Light through the window.

M

ore changes. I knew that I wanted to design some kind of gallery. I’ve done it in the past. Good luck with that. Now the gallery template is divided by columns so the images are divided into long thin columns. A casual viewer wouldn’t know what they were seeing unless they they opened each picture.

I suppose that’s one way to get you to spend more time on the page, but it seems kind of funky to me. And, not in a good way.

Anyway.

You can’t keep a good man down, they say. I suppose who they is talking about. Good man, indeed.

Being stuck inside the house has pushed me to look at things a little differently.

T

his is about light. The key component of any photograph.

This just may be a little more focused on light than normal since it is light that makes thee three pictures.

I saw the pictures. Or, they saw me. I pressed the button and that was it.

Editing was simple. Darken the images and make them a little contrasty.

Window blinds at night.

The first thing I noticed was how the blinds carried the outdoor color. I decided that I’d better photograph it. So, I did.

The next thing you know, I was playing with the files and this image is what came of it. I think it’s sort of pretty. It inspired me to make pictures of other things that I might not normally think about photographing. The two pictures, one above and one below came from looking out the window, as the sun was dropping on the horizon line.

I like them. I hope you do too. Who knows what I’ll see next.

No widows, no waiting.

In case you missed a few…

The Journey


F all really came today. Cool winds. Cool temperature. No air conditioning. Windows wide open. No apparent humidity. People celebrating. I’m not sure about the last statement. People celebrating. That may be taking it a little too far. Let’s just say people are happy. I’m happy. That’s why I’m late. I went and stayed outside. […]

Why Would You Wait?


A brand new picture. Imagine that. I went for a walk when the light was right and I started having fun. I just kept making pictures until I was finished, which took a while. I think that I wanted to take the long way home as they say. The funny thing was that the more […]

Anyway The Wind Blows


T ransitions between dark and light, the end of the day and daylight is what I look for. Sometimes I’ll wait for that time rather than burn myself out shooting daylight pictures which I’ll never even look at after the fact. It’s the light. It always the light. For me transitional light is the best […]


Road trips and light.
Road trips and light.

I once had a photojournalism professor called Joe B. Swan. He was one of the kindest people that I’ve ever meet. He was from West Texas. He taught at San Jose State University. He had a pronounced West Texas accent. He talked about “shaders and siluets.” That’s what you are looking at right now.

Shadows and Silhouettes.

He also talked about making pictures from the “dog’s eye view.” Or, as I call it, “What the dog saw.”

Lessons learned in 1974 are still true today. Obviously.

Why him? Why now?

I had a couple of WordPress conversations with a couple of you. One talked about how well my picture turned out. One said, even after two years she doesn’t have pictures like mine. The third was about “What would Ray do,” to not shoot a touristy picture.

A dangerous thing happened. I started thinking. You know how that goes. Heh!

I thought about how I learned. Forget the technology. I learned using film cameras, developing the film and making prints in a wet darkroom. Today, most people have never done that. Doesn’t matter. Many people do not even do any post production. They shoot auto everything, make an in-camera .jpg and put the picture on their blog, or on Facebook, or Twitter.

None of that matters. Really. The picture is the thing. The thing that matters. It also matters that the picture is printed on paper. That’s another story.

So.

In order of the conversations.

My pictures never “turn out” good or bad. They are an extension of my vision. Even when I talk about “tinkering,” I’m trying to get to the picture in my head. Not just the look. Also, the feel. If I can do that in camera without any real post production help, so much the better. For me, there are no accidents. That’s the difference between making or taking a picture. By the way, if I can’t get to “my picture,” you aren’t seeing whatever I did get to. No point in that. Think about it.

The other two comments — two years and touristy — are about the same thing.

Patience.

Unless you are photographing every day, making a lot of exposures, curating tightly, and learning from your mistakes; two years is nothing. You are just getting started. When I say make mistakes, I’m talking like this. Your keepers — the good stuff — usually should average out to about 10% of your entire take. That’s not so much.

Same with not shooting touristy pictures. You have to take them to get to the good stuff. You don’t have to show anybody. If you live in a place in which you can return to a specific location frequently, great. You learn its ebbs and flows. You learn about its shadows and light. It will teach you. If you can’t return frequently then follow this saying… as a wise man once told me, “Don’t take the picture, let the picture take you.” Find a place. Sit there and wait for something to happen. When it happens, you’ll be ready.

Ya dig?


Springtime green.
Springtime green.

Look. I even changed the typography color to green. For spring. Or, because white type was lost for the first 13 characters. One or the other.  I happen to think that a lot of good design is more about practical considerations than try to be cutting edge. That said, I don’t know if green on green  comes close to being good design.

I could go into a long discussion about using this kind of light.

But. I won’t.

The leaves are back lighted and slightly over exposed. I worked very hard to keep a part of the main leaf in sharp focus. Everything else drops off very quickly. And, that’s it.

Happy Friday.


Spring light and flowers near dusk.
Spring light and flowers near dusk.

I’ve been talking a lot about light lately. Why not? We all know it’s the prime component in photography. It’s the thing that makes a photograph a photograph. It doesn’t matter whether you make digital files, shoot film or even make some kind of photogram. Without light, there is no picture.

So.

This is what happens when I walk outside, carrying a camera and happen to look at the spring flowers as the sun is starting to set. This is also what happens when you break on of the biggest photo rules around. They say, “Never shoot directly into the sun.” I ask why not?

Yeah, sure. Your highlight will be blown out into the unrecoverable specular range. But, if you close the aperture enough you’ll get starbursts and other weird effects as the light bounces around the lens.

That’s what happened to this picture.

One little suggestion. It’s probably a better idea to use your camera’s LCD rather than trying to use the viewfinder, especially if it is some kind of electronic viewfinder. They “see” very brightly. You can guess the rest.