There be Dragons! (creative approach – part 2)

There be dragons!

In last week’s post on My Creative Approach – part 1, I talked a bit about the impact of the inner vision in shaping the image; steering the edit of an image definitely is one way for me to get to what I’m trying to express. In this post, let’s take a look at another way to find that expression.

Last week during the walk on the beach at Meigs Point, one of the pieces of driftwood caught my attention…

Driftwood on the Beach

This beach always provides some interesting subjects for photography, and when I saw the shape of this jetsam, my mind’s eye started putting together a concept that might be possible. Using the available light and shifting my perspective, I opened up my imagination and let the shape speak to me.

At these times, it is important to use one’s feet and view your subject from multiple angles; as part of this process don’t forget to vary the height of the camera…

Vikings’ Dragon

Using height and composition to my advantage, the head starts to articulate above the landscape and one can almost feel there is something waiting to arise from this ancient head; could it be steam or fire? Letting our imagination do its duly appointed work, I can almost see the ancient Viking longships coming to the coast of the New World with their dragon-shaped figureheads; as the settlers left their beached ships behind, weather chipped away at the details over the centuries, leaving behind just enough to remind us of the way they once graced the oceans’ waters.

Part of the creative process here was in the selection of composition and using the camera’s aperture to set the subject apart from a more dreamy backdrop. Allowing the viewer’s eye to travel across the image helps establish a connection to their imagination from yours!

This image was captured with a Canon EOS R5 and Canon RF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens. Aperture was set at f/5.0, at 400 ISO and 1/1250s exposure. Minor touch ups and a bit of contrast was provided in post-processing.

Author: jansenphoto

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. Universal Connections 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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