Repost – Abstract Photography – Ep. 3

Driving force behind a project

This is the third and last in a series of reposts on the techniques and processes that I use in creating abstract photographic images; these posts were originally published in February, 2016. Hope you enjoy them!

Gold and Green Composition
Gold and Green in Motion

Over the pass couple of days I have covered concepts and techniques, and I promised to do a bit of a deeper dive into what lies beneath the surface of the process of capturing these images.

In terms of photographic technique, the ideas are rather simple and mastered relatively quickly.  Most of my personal photography projects tend not to last very long, as quickly I start looking for novel ways to capture and present material; at such a time, I usually put the project aside for at least a year or so, waiting for it to feel fresh again when I go for the next image in a series.  This project has been different, in that I have been shooting in this genre for more than 4 years thus far, and it has not felt stale to me yet.  As this surprised me somewhat, I started looking into the how and why this project is different.

There are several elements that I uncovered, which make the Kryptomorphaics project different from prior efforts:

  • on-going discovery
  • emotional connectivity
  • re-examination
I am certain that there are other elements that I may uncover, as I push forward in this project, but these appear to be the drivers at this time.

Discovery – photography is a journey of discovery for just about all of us, who have picked up a camera and started shooting in earnest.  This project has afforded me continual discovery through opening up all senses and taking input from all of them in the process of capturing content that is not just visible to the eye.  This deeper sense of uncovering this cryptic that lies hidden within the world around us has opened my mind’s eye to further explore these scenes in new directions.  These include examination of the scene not only in its current juncture within the space-time continuum, but also past and future lines that may be occupied by the players on stage within the scene.  This has opened up some connections that I had hitherto not observed, some of which demonstrate how universal forces flow through the quotidian.

Berries in Motion
Berries in Motion

Emotional Connectivity – as I deepened my exploration, part of which included opening up all senses to the environment in which I found myself, I started noticing a sense of emotional connection to what I found within the scene.  In a manner, which can be likened to meditation, a more complete sense of the image, as it should be captured, is refined by opening up the senses to subtle emotional triggers.  It can be described as opening oneself up to a feeling washing over the entire being and letting that guide the decision making process for how to capture the image.  This feeling is more pronounced for certain images that others.

Re-Examination –  upon capturing an image, the next thing I do is a taking stock of how it felt to capture the image.  I take sensory stock of the image rather than examining it visually (I am not a big fan of chimping, but one could say that this is a sort of sensory chimping).  Without looking at the image, I will then make a decision to either shoot the scene with some adjustment, which can be slight or radical, or if it feels just right, I then walk away from it.

Mystery in Green
Mystery in Green

I find that the success of the process depends more on my ability to quiet all my senses and open myself up to my surroundings; this is where the simile with mediation extends, as I will use meditation techniques to improve my feel for the environment.  In this process, I do not over-analyze how I might be able to capture the feeling that lies before my lens; a couple of rough guesstimates guide my camera settings adjustments, as I let intuition be my guide.

This wraps up this 3-part series on abstract photography, but, fear not!  From time to time, I will feature an image from my Kryptomorphaics collection to discuss it in more detail.

I sincerely hope you enjoyed this introduction and look forward to hearing what other topics might interest you.

TTT – Abstract Photography – Ep. 3

Driving force behind a project

Gold and Green Composition
Gold and Green in Motion

Over the pass couple of weeks I have covered concepts and techniques, and I promised to do a bit of a deeper dive into what lies beneath the surface of the process of capturing these images.

In terms of photographic technique, the ideas are rather simple and mastered relatively quickly.  Most of my personal photography projects tend not to last very long, as quickly I start looking for novel ways to capture and present material; at such a time, I usually put the project aside for at least a year or so, waiting for it to feel fresh again when I go for the next image in a series.  This project has been different, in that I have been shooting in this genre for more than 4 years thus far, and it has not felt stale to me yet.  As this surprised me somewhat, I started looking into the how and why this project is different.

There are several elements that I uncovered, which make the Kryptomorphaics project different from prior efforts:

  • on-going discovery
  • emotional connectivity
  • re-examination
I am certain that there are other elements that I may uncover, as I push forward in this project, but these appear to be the drivers at this time.

Discovery – photography is a journey of discovery for just about all of us, who have picked up a camera and started shooting in earnest.  This project has afforded me continual discovery through opening up all senses and taking input from all of them in the process of capturing content that is not just visible to the eye.  This deeper sense of uncovering this cryptic that lies hidden within the world around us has opened my mind’s eye to further explore these scenes in new directions.  These include examination of the scene not only in its current juncture within the space-time continuum, but also past and future lines that may be occupied by the players on stage within the scene.  This has opened up some connections that I had hitherto not observed, some of which demonstrate how universal forces flow through the quotidian.

Berries in Motion
Berries in Motion

Emotional Connectivity – as I deepened my exploration, part of which included opening up all senses to the environment in which I found myself, I started noticing a sense of emotional connection to what I found within the scene.  In a manner, which can be likened to meditation, a more complete sense of the image, as it should be captured, is refined by opening up the senses to subtle emotional triggers.  It can be described as opening oneself up to a feeling washing over the entire being and letting that guide the decision making process for how to capture the image.  This feeling is more pronounced for certain images that others.

Re-Examination –  upon capturing an image, the next thing I do is a taking stock of how it felt to capture the image.  I take sensory stock of the image rather than examining it visually (I am not a big fan of chimping, but one could say that this is a sort of sensory chimping).  Without looking at the image, I will then make a decision to either shoot the scene with some adjustment, which can be slight or radical, or if it feels just right, I then walk away from it.

Mystery in Green
Mystery in Green

I find that the success of the process depends more on my ability to quiet all my senses and open myself up to my surroundings; this is where the simile with mediation extends, as I will use meditation techniques to improve my feel for the environment.  In this process, I do not over-analyze how I might be able to capture the feeling that lies before my lens; a couple of rough guesstimates guide my camera settings adjustments, as I let intuition be my guide.

This wraps up this 3-part series on abstract photography, but, fear not!  From time to time, I will feature an image from my Kryptomorphaics collection to discuss it in more detail.

I sincerely hope you enjoyed this introduction and look forward to hearing what other topics might interest you.

The Yoga Tree

A tree for all seasons tells a tale

A couple of years ago, I chanced upon this amazing tree that throws this amazing pose, as if she is reaching up to the sky in a perfectly balanced asana.  The Yoga Tree, as she became known, projects a serenity, grace and indomitable spirit that many of us strive toward.

At this point, I have several thousand images of this amazing tree ranging through the seasons with a wondrous variety of skies and light conditions.  My favorites among them will become part of a coffee table book that I plan to put together during 2016.

p52-20131105-IMG_2630
The Wise Tree

In this image during the Autumn season, she stands with supreme grace and wisdom, backed by the morning light and a cloud-cover that speaks of a day full of hope and beauty.

A twist to this tale is that the Yoga Tree sits at the edge of a farm, where they have been dumping significant amounts of waste soil in the field behind her.  This may mean that her lifespan could be shortened, so I visit her regularly to capture her every mood.

Hello, New Year!

As a New Year commences with hope, intentions and goals to be achieved, it is time to put together a plan toward achievement.  Some of these goals will be focused on photography, and some of them will be in the area of playing the guitar.

This blog is a step in the photography plan of my goals; and I think it is time to revisit and refine the reasons for the blog.  Part of what I hope to achieve through this process is to eliminate some of the barriers that have made for infrequent blog posts.

As a photographer, even a part-time one, I always look to challenge myself, improve my skills and undertake some interesting projects that keep my creative juices flowing.  I aim to use this blog as a vehicle to help move these areas along with the hope that some of what I share may be of interest to photographers and creative artists alike.

Expect my posts to vary, as some will be to share some of my photographic endeavors and the thoughts that went in to them, whereas others will be musings about project directions and random thoughts that cross my mind.

 

p52-20131105-IMG_2630

‘The Wise Tree’ is part of this post, as one of this year’s projects will involve this tree…

If this blog attains any success, it is to be measured in the feedback that it attracts from readers, and, possibly, what it might inspire others to do and achieve.  It’s a journey without any specific destination, but, who knows, we may see some interesting sights along the way.

Of course, we may end up following the road less taken and some posts may even talk about playing guitar, but, with your help, I will try to make it entertaining for all!

Instant Grammar – page 43

The railroad that runs through West Boylston does not carry a large amount of traffic.  The occasional cargo train will rumble through town at a rather slow speed; if one gets caught by the train at one of the two grade crossings in town, it is best to turn your car’s engine off and relax, as it will be a while before the crossing clears again.

Past meets present, as we reach infinity.
Past meets present, as we reach infinity.

When I am fortunate enough to meet a train in this way, I enjoy the time to take a closer look at what is passing in front of me.  There is much to learn by watching a train pass by.  The railroad is a veritable history collection on steel wheels.  Ranging from the collection of freight cars and their owners to the cargo that they haul, each train tells a story.

The train may be made up from a large variety of rolling stock from carriers, such as Green Mountain Railroad, Boston and Maine, Pan Am Railways, Bangor and Aroostook, Maine Central, Providence and Worcester Railroad, and the list goes on.  Each of these railroads has their own background and current state of success or trouble.  Some railroads do well financially, but many small railroads’ fate often hinge on consolidation.

The types of the railcars tell another part of the story: what is being carried.  Usually, I see a mix of tankers, car carriers and loads of building wood on center beam cars.  One part that is always a mystery, is where the cargo originated and what its final destination is.

Additionally, the train is a rolling canvas for graffiti artists.  Often just a stylized writing of the artist’s chosen name or some clever message; occasionally, there is a true masterpiece that rolls by and you cannot help, but be amazed by the talent.

By the time the train completes its passage of the grade crossing, I have been entertained, puzzled and stimulated.  It’s time to fire up the engine once more and continue the journey.

I hope you enjoyed my musings about page 43 and feel free to take a look at the entire book at the following link for the softcover versionInstant Grammar 2013 by Frank Jansen or for the hardcover version Instant Grammar 2013 (Hardcopy) by Frank Jansen

Instant Grammar – page 11

During my (then) rather lengthy daily commute, I always opted for the scenic route, which, albeit 10-15 minutes longer, was much more relaxing than using the highways.  And it had the added benefit of providing some interesting scenery to enjoy!

The Cows are Hamming it up!
The Cows are Hamming it up!

One of the points of interest is a set of farms near the Massachusetts/New Hampshire border, one of which literally had a road right through the property of the farm.  This did make for slower travel and the occasional scent of true farm life, such as organic fertilization; from time to time, I would stop here and capture something or other.

On this fine day in April, I wanted to get a bit of a wider image of the cows feeding in the very New England farmland (read: large rocks intersperse grass and mud).  However, the cows had a completely different idea!

As soon as the cows saw that I had pulled over, they decided to come over and find out what I was up to…after all, there may have been food involved!  So rather than getting the wide shot, I got this wonderful close-up of the cows vying for attention.

I hope you enjoyed visiting page 11 and feel free to take a look at the entire book at the following link for the softcover versionInstant Grammar 2013 by Frank Jansen.

Instant Grammar – page 34

The interest to capture this image came to me, as I was looking to get some nice sunlight reflected in the pond that is right next to this little building. One of those nice, quiet October mornings when you feel like it might still be Summer.

Beauty and Otherwise.
Beauty and Otherwise.

I didn’t really like the reflection that I could get, given the (self-imposed) constraint of using my iPhone for every shot during the year, and I had already photographed the nicely restored mill building across the road (you can see part of it in the “Instant Grammar – page 3” post and another part later).

So I started looking for something different and my eye was caught by the splash of red from the somewhat dilapidated berries in front of the very dilapidated building.  Putting the graffiti in the frame behind the berries allowed for a bit of juxtaposition of nature’s beauty against what can otherwise be created by humankind.

I hope you enjoyed visiting page 34 and feel free to take a look at the entire book at the following link for the softcover versionInstant Grammar 2013 by Frank Jansen.