Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Another Macro

OK, I admit it. I have a fascination with getting up close to things. Macro (or micro if you're using Nikkor) is one of my favorite areas of photography.

Perhaps it's because of the way macro photography allows you cut the clutter of the rest of the world, allowing you get more intimate with your subject. Or something like that.

Or, maybe it has more to do with the way the close-up image can render the world. Sometimes things are in focus, sometimes out of focus, it's all possible... depending on the effect you're after.

Todays image is rather flat. I've tried to tease a little depth into it--for all the good it did. Still, I'm pretty happy with it. The colors are relaxing and the composition, though rather standard, is engaging enough for me to decide it's worth sharing.

Now, about that up-and-coming trip to the Canyonlands. Details are finally finalized. Getting all the backcountry reservations we wanted (well, most of them anyway) proved to be a ongoing lesson in why you should reserve sites really early if you want to do things right!

We wound up only getting one night along the White Rim road, a 4wd track that makes a 100 mile loop around the Islands in the Sky section of the park. If we had managed a site closer to the middle of the track it would not be as big a deal, but we got one of the only ones available and it happens to be a scant 25 miles in. Even the Rangers I have spoken with did not care to speculate on how many hours it might take to traverse the 75 miles of road we'll be obliged to travel in one day. Evidently there are just too many variables to estimate the time with any degree of accuracy. I translate this to mean, "Get up early and drive--see how far you get by noon--drive faster if you must."

Luckily, though, the second leg of our trip in the Needles section of the park is looking far more laid back. We have the same site reserved for two nights in a row, and the only pressures we should have are what to cook for supper and where to hike.

Should be a lot of fun. I hope to get a few nice pics. Something other than macros.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

A Nasty Habit

Yep, today's photo is nasty. No doubt about it.

But (no pun intended) the thing is... I like this photograph. A lot. To me it's just one of those images that, despite the subject matter, contains all the elements of good photo.

So, for my own sake, I'm gonna try to break it down and see why it works.

1. Decent Composition

For some time now I have been convinced that this single elusive quality is the ultimate deal breaker (or maker) when it comes to presenting a good photograph. Some folks can find the best compositions with their eyes closed... I can't. So it's a big deal for me when I stumble across one that I feel really works.

Now, I'm not gonna try to dissect leading lines, discuss the rule of thirds, or any of that other stuff, although these things can certainly be elements of a strong composition. Of far more interest to me is the raw appeal. The evocative, visceral, emotional impact (or repulsion) that some images can convey.

This one makes me feel dirty, lonely, lost, and discarded. Like a failure. Pretty strong stuff. Due in part, no doubt, to the fact that I was a reformed smoker that has now relapsed. Now I get to give them up again.

On the other hand, it also gives me a sense of community, connectedness, and hope. And I find it fascinating that this image can pull me in so many different directions at once. That's cool.

2. A Clear Subject

Sometimes the subjects can get lost in a composition, and this usually not a good thing. Except maybe where abstracts are concerned and the subject becomes the abstraction itself. For most images, though, it's usually best to find some way to point out the subject and leave little or no room for misinterpretation.

3. A Sense of Space

By this I mean that there is some sense of depth to the image. A clearly defined foreground, subject, and background. This is not necessary for every image, of course, but when it comes to defining images that appeal to me the most, it's usually there.

So, what has this little exercise taught me? I'm not sure. I knew these things already. But it might interest you to know that the egg is one of nature's most perfect foods. And I knew that already too. Maybe sometimes you just need to be reminded.