For me, photography is about more than capturing the scene that we find in front of ourselves. Granted that there is a lot to be said for great photography technique, so that the capture truly represents said scene and highlights the subject(s) in the best way possible. I enjoy that part of photography and particularly like a good lighting challenge. The aspect of photography that keeps me challenged mentally is the creative process. In this series of blog posts, I’ll try to share a bit of this process.
In this first post, let’s take a look at an image that I captured yesterday while exploring a beach in southern Connecticut with great friends of mine.
As we came upon this section of beach by Meigs Point, I thought that the piece of driftwood across the seashells made for a great bit of counterpoint to the rocks in front of the sky. Overall, I was happy with this view of a bit of beach life, but there was something more that could be done with this.
A bit of creative exploration brought the idea of taking this image back to the golden age of Dutch seascape masters. As part of their Seaside Artistic Collection for Luminar AI, Skylum provides the sensibility of various seascape painters in a series of templates. Testing some of the treatments, I selected the Rotterdam template, setting it to approximately 1/3 opacity to allow for a blend of captured scene and Dutch seascape that my mind’s eye perceived.
Next steps were very much about bring the age of seascapes in with subtle adjustments, such as film grain, details, contrast aiming to get a sense of the present of the driftwood reaching back to the 17th century of the sky. Taking a bit of a meandering walk through creative options enables me to connect to the points that resonate with what I’m feeling about the scene.
I love to hear what creative approaches you take to your photography. Please let me know in your comments.
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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3 thoughts on “My Creative Approach – part 1”
My Corel PaintShop Pro 2023 gives me great scope for altering/changing/fixing/enhancing photos. I use the “go back in time” photo effect on buildings etc. Never thought of using on a landscape 🙂
I like that approach! Sounds like a great creative way to enhance the experience