Revisiting older posts reminds me of the wonderful mentorships I participated in while in Google+ including this one mentioned below. In these creative environments I learned how to open my eyes to the beauty around me and, most importantly, how to translate this beauty into a photograph that would entrance the viewer as much as it had me. Who would have thought that a photograph of grass in a field would make me recapture the same gentle summer morning feeling on this bitter winter’s day so many years later.
Original Post: July 9, 2013
This is a reshare of my Plus Post for the Storytelling Landscape Photography mentorship
This week in our assignments, I learned (or had reinforced) some very important things: I learned that the ‘better things’ in that Q and A above do not have to be a sunrise in the Grand Canyon. They can involve the special things that are in the landscape all around us, but that make us aware of the ‘feeling’ of the place and time. Mood is what we were aiming to create with this week’s work – using such things as the quality of light, different camera settings and lenses. And I learned that sometimes we need to pare away and zoom in and cut out the clutter that would prevent our viewer from sharing that feeling that we are trying to convey. These grasses are not an astonishing, gasp-worthy vista. But the feel of that summer early morning light on a field of wild grasses and flowers is what I was aiming to capture. It took thought (a lot more photo sessions that it might seem) and some post production to get it feeling ‘just right’ for me.
The second most important thing that I took away from this most excellent week of learning was that no matter how many wonderful focal point enhancers you have, in your image you have to have a focal point to make them do their work (a real ‘duh’ moment, that one). That doesn’t mean (again) that it has to be the Grand Canyon, but that it is important to hone the scene down by again zooming in, moving myself, singling out the one element that makes that scene important. Even if is only a patch of grasses, haloed by the early sun.
And also I learned to try to begin to make my viewer feel a part of what (s)he is seeing in my photographs – to engage, to connect, by the use of some of the Gestalt techniques I learned about but need to work more on. It will come, I know it.
Thanks toand the most excellent group of supportive and caring mentees, Vis and general cheerleaders on this program. You all make it the great and growing experience that it has been. From my heart, thank you ALL! (And if you’ve read this far you deserve a medal!)