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!
I was not happy with this shot, but knew that there was something in these leaves that needed to be told. So, I wound up combining zoom blur and a bit of twist to get the effect that I was looking for.
In post processing, I did adjust the levels and dropped a bit of saturation to push the color palette a bit more toward the redder end of the spectrum.
Thanks to all of you who checked this out and particularly those who put forth their guesses.
In my earlier post, I talked a bit about finding a nice frozen waterfall to photograph, which was a blast. In case you thought that to be an isolated incident, let me set you straight with a couple of images from a tour of beaches on the Massachusetts Northshore and Southern New Hampshire.
These are from the end of January, 2015, on a day that was windy and raw, as you can see from the waves crashing on boulders at the beach. Luckily, I was dressed for this with warm boots, ski pants and sufficient layers to keep me comfortable.
Most of the day was pretty much overcast, which left the light rather flat…
But in the afternoon, the sun started showing itself a bit more, which provided wonderful opportunity to photograph some of the more interesting pieces on the beach.
I wholeheartedly recommend going out on cold days to explore places that most people only visit when it’s warm.
Over this past weekend, New England has been under siege by a cold front that has kept all, but the hardiest souls in-doors; Sunday morning the mercury dropped to -15F (-26C), which was downright chilly.
Regardless of this, Winter is one of my favorite seasons to photograph, as there is always such greate emotional content to be found. I did go out to do a bit of photography, as I was looking into waterfalls in the area, so I thought it might be worthwhile to go check one out in this weather.
The particular waterfall I sought out is Doane’s Falls in Royalston, Massachusetts, which is about an hour’s drive for me. When I arrived there, I found the falls very close to the road, which is rather considerate at these temperatures. It’s a bit of an experience walking down a snow-covered, icy path next to a roaring stream, when you are all by yourself… a trifle unnerving, but luckily there were safety wires by the edge of the rocks.
In the image, you can see the massive amount of ice that has built up in the cascades; I’m not sure what the cause of the discoloration in the ice is, as I didn’t get close enough to find out.
I shot this with my trusty Canon EOS 5D MkIII using a 24-105 f/4 L lens with a circular polarizing filter attached. Settings were f/7.1, 1/640 second at 400 ISO. I kept the speed high, as I didn’t have a great spot for setting up my tripod (I did carry it in).
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On this Valentine’s Day, I’d figure to start off with something abstract, give you a chance to think, but not over-analyze, and give me your best guess. This is not an image that is front and center in my collection, so, here it goes…
I captured this tableau during the same walk that provided Searching for Tranquility and several other images, so you can say that it was a good day for my abstract portfolio.
When I came upon the source material for this shot, I had a sense that something was trying to communicate with me at a deeper level about an occurrence in a distant past. It was not until I saw the image on a larger screen that the title ‘Destruction of the Maiden’ came to me. There was something inherently violent within the image, which gave me a sense of struggle or a possible ancient sacrifice; almost, as if a mythical creature was about to collect its annual tribute.
This image was captured with a Canon 5D MkII using a 24-105mm f/4 L IS lens, with an F-stop of f/22, 100 ISO at 1/5 second. I started the lens focal length at 105mm and zoomed it back in during the shot.
Now, that you have seen the image, and the technical specifics, what was the source material for this shot? I’m looking forward to your ideas on this.
It’s upon us! The day that must be loved by dentists universally, as their consumer base is expanded! According to a 3-year old CNN article (Valentine’s Day Statistics) $1.6B is spent on candy for Valentine’s Day.
And what did I do to help this a couple of years ago? Photograph more candy, of course, just in case there wasn’t enough consumption yet! But no need to worry, as I didn’t eat the candy and brushed my teeth!
Have a very Happy Valentine’s Day, and remember to brush!!
I shot this in my studio, so camera settings are not really germane, but I will share that the lens I used for this is a Lensbaby Composer with a glass optic. If there’s interest, I’ll be happy to do a post on Lensbaby at some time this Spring.