is a little shake?
It is the life of the crystal, the architect of the flake, the fire of the frost, the soul of the sunbeam. This crisp winter air is full of it.
I remember as a child loving snowglobes. Those tiny, perfect little worlds that changed just a little whenever you picked them up and shook them.
These frozen bubbles are a little like those and perhaps that’s why I enjoy seeing them develop. Each one different, each one a little capture of a winter day.
Photography and whatever niche we put ourselves in is also a little like that. We get comfortable photographing certain things and stay in our comfort zones but is that always good?
Well that depends. I recommend shaking it up every so often. Go out and photograph something that you have never photographed before. It’s eye-opening and I guarantee that it will make you a better photographer.
There’s a secret to it though…you have to commit, don’t just take a half hearted stab at it.
Give it a little shake. You won’t be sorry.
Note: For client privacy reasons I could not post images from my recent session but I completely endorse the “shake it up” process.
pay attention to your background.
Look and think before opening the shutter. The heart and mind are the true lens of the camera.
One of the most important things that I’ve learned over time is when photographing, don’t get so caught up with your subject that you forget to look past it at the background.
I like to photograph ice, snow, and frost and although this morning was a balmy 24 degrees and not cold enough for good frost development, I still wanted to have a wander about and try to coax some frost out of this bubble.
Good photography is about practise and in my opinion continual experimentation. It’s about learning everything that there is to know about your camera so that when your “moments” come you know just how to capture them.
This month’s tip is about the background and the need to also make conscious decisions in that part of the photo. So often I will see a photo posted that could have been amazing if only the photographer had noticed the background.
In this photograph since it wasn’t cold enough for those deep, cut frost patterns to develop I had to look for more to bring this to life. I found it in the background and yes, I was laying on the ground with my chin in the snow. Looking past my reluctant subject I could see some interesting lens flare and bokeh happening so I shifted my framing to include that.
A photograph is made, not taken, so learn to look at all that’s inside of your frame and make sure that it doesn’t detract from what you’re photographing. Watch out for those tree limbs that sprout from behind the head of your subject or those dark patches that just leave a hole in your image.
It’s certainly harder with action shots but with practice you can focus on more than one thing in your image at the same time.
January’s Tip: pay attention to your background!
I couldn’t love you more!
It’s an illusion that photos are made with the camera….they are made with the eye, heart and head.
Henri Cartier Bresson
Some week-ends are perfect.
Single digit temperatures, sunshine, glittering snow.
A great friend, a great meal, a great evening with Viggo Mortensen.
Perfect light for perfect photoshoots.
Nature at her absolute best and painting exquisite intimate landscapes upon the canvas’ that I presented to her.
Winter…the most beautiful of seasons.
of weekly blogging.
Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering, ‘It will be happier.’
Alfred Lord Tennyson
A beautiful day with frigid temperatures and a fine way to end my second year of blogging.
I set a goal for myself two years ago to write a weekly blog post on photography. I wanted it to focus mainly on creativity and inspiration and highlight an image preferably from that week.
It’s now two years later and this year was for me filled with ups and downs and I know that I’m not alone in that.
Highlights and lowlights…rather ironic considering that they’re two of my favorite things.
Some of the best highlights?
Photographing a proton arc during a night of northern lights, in one word…unforgettable.
Photographing rare halos and having the most incredible e-mail conversation with a renowned physicist.
Numerous publications and an Image of the Day by Earthsky.org.
An abundance of canine photo shoots, so dear to my heart.
The lowlights? Frankly I’m just going to visualize whirled peas and leave it at that.
I’ve got a new project starting and can’t wait to immerse myself in it.
Don’t forget to take some moments for yourself during this busy time of year and find something positive to focus on…
on the still life I’ve presented.
Frost is the most sophisticated of poets.
I love to play outside in freezing temperatures; single digits or gentle climbs into the teens will get me up early every time!
When hoar-frost and rime are not readily available, when the patterns on my windshield seem a little haphazard, when snowflakes have become uncooperative, that’s the time when I set up my own winter scenes and wait for Mother Nature to bring it!
It’s a challenging dance. Everything has to be lined up just so; very cold, no wind, superb light, and preferably a blanket of snow.
It’s really a balancing act. First orchestrating the placement of the bubble and then should that be successful you have only seconds to get the shot before any number of catastrophes can occur. Focus is often challenging and ever-changing.
Sometimes I think that the shot that would be the one would be the shot of me taking the shot!
When it all comes together though, it is breathtaking to watch. Each time I am amazed at how the frost patterns bloom and grow on the substrate that I’ve provided. Sometimes floral in their design, other times fern-like. Sometimes hard and directional yet other times faint and tentative.
When asked how do you do that I am often at a bit of a loss to explain. It’s a dance really and for the best results one really does need a willing partner.