Thursday, May 26, 2011

Semester II Final

When I shoot landscapes I can truly devote myself to photography; I don't need to worry about checking over my shoulder for the car that is about to hit me, worry about irritating the model I'm trying to take a portrait of by bumbling along, or be plagued by the fear that my photos won't be good enough. I can just be. I go out, begin to shoot, and I lose my self-consciousness that I normally experience when I'm behind the lens in a matter of minutes when I am surrounded by the good vibes that I get from being outdoors.

I love how diverse landscape photography can be, from an intimate view of a pond from many angles to a dramatic vista of a gully that drops hundreds of feet. This diversity enables me to try out a variety of techniques. For instance, I did a series of layered images of close-up pictures of plants to create deconstructed, then reconstructed landscapes. But I have done more traditional landscape photography. I enjoy taking pictures with a lot of texture in them. I also tend to gravitate towards images with green in them- I love how lush it looks.

Before I began to experiment with landscapes I didn't feel any passion for photography, I had flashes when it felt "right", but for the most part I felt like photography was like having an uncomfortable conversation with someone. But now that I have found a subject that inspires me and allows for so much flexibility there are many thing I want to try. I have a ton of images that I'm hoping to layer over the summer to create more deconstructed, reconstructed landscapes. I've enjoyed the post-processing side of photography and I'm researching artists that use interesting post-processing in landscape photography. I also want to develop my traditional landscape photography skills- which I am doing through more day trips to interesting landscapes in Oregon. Finally, through all of this, I hope that I can begin to develop my own aesthetic, and become a stronger, more focused photographer.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Photo Essay

In my photo essay I wanted to evoke the feeling of deep shade on a hot summer's day- the lush green lulls you into a dreamlike state, and your mind is free to wander.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Monday, May 9, 2011

Multiple Image Techniques

My first image is a compilation of three images from my landscape assignment. I chose three images that were not very strong on their own and combined them to make the image more interesting. In order to do this I added two images to the first image as layers in Photoshop, and set them to "screen". After that, I brought the exposure down so that the image wouldn't be too light. I also edited the final image additionally in Lightroom.

What I love about panoramas is how easy Photoshop makes it to pull them together quickly. I took both images with the intention of framing the focal point (in the first one the Colombia River, and in the second downtown Portland) with trees. In order to take the photos I made sure that I was in manual mode and took each photograph with the same exposure and to overlap each image with the next by at least half. Once I uploaded the pictures to my computer, I opened Photoshop and automated a panorama with each grouping. Afterwards, I stretched the images so that they fit, and then I finished up with some additional editing in Lightroom.

My cityscape multiple exposure is with only two images of downtown Portland, and I chose them because I liked the juxtaposition of old and new architecture within them. In Photoshop I added the second image to the first as a layer, and I set it to "screen". After that I brought down the exposure in both images by half. After doing this the image was a little dull so I brought up the blues and the clarity in Lightroom. This is my favorite image from this assignment.

My final image is an HDR taken in downtown Portland. In order to do this I took two images, one metered off of the clouds, and one metered off of the buildings. I then uploaded the pictures into Photoshop and I automated an HDR image. Once the image was produced I edited it some more in Lightroom, because I was unhappy with the lack of detail in the clouds. I brought as much detail back into the clouds as possible without making the image look fake. I plan on also uploading an image of an HDR from my landscape assignment once the sun comes out again and I have the opportunity to shoot some interesting clouds and nature.

Monday, May 2, 2011

What is Beauty?

This picture, by Ansel Adams, is titled Roots, Foster Gardens, Honolulu and was taken in 1948 using a gelatin silver processing method. I think it is an amazing representation of beauty in nature because of its abstraction and lovely use of sinuous lines. I also enjoy the texture that the ground cover lends the photograph. My definition of beauty in nature follows these lines: I think that nature is at its most beautiful when color, shade, or shape lends an abstraction to what you see. I also nature's beauty is at its height when there is texture, and slight imperfections to what is seen (like the tuft of grass growing out of the root in this picture) because it adds a realness to what you are looking at, or in other words, it can remind you that while you are looking at something amazingly beautiful, it hasn't been dreamt up by someone with a pencil in their hand, it has been discovered.