The Nature of Old Indian

17 08 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are many things I love. The practice of photography being high on the list. Most of you also know I’m a Christian though I consider myself a bit more liberal than many. I love all people and insight into the lifestyle of another person is fascinating.

We are fundamentally all the same. Made of the same stuff, function the same way. I can relate and empathize because I can visualize myself in your shoes. There is a world though that mortal man cannot fully comprehend. A life so subtle we may not even register it as such. Today I’m going back to my roots with a post more reminiscent of my early blogging style. With no further ado, I present the nature of Old Indian.

The shallow depth of field combined with the fairly neutral background strongly draws your eye to the flower. The petals were really interesting to me, the way every other one was so wilted. I left the image a hair underexposed to emphasis the somber mood. Capturing a generally very bright and cheerful subject in a somber light gives the viewer a deeper sense of emotion than simply making a happy thing look happy or a sad thing look sad.

In stark contrast to the previous picture I left this mushroom a little on the bright side. For me, the shallow depth of field draws my eyes from right to left (foreground to background.) This gives my brain just enough time to tell itself it’s looking at a rotting log before it happens upon the subject, the mushroom. Normally a mushroom doesn’t scream life but in contrast to a rotting log, it’s a bright and cheerful spot in this image.

 

This is a very subtle image. Sometimes there just aren’t enough words too describe the simplest images.

The touch of man. Not so pronounced as a lumber corporation clear cutting a beautiful forest but perhaps more touching in a way. I heard it said that a single death is a tragedy and a thousand deaths is a statistic. I don’t consider myself a hippie by any means and I know wood is a foundation of our society but it’s still important to take a moment to appreciate the things we take from nature. When we stop recognizing we live symbiotically with the world around us we will destroy it completely.

 

Windswept. I maintained a shallow depth of field to blur out the dull distracting background. I sacrificed a lot of the flowers but I’ve learned when shooting nature, one-thing in focus is usually better than everything in focus.

The complexity here is beautiful. Hundreds of tiny splinters of wood lacing in every direction. Nature does modern art far better than we ever will.

I hope you enjoyed the post today. I love hearing from you so leave me a comment and I’ll try to respond. Follow the blog to keep up with the goings on and there are links for my Twitter and Facebook somewhere around here :)

Thanks for reading and God Bless, -Arley

 

 

 

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Cliche Tree

30 05 2012

A backlit shot of a tree is almost as cliche as a picture of railroad tracks leading off into the distance, that was actually my first post now that I think about it. :) While cliche it still has a unique beauty. A lot of things come together well to give it the impact it has, let’s take a look.

One of the most striking things about this picture for me is the gradient in the sky. The sun behind the tree blows out the color immediately around the tree so it slowly washes back to a rich blue at the top. This is a fairly straightforward example of back-lighting but it’s a great photographic tool with a whole spread of applications.

Coming in tighter on the tree and allowing some sun to slip through really changes the mood of this photograph. You can tell the image if being distorted a little bit as I get closer to the tree. Using a longer lens from a greater distance will solve this, there’s also a number of options in Photoshop. The concrete enclosure in the foreground jumps out a lot more in this picture than the last one. I also tend to notice the trees in the background a lot more. 

For the final shot of this set I got lower and focused on some interesting old odds and ends on the brick wall. Everything here looked like it had sat in the weather for years. I think the dark detail in the foreground gives a nice contrast to the overexposed sky in the background.

Thanks for stopping by the blog today! I’ve got a lot of pictures to go through so hopefully you’ll be seeing a load of content popping up all week. I hope everyone in the states had a relaxing Memorial Day weekend. Be sure to follow the blog and you’re more than welcome to click buttons down below to share with your friends. I love responding to your comments so please don’t forget to tell me what you thought of today’s post! Have a great day everyone and God Bless! -Arley





Hubcaps For Sale

27 05 2012

Maybe an obscure title like that will finally make me show up on the freshly pressed radar. :) I’m very tired and a box of hub caps happened to be in the first picture so it is mildly relevant. I’m trying something I have tried only on one other occasion, I am writing a post at 1AM and scheduling it to appear on the blog at a reasonable hour of the morning so it can greet you when you’re bright and ready for a new day instead of looking at cat pictures trying to fall asleep. This is from my shoot Friday which included the 3 crosses pictures.

I had to take a few pictures to get this shot the way I wanted. I have been cheating a bit lately. I have left my ISO set on auto so that I can do what I want with the f/stop and shutter speed then let the camera do the hard work. Fortunately, I haven’t lost my touch so the second frame here came out the way I wanted. The camera got a bit confused with the extreme lights and darks so I had to take over. I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again, the camera is very smart but it’s not particularly creative. If f/stop, shutter speed, and ISO are Greek to you, I have an excellent (if I do say so myself) blog post about it here.

This image is intentionally very dark. I didn’t want a lot of detail. I got just enough pattern from the table to make it interesting but this shot was a lot more about mood than content. It’s kind of similar to when you hear a song you like but you have no idea what it’s about. It’s fun to do this once in a while with your photographs; I think it makes the picture say a little less about your subject and a little more about yourself and your creative direction.

Of course it only took me a flat second to decide the detail here is so great, I wanted to take another shot to capture it. The great thing about old/rustic buildings is the imperfections. I love the visible knots in the wood. I wish more things today looked a little more like this and a little less like something off an assembly line. Functional but full of character.

I have a bit of a thing for doors. Especially if they’re barred up and locked. Even more so if the metal is rusty and the paint is peeling. The textures come together really nicely here and the brick pattern in the background does a lot to make this shot feel more structured. By that I mean a consistent pattern, whether subject or supporting element, makes a picture feel more organized and less random.

My favorite thing about using a shallow DoF (Depth of Field) is you can take something very plain, like this concrete barrier thing, and focus on the most interesting part of it to make the whole thing far more appealing than it would be if you could see all the boring details clearly. You’re mind kind of just assumes the whole thing is as cool as this little bit you see clearly.

Well, I’ve reached the point that I know I should wrap this up before I get an sleepier and say something dumb/goofy. I hope you enjoyed the pictures/narrative. Let me know what you think down south in the comments section. Social links for Facebook and Twitter are up north. If you aren’t following the blog you could miss out on new stuff so be sure to do that while you’re here if you enjoy what I’m sharing. I love getting mentioned. That notification that someone mentioned me in a blog post makes my whole day, I love it when you tell your friends about me.

Anyways, that’s it. I’m signing off. Have a great Memorial Day weekend if you’re in the US. To all my other amazing friends scattered across the globe, have a great Sunday. God Bless -Arley





Three Pictures of Three Crosses

25 05 2012

I have had a pretty exciting day. I just got done with about 3 hours of shooting and I’ve got a lot of great stuff you’ll be seeing for the next few days. Another cause for excitement is I am getting very close to the 20,000 view mark thanks to all of you. I’m hoping the next 1100 or so views I need will come in over the weekend and I’ll get to celebrate with a special post. For tonight, I want to share a few pictures from the first location I shot at today.

This wasn’t my first picture. I wanted to share this one first though because this one made a nice overview shot. The crosses aren’t the focus here, instead they are just a supporting element. The front wall is the focus here, you’ll find out something funny about that wall shortly.

Here’s the funny thing. I hopped up on that wall for this picture. The cars passing behind me got a big kick out of the show I was putting on. This shot is one I think of as a 50/50 shot. About half the picture is the subject and the foreground and the other half is the sky. When I’m working with a wide angle lens, I like to catch a lot of the sky in it every now and then. This picture does break one of my rules (I always try to break at least one any given day) it doesn’t have a hero. The great thing about wide angle lenses is they can get away with this. When you get a lot of sky and a vibrant foreground, you can let the overall image be the hero.

For the final shot I got in closer and framed up the closest cross in about the center of the frame. I liked this shot but I still wanted a little more, that’s why I went from here and shot for another two and a half hours.

I hope you enjoyed the blog today. I always love to hear from you in the comments section below. Another exciting announcement is that I got my 1000th email subscriber today. If you haven’t already, I would love for you to subscribe. Of course you can check me out on Facebook and Twitter. If you’re interested in writing a guest post or if you would like me to write something for your blog or website shoot an email to arleyseth@gmail.com.

Thanks again for visiting! Have a great weekend and God Bless!





The Mystery Lies Beneath The Surface

24 05 2012

Sometimes as I’m driving, something catches my eye. I stop and take a few snaps but it just isn’t what I thought it would be. One of the things I’ve learned through trial and error is that everything doesn’t naturally make a good picture. I’ve found out though, the worse that first picture is, the more I want to capture something closer to my vision.

Today I used something I haven’t used much since I started shootabout, my 17-35 lens. For those of you less in tune with how lenses are rated, this is basically a really wide lens. Wider lenses give a lot more distortion than a 50mm, one of my primary lenses for this blog. The reason for that is long and complicated but it basically deals with the perceived distance from the lens to the subject. If you’re using a wide angle lens, you’ll get much closer, as you get closer, the relative distance from you to the front of your subject vs the relative distance from you to the back of your subject is much larger than if you use a medium zoom lens. That’s why good portraits are shot with longer lenses. If the relative distance from you to the tip of your subjects nose is drastically closer than the relative distance from you to your subjects cheek, you can get a Pinocchio effect. If however you’re taking pictures of a building for instance, you can use this creatively.

That first shot didn’t turn out to be everything I hoped so I decided to try one from a bit closer focusing on one wall of the building. One of the most important things in photography, possibly the most important aside from light, is your perspective. Perspective is what makes you a photographer. Anyone can take a picture of anything. It’s how you take the picture that defines you. You won’t get it right the first time, don’t get discouraged, learn to move around and try a new angle to get what you want. Well, this still wasn’t quite doing it for me but I noticed something, there was a little gap between the wood door and the wall.

Turns out this old abandoned building has a torn up roof and a little forest growing inside. This I like. It’s a peek into a window to an entirely different side of this building. The building by itself is great but when you mix it with some mystery, then the picture starts communicating emotion. You see the door and the wall but you see something more lies within, something strange and unusual. Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, the door is stuck. I couldn’t see any more of what was inside this building. It’s a mystery. A world I may never get to explore, except with my imagination.

I hope you’re as curious as I am. Now that I have a taste of the mystery I may show back up with a ladder and try to get a few shots from above looking down. I suppose I should figure out who the building belongs to first though!

Stay tuned for more pictures tomorrow (hopefully.) I promise I’ll get a few more of those tutorials you keep asking about put together soon. Like me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter if you want to keep up with what’s going on. Please comment, it’s the highlight of my day to read and respond to your feedback. If you think your followers would enjoy this or any other post on shootabout feel free to reblog me. Thanks for visiting and God Bless! -Arley





Wordless Wednesday

23 05 2012

DJ Coach K “Spinning the Wheels”





Art in Construction

22 05 2012

I’ve always found construction beautiful. Not only because my father is in the building materials industry and it kept the lights on, but also because it is fascinating to see the way things come together under the surface. Yesterday I was fortunate enough to stumble upon a construction crew working on a new concessions stand for the football field beside portable row. My most striking observation of the afternoon was simply that for something new to be built, something old had to be torn down.

Breaking Down the Old Stand

I felt like I was getting back to my roots doing such editorial styled work. (I started out in photography taking pictures for a local web based news paper.) What I really like about this image is the variety of color. I liked the way the grey of the old building is contrasted by the red saw horse, the blue trash can, the yellow backhoe and the green trees. The image only appealed more after I took a second look at it on my computer.

Tools of the Trade

I knew as soon as I saw this saw I wanted to get close and low. If you know what you’re looking at, the outlines of the grey portables in the background are distinguishable. I really like the variety of background colors between the teeth of the saw. The rust adds a little character to the blade. Modern can be beautiful but it just doesn’t speak to you the same way age does. I focused on the uppermost part of the blade to draw your eyes up to the brightest part of the image. This shot is almost therapeutic for me, it’s a relaxing picture to let your eyes wander over.

The King of Construction

This dapper fellow reluctantly gave me a smile. He was introduced to me only as the king of construction. This is a fairly straightforward snapshot. A picture like this leans more heavily on the subject and their level of mystique than it does on composition or any other typical photography rules. My only advice for capturing this sort of shot is be ready, and be friendly. Street pictures of people are tricky, not just because you have to have timing and an interesting subject, but also because you have to be careful not to make anyone angry. If you’re a photographer in America, you legally have the right to take a picture of almost anyone or anything in a public place, but that doesn’t stop a big burly guy from taking a swing at you (and your camera.) I’ve found though that nearly every questioning glare, is easily diffused with a smile. :)

Thats it for today, I have laundry to finish and lots of blogs to catch up with. I hope you enjoyed todays entry and I would love to hear your feedback in the comments section below. First time visitor? Don’t forget to follow the blog to keep up with new posts via email notification. Social links for Facebook and Twitter are up there somewhere. If you want to help me out, tell your friends about the blog. Stumble, tweet, press me, the whole nine yards. The more the merrier. :)

Thanks for visiting and God Bless!








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