Sunday, September 11, 2011

Orange Seat on Green Pavement


The most recent and the next few pics I will post are studies in color. They are exercises designed to make the eye/mind aware of color in the world and to experience that flash of perception that recognizes the aesthetic quality of these colorful things. Then transfer that perception into photographic form, which is to a large extent a process of subtraction.

Our field of vision is like a very wide-angle lens, (without the distortion) in terms of peripheral vision and what we are capable of "seeing," but our mind is constantly reducing that field to a much smaller area that we focus on. In other words, when we see a beautiful or interesting scene, the mind edits out the extraneous information. But a camera by itself cannot do that. This is why the casual shooter is so frequently disappointed that the pictures don't depict the experience, and why the successful photo depends on, usually consciously, subtracting the peripheral from the central in framing an image.

In the book I am reading, this is called "forming the equivalent." It's where vision and technique meet. I know in a lot of shots I look at after going out shooting, the technical stuff is great, the vision needs work. In other shots the vision is fine, but the technique needs work - the exposure is wrong, the depth of field is too shallow or too deep, the shutter speed too slow, those kinds of things. I'm still struggling to integrate all these variables.

Practice may not make perfect, but it makes better...


  1. Nice color contrast and shadows. I like it!

  2. You points about peripheral vision are interesting, I have never thought about that before. We can not possibly foucus the periphery, but we can see it there, and bright objects and bright objects naturally cause us to turn and focus on these distractions. I did read somewhere that women have a wider peripheral vision to men.

    anyway.. great contrast in this shot. Super orange too. I would have cropped different but I'm not sure if there really is a correct crop for this kind of image.


  3. Thanks guys - I am oversimplifying a bit, of course, and there are other techniques to draw the viewer into the perception you are attempting to capture - focus, depth of field, contrast, etc.

    In terms of the cropping, I should have stayed with that one chair a little longer, but I have a tendency to want to shoot something and then move on to the next subject. One of the upcoming assignments addresses that problem, I'll talk about it in the next post.

  4. Sometimes I am the same... shoot, move on, shoot, move on. SOmetimes I don't take enough time on composing still images. With street shots, shoot&move is perfect. But I am trying my best to think about all the options when I am shooting fixed non moving objects.

    I still think this orange chair is really striking. Even more so since I looked last time. I think it could be a great return assignment for you.

  5. I think a rainy day, well - immediately after a rain - would be better...I'll try to get back there one day...