this field😐 But in life,I would say never go by the rule book…
Thank you kindly; it’s good to understand the rules, so that you know when to break them!
True! I agree 😊
This is gorgeous!!!
I agree wholeheartedly. Megapixels are not the magic bullet. Despite your modesty, the process to make this picture IS the classical approach to photography!!!! The instinctual process you describe of seeing and awareness and evaluation and making considered choices, that IS the magic bullet!
Thank you very much!
I agree too. It’s a really interesting effect. I don’t know if it is classical or not, but these kinds of rules are meant for breaking.
Thank you! It’s fun to explore and go beyond the boundaries of the rules.
I’m all for following your heart and instinct in photography Frank and I really like the effect created by the flare in your image 🙂
Thank you kindly, Xenia.
Perfectly imperfect, Frank. A lovely photo. 🙂
Thank you, Penny!
Interesting capture, Frank. Hopefully, you had someone with you as a look for oncoming trains. In New Jersey, we had a few deaths from people photographing on train tracks. I want you to be safe.
Thank you, Khürt. Luckily, this is right at a grade crossing, which would have warned me of traffic. I prefer to be safe 🙂
Glad to hear it.
Capturing things as they are with imperfections is most true to life. It can’t be more perfect.
Thank you, Sandy.
I remember this photo Frank.
I really appreciate this perspective. It is important to remember that perfection isn’t – and perhaps shouldn’t be – a goal.I also would have assumed the lens flare was meant to be there anyway 🙂
Thank you! You put it very well.
It is lovely – and I do agree that a photo is much more interesting when taken in the spirit of the photographer and not by the rule book.
I like the end result, the contrast.
I like the contrast between the two sides of the tracks and the “deeper meaning” contained in this. I think rules can often separate us from creativity and spontaneity. I celebrate that you went with this image that perfectly reflects the moment in time and space that you were in.
Thank you very much!
This is awesome, Frank! Many parallels with spiritual growth and forgiveness – showing the two sides of something, allowing for “imperfection” which created something of deeper meaning, and even the simplicity of capturing it all with your iPhone. Thank you. I hope you have a wonderful rest of your week. Blessings, Debbie
Thank you, Debbie. Have a great remainder of your week and weekend!
I could not agree more with you regarding the best or perfect camera. It’s what you have with you. I would go a step further too to say that the more you understand how whatever camera you have works, the better your results. Nice photo, rules or no.
You are very right about understanding your camera, as I have shown people how to get great shots with their phones 🙂
Great phone photo Frank. Did you do much post processing?
Hi Brian, I did a minor bit of sharpening and push the saturation a bit (on the entire image). That’s it.
Thanks Frank. I am a stickybeak when I see an image I really like.
That’s a good thing! I always analyze how a photo was put together 🙂
Hi Frank.You’re fast.I already saw your comment before I added this link. Have a wonderful weekend. https://odaciuk.wordpress.com/2019/02/01/playing-with-imperfection/