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When you see something that catches your eye and you decide to take a picture of it, don't just snap. That is what I did in the picture above. It is nothing special. Kevin is a beautiful cat, but the composition does not cause you to look any longer than for a quick glance. What you should do when you decide to take, really to "make" a photo, is to stop and think. How can I take this in such a way that the viewer lingers a bit longer when looking, and maybe even thinks about what might be happening. What caught your eye? How can you show what you were drawn to?
Let me take you through my thought processes in these next photos. I saw Kevin looking out at the rain and I liked the contrast of his coloring, the flowers and the blue of the pool. I also liked the water on the floor next to him and the water droplet on the screen. The droplets leads the viewer to know that it's probably raining out. I love the melancholy look of someone looking out the window on a rainy day. A cat doing so makes me wonder what he is thinking. Does he not understand rain since he is an indoor cat? Does he want to explore? I like this effect, but I wanted to improve it. Not having his full tail felt wrong to me. The final version below works better for me.
After moving back a bit, I was able to get his tail, which mimics the angle of the door, leading us to him. It just feels better that it is not cut off. All the other elements are still there and now he turned his head a bit so we now can see a bit of his face and where he is looking.
I like Queen Ann's Lace because of its intricate structure. Taking a photo of a field of it might be boring so I thought about what could make a more interesting shot. My decision was to get down low to make that one stem taller than the tree-line in the background and let the blue sky provide a background that brings it out more.
Liking the effect of the blue sky, I decided to get down even lower and shoot up. Some people may not like the bright sun spot and I can understand that, but I chose to keep it this way because I liked the way it tilts the balance of the photo to one side. A little bit of tension added. When you are the photographer, you get to choose what is included in the frame.
I found this bathroom quite interesting, but didn't want to stay in it to read everything. Having the picture of it allows me time to read it unscented. Including the TP, the pen, and the edge of the toilet seat, gives more information for the viewer to think about. See if you can figure out where this bathroom might be.
Driving back from dropping off my daughter at the airport just before sunrise, I saw the beautiful colors in the sky off in the distance near Boston. I knew I wanted to take a picture, but needed something to contrast with the sky to add interest. So I went in search of something. I found this streetlight and thought it was perfect. I loved its style. The birds were just luck.
The old peeling paint and color of this aging barn was appealing to me. It made me think of an Andrew Wyeth painting. I tried to think of how he might have painted the scene. So many of his paintings include multi paned windows so I decided to concentrate on the window. I moved in close and noticed the reflection. My intent was to make the image black and white like many of Wyeth's paintings, but seeing the contrast of the window reflection color and the exterior color of the barn, I decided to keep the color.
The above Andrew Wyeth inspiration is titled "Around The Corner"
In my final example in this blog, I have this image.It was taken when I was photographing a wedding. I liked the way the light was hitting the fountain. I thought about how to showcase the water in the best way. I decided to make the focus the water droplets. In order to do that, I had to increase the shutter speed in order to freeze the droplets and focus on the outer edge of the fountain.
Sometimes when you see something that would make a good picture, you have to act fast and you are not able to stop and ponder how to make the photo better. However, when you are able to do so; stop, think, compose, take the shot, and then adjust if needed and retake. Don't just take a photo, make a photo .
After 31 years of teaching, I have decided to retire and start a new chapter of my life as a photographer. It has been my passion for about 7 years now.