One thing that is nice about digital photography is the plethora of options available to post process images & the ease of obtaining the software & learning how to use it. I mostly stick to using CaptureOne, but every so often I like to ‘play’ with an image to see what else can be done with it.
In the case of the above photo I’ve used Corel’s Paint It to convert a panoramic iPhone photo into a water colour sketch. On becoming a water colour sketch the fine detail in the photo is lost, though I still feel it conveys a sense of the location.
The sketch also provides inspiration. I’m slowly teaching myself how to use water colours; my preference is water colour sketching. Perhaps one day I won’t need software to create this kind of look. Although the beauty of Paint It is I’m not limited to water colours. There is among others oil painting & pastels, two things I know I’ll never learn. Transforming my photos to digital paintings will suffice.
Here is another instance where being on foot has allowed me to photograph an image I’ve thought about numerous times when I’ve been a passenger in a car, without having had the ability to stop to allow me to take photos.
I love the rhinoceros statues found throughout Dubbo. They immediately conjure images of the zoo in my mind & something about their various incarnations & locations brings a smile to my face. Of them all the mother & baby outside the zoo itself are my favourite. The material they have been constructed of implies a sense of life to the statues & it’s because of this material that they appear different every time I see them. The shadows in the crevices of their skin I find particularly fascinating & I wonder if I got that close to a real rhinoceros would I notice that too?
I think taking the time to experience a destination on foot is by far the greatest opportunity to get to know that place. On the flip side, experiencing a location by car does allow me to see a lot more of a place & if time during that visit allows or perhaps a return visit takes place then I can take a tour on foot of the places that captured my imagination while I was a passenger. Perhaps that is the best of both worlds?
Whilst taking a holiday is good for the soul, sometimes it can also be good for the mind. On holiday only days ago, I made sure I took some time out from catching up with my dearest friend to look for things of interest to photograph in her home town.
I had no expectations or goals to meet. I was on foot & alone which meant I was able to take as much time as I needed at any given location. I was happy to meander & observe the world around me.
I found myself lost to the beauty around me, capturing some of it with my camera but also happy to simply observe it. The sounds around me were particularly electric, consisting mainly of the raucous squarks of sulphur crested cockatoo’s. I stopped & observed them a number of times during my walk, enjoying the site of large flocks of them & marvelling when for a few brief seconds they ceased their seemingly endless noise.
When my few hours of photography time was done I felt relaxed & at ease. That’s when I know a photography outing has been a success. Sure the resulting photographs are important to me, but equally as important is the feeling of reconnection, mediation & happiness. All I need to do is work out how to get that into my life a bit more often.
The construction of our new home has provided me with a lot of unexpected photographic opportunities. I initially thought that my photos of the build would be of documentary style only, showing progress as the house is built.
However I’ve found ample there has been opportunity to get creative with my photos. The strong lines of the house frame has provided me with a couple of fruitful photographic shoots, one of which I’ve already blogged about.
These two photos were taken after I’d mown our lawn (and weeds!) last Sunday. The garage slab had been poured then topped with water so it didn’t dry too quickly. I sat in the house & noticed the shadows cast by the frame. I took advantage of having my phone & took some photos.
Documentary style photography of the house build is important to me; this type of creative photography is proving to be equally important. It provides another way of looking at something that might seem mundane.
Often when I view my photos when I return from a photographic outing, I find myself disappointed with the results. I see flaw after flaw & rarely notice anything that I like about them. Yet when I return to them later on, after a a week or more, I seem to be able to see something that I felt wasn’t there originally. Something happens in that time frame, which allows me to see the photos in a different light.
I think the time gap between first & second viewing puts space between what I had in my mind creatively & the resulting images. In fact often I forget what it was that I had intended to photograph. This space seems to let me see the images for what they actually are. By no means do I think I create a perfect photo, but more often than not if I give my images time, I find I’m happier with the results.
I also notice this experience with sketching. I’ll sit down & made a sketch of something & when I’m finished I feel satisfied with undertaking the act of drawing, but don’t think much about what I’ve drawn. Yet when I go back & look at that sketch again, I see that what is on the page is actually ok. Sometimes I’ve even made a sketch that I can say is good.
So I’m trying to learn to put distance between the completion of a photo or a sketch & making a judgement on the quality of what I’ve produced. I hope each time I try this I’ll get better at not judging my work so harshly.
An unexpected gift of flowers from David for Valentines Day provided me the opportunity to get a little creative.
As soon as he handed them to me I knew getting in close was going to be the way to photograph them. The intricacies of the tiny little petals that make up one large flower head were begging me to photograph them. Best of all, the bunch has three of these large beauties, along with an assortment of tiny flowers and gum leaves. For the purposes of this post, with its valentines theme, I’ve posted a couple of photos of the red flower, however the creamy colour of the other two flowers are equally as interesting.
Having not yet committed to buying myself an extension tube for my Fuji, I grabbed my iPhone this morning to see what I could achieve. I find the Camera+ app is a great tool for this type of photography giving more flexibility than the native camera app. I’m happy with the results, with a good number of photos that I like and a couple that I might even print during the week.
Of course this exercise has fuelled my desire to get in even closer to subjects like this. I think next time an online camera store sends an email offering free delivery I’ll jump on it and buy myself an extension tube. I’m imaging now the fun I’ll have getting nice and close using one of those 🙂
This month I’m a first time participant of International Correspondence Writing Month – better know as InCoWriMo. I’m having a blast sitting down every day writing a letter note or card to someone.
I’m writing both to people I know, and to those that I don’t. I’ve taken some names from the 28 people on the 2017 Official Participants list to write to, as well as people who’ve asked to receive a letter through the InCoWriMo blog.
There have been a few days when I’ve struggled with finding the time to write a letter, but I have so far managed each day to squeeze in the time to write. Somehow the act of letter writing is proving to be a little cathartic. And it is encouraging me to write more often, so far for myself only but there might be something more that comes out eventually if I can keep up with the writing.
I’m looking forward to receiving correspondence myself. Nothing beats the excitement of receiving personal correspondence from someone.
I love the opportunities that are presented when holidaying at a location that I’ve stayed at before. Although nothing beats the thrill and excitement of visiting a new destination, there is satisfaction to be found in returning to a place I know. It becomes intimate to me in a way, by knowing where good coffee and food is to be found, or which side streets to use to get somewhere quicker. Or even knowing that wandering the length of a particular street will provide ample architecture to photograph/
Sometimes it’s a simple as returning to a site I admire, preferably when the conditions are favourable for photographing it in its glory. But other times magic can be found by viewing a location from the eyes of someone else. Whether it’s a self guided walking tour, a thematic tour (architecture, food, drink) or a guided tour by someone who knows their city and its intricacies, viewing a place in this way is always fruitful.
Last year David and I took a short break in Adelaide, with the primary goal of attending a show we had tickets for. We took the opportunity to do something different, and paid to be part of a walking tour of Adelaide city with Graeme Fanning of Down To Earth Tours. Surprisingly it was the two of us and Graeme, which made for a terrific opportunity to drink in his knowledge of Adelaide. For whilst I have visited Adelaide multiple times, I had never really taken the opportunity to learn about how the city came to be. It was a fascinating walk, and would recommend it to anyone who is interested in this kind of thing. We enjoyed it so much that if given the time on a return visit to Adelaide we would take one of the other tours on offer. And we’ll certainly take tours like these in other locations we visit.
I have been considering buying a macro lens for my X-Pro1 for some time. I’ve seen some amazing macro photos, and it’s a genre I feel I would enjoy. If I look around my current surroundings, there are a lot of things whose detail is often missed. There is the grain on the wood clothes basket, the patterns in the skin of apples, or fine details in my jewellery for instance.
However purchasing a good quality macro lens doesn’t come cheap. And I’ve so far had no luck obtaining a cheap second hand lens via eBay or gumtree. So for now, I’m content with using the close up filters I bought for my X-Pro lenses and using the macro setting in the Camera+ app on my iPhone. These options don’t give me true macro, nor do they allow me to print large quality photos, but for now they whet my appetite.