The Photographer

I’m one of those photographers who likes to have my composition right in the camera.  I guess it’s one of those strong leftovers from the time I was still shooting analogue.
But, sometimes, no matter how hard one tries, it doesn’t go as wanted, sometimes circumstances just don’t allow you to get the composition right in camera. Especially not in natural environments where you can not direct what has to happen.  Nature doesn’t listen to directions.
When that happens, most of the time there are two options: or the picture remains on my hard drive as a happy memory, or I show it as it is.

For some time, through all kinds of circumstances, I was a rather passive contributor to Kim Klassen’s Beyond Layers class. But I want to change that and I thought now was as good a time as any.  Her class this week is about cloning and tweaking compositions. I dived into my recent archive and came up with this picture.

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It was taken in October 2012 on the isle of Texel in the Netherlands.
Driving from De Cocksdorp – with its beautiful red lighthouse – to Oudenburg – the picturesque fishing harbor – you pass along large nature resorts and the dam that protects the island against the water.
It’s a paradise for hikers, bikers, walkers, bird watchers, nature photographers.  That’s when I captured this photo.
Compositionwise it could do with some improvement.  I would have liked the photographer having some more “room” to look for birds.  And although I seldom use the cloning stamp to really change the initial image like this, I thought it would serve the class’ purpose.

What I did:
– tweak brightness a bit in Lightroom
– bring it into Photoshop and cloned the photographer more to the right
– cloned the “original” photographer with sky and grass
– then I added one of my own textures – called “Aquar-elle” – blend mode soft light, and lowered the opacity a lot because  I just wanted it to be a little less blue and a little more softness on the grass area.
– I burnt here and there to get a little more color back.
– at last I added the type, resized it for the web and this is how it looks like now.

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Hope you like the change.

Evolution by revolution

In the final year of my evening class photography, a large part was dedicated to food photography.  I still remember vividly the teacher explaining about angles to photograph food: shoot from the “fork’s viewpoint”, otherwise you loose perspective.
That must have been around November 2011.

We had to make food shots ourselves, and the perfectionist I am, I bought Helène Dujardin’s  ‘From plate to Pixel’ and loads of magazines, cookbooks etc.
I seldom cook, but it might well be that some chefs don’t have as many cookbooks as I do… And indeed, apart from some of Dujardin’s shots, there was rarely a shot taken from above.
The fork’s viewpoint, that was it!

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Made for photography class

A few months later, I was introduced to i-Phoneography (mainly thanks to Kim Klassen) and Instagram.
The first thing that struck me was the enormous amount of “feet” shots. Feet with cups in front of them, naked feet, big feet, cute baby feet, feet “from where they stood” … I had never seen so many feet-modeling in my life!  And I thought: what the…? What is this? Have all those i-Phone owners turned into Feet fetishists? And what happened to those so called photography rules: “don’t put your subject in the middle” (Huh! All those feet were bang in the middle of the shot); “make sure you picture a ‘complete’ person”, by which was meant: he or she has 2 hands, 2 feet, a face etc…  Another “huh!”  It seemed like all I found were feet, just feet…

From where I stand.

From where I stand.

Same happened with pictures of food.  I found the very Helène Dujardin on IG, and guess what… yep! Almost all shots taken from above, smack on top of the precious food! And… I thought it looked/looks great!

Almost immediately, I gladly joined the “i-Feet”-club, and I also make food shots from above and pictures from “where I stand” and am loving it.  I even bought a special stool to stand on, in order to get “high enough” to get on top of the action.

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And I wonder, would all this Feet-Photography and Shooting from Above have happened without the existence of the i-Phone (or smart phone in general)?
Did those first feet shots happen by coincidence?
Did someone “shoot” him/herself by mistake “in the foot” and kinda liked what he/she saw?

I guess we’ll never know, but I’m quite sure that the revolutionary invention of phones with super cams, has had a big hand in how the look of photography evolved, including a “feet”-hype…

Happy! week 1

week-of-happy-sjabloon-text-wk1As I mentioned earlier, my word for 2013 is “Happy”, and I intend to find at least one happy moment a day, preferably not materially related.
So, here’s my crop for the first week of the year.  A little explaining perhaps?

Monday – we don’t particularly like getting older, but I think we have to be happy for every year we get.
Tuesday – it took some time before my mom figured out that I had cross stitched her initials on the pillow I gave her as a new year’s present.
Wednesday my husband and I don’t have lunch together that many times on weekdays. He had a day off after all the festive days and we went for a little pre-sales shopping and had a nice lunch and a very pleasant talk. Something to be happy for after 33 years of marriage
Thursday – that was one of those typical volatile moments, literally ;-)  In yoga class, for a brief moment I looked through the large windows. At the moment the yoga teacher said: “we are peace”, a pigeon landed in the garden… can it be more symbolic?
Friday – I had made a little calendar, using the Shuttersisters’ template, with some of my i-Phone pictures.  She appreciated it more than I had imagined and that’s what made me happy

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Saturday – Already for years I’m a very bad sleeper, and waking up fully rested is a rarity.  So, when it does happen, it feels so good.
Sunday – Just enjoying a quiet day at home, no ‘have-to’s’, staying in easy clothes all day… heaven!

So far my first Week of Happy…  curious what next week has in store, I’ll let you know! Enjoy the second week of the new year!

Marl1een.