A little bit of Imperfection

Is perfection overrated?

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…

The Line

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!

WPC Final Week – Favorites – Pt.5

A line toward the horizon

The Final WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge has presented their final theme of All-Time Favorites, which, while being a bit sad that it’s their last prompt, is a great way to finish.

In the 5th contribution to this last hurrah of the WPC, I’m going to another simple image that I still enjoy very much after a number of years.  Sometimes, the limitations of the equipment that we use in our photography can be used to our advantage, such as ws the case here.

Simple, yet complex…

20131017-the-line-img_2454-16x16-canson-infinity-satin
The Line

This railroad track runs through the town, where I live, West Boylston, Massachusetts. I had thought about photographing it before, simply for the effect of the railway converging toward the horizon.  As I liked the colors that I saw, I stopped and took the time for this shot, which added another dimension: lens flare.

The lens flare created a separation between the left and right parts of the image, which added to the interest of the scene. I thought about shielding the lens, but decided against it, as it told me that there’s something more to this scene than the simple railroad…

Have a great day!

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