Car reflections.

After not making pictures for a couple of weeks, they all came tumbling out.

I had an Ernst Haas moment. I had a Jay Maisel moment. I had a David Allen Harvey moment. I had my own moment.

Best of all I photographed what I saw. I saw a lot.

This picture is not what you think it is. I’m willing to bet that you think this is one of my layered pictures. It isn’t. Or, it is water. It’s not that, either.

It’s a reflection of trees on a car trunk, or boot as they say in England. There are a few leaves sort of pasted to the car’s surface. Those were left after the rain storm.  Needless to say, it’s all real.

Sure.

There is some post production going on. It’s mostly to darken highlights, open up shadows and sharpen little bits of the picture. There is no heavy post or editing going on. The picture is pretty much how I saw it.

The image was made on my phone. A little work was done in Snapseed. Most of it was done after a saved it as a Tiff, sent it to my main machine and finished it using OnOne.

Now, you know some of my new tricks. Most of them revolve around letting the picture tell me what to do.

The notion of letting something tell me how to work with it could be my sub-topic for today. I truly believe that, especially in creative fields. As I cruise through various social media, I see way too many people trying to control the process. I think it’s because they are still insecure with their genre. Pictures, Painting, Making music, Writing.

One guy, on Facebook, made a lot of pictures at Jazzfest. Most of what he was posting were pictures of Mardi Gras Indians and various second lines. To me, those are bright, vibrant and colorful scenes. He was torn between posting them in black and white or color. In the spirit of letting the picture tell you what to do, I suggested that they should be made in color for the very reason I just mentioned. There were a lot of folks who got excited by black and white because that gave the picture some kind of gravitas. He went in their direction. Oh well. You can lead a horse to water…

It’s not a question of being wrong or right. It can never be. It’s a question of subject matter. It’s also a question of making the very best picture that you can in the field. If you do that, you don’t have to worry about technique. The picture “just is.”  I think I know what he is trying to do by making black and white files. As I’ve said in the past just about everybody photographs New Orleans events. Making black and white pictures is a way of separating yourself from the pack. If you are trying that and have any guts at all, turn the camera sensor to JPEG and turn off the color capture. Make the pictures in black and white right from the start. No going back.

What do you think?

Advertisements


Twisted.

Twisted. Trunks.

I’ve been trying to figure out how to make a version of this picture for a couple of years. I’m not sure what the trees are, but they are primordial. They are original trees from the days when much of “backatown” New Orleans was a swamp. A swamp that was reclaimed. Drained and built upon.

Whenever I found them, either the background didn’t work or the lensing wasn’t appropriate.

Along came my new — old now, because Samsung just released a newer version — smartphone. Like most modern phones its camera functions are amazing. Not only can I increase the length of the lens from approximately 28mm to 56mm with the push of a button. But, once I get it there,  I can use two fingers in a pinching motion to increase the length of the lense by six fold to about 336mm. This all internal. Nothing actually pokes its head out of the phone. This is more of that computational photography I wrote about earlier.

Finally.

I found the background. And, I had the lens capable of compressing the scene into my vision. The vision that kept me looking for at least two years.

This picture is the result.

I could have gone out looking for the picture, armed with one of my mirrorless camera bodies and a couple of lenses, but this was easier.

Too easy.

If I wasn’t a working photographer, it would be simple to put my camera gear on a shelf, forget about it, remember it and sell it on Ebay for pennies on the dollar.

But.

I am a photographer.


Art in the morning.

This is on me. Not the dog. 

I was walking. I saw this beat up, rusted car. I walked by it. Wait a minute. I went back. I saw. Not the whole car. Details. Bits. Pieces.

This.

This happens when I’m in a zone. When I see. Really see. Likely as not I’m not in a zone. I don’t see. I miss things. Because I’m human. Like everybody else.