Our eyes are oriented to take in the big picture. Our front-facing horizontal field of view including peripheral vision can cover as much as 270 degrees. That’s a whole panoramic world in one snap of our eyes. That wide image that we see however is made up of small glorious details which we sometimes miss. We must train ourselves to focus and see them. One thing I’ve learned in photography is that it is as much as taking in the particulars as it is capturing the complete image.
Butterflies are shapely and colorful creatures. However, like all other winged critters, they just don’t get to be still that long. But when they do, even for mere seconds, the photographer will snap away. Here are samples from my butterfly collection.
I am always tempted to shoot in black and white in-cam. But based on my readings and advise of experts, it is better to shoot in color and convert to black and white later during post-processing. That way you don’t lose information that is fully captured in color – tones, shadows, highlights, dynamic range – which can all be useful and adjusted during conversion to black and white. So first and foremost, capture it good in color. I read somewhere that a good color photograph is a good black and white photograph.
The considerations are basically the same. What you look out for when photographing in color applies in black and white – lighting, lines, shapes, form, textures, patterns – and it would do well to be aware of these. Your composition will be guided by these elements. The above photo of a butterfly on thin vines was originally in color. And it was quite, well, colorful and vibrant. But I thought it would look good in black and white because of those dark and white patches, and the defined form of the creature against a light background. I have said before that not all color photos will work well in black and white. It’s your judgement call and you have the option to experiment. Which is also the wisdom in capturing in color; you can always revert back to the original color capture if the converted image to monochrome does not look interesting or appealing.
Happy weekend everyone! Saturdays and Sundays for me are reserved for this classic medium, allowing me the opportunity to further explore, discover and pursue the art of black and white photography. You can view these B&W images through the Monochrome Weekend category or the Monographs tab in the top menu of this page. Take care always blogger peers!
You have been taught so strongly that blur is bad that it can be hard to accept this. However, there are times when you actually want the blur. Not only will it create a true sense of movement and action, but it will also create a very artistically appealing image. For example, think of the movement of car headlights along the highway. If you use a fast shutter speed, you will have an image of those cars. However, if you use a slower shutter speed and allow for blur, you can end up with an image full of visually appealing blur and light trails. Always keep in mind that when it comes to action digital photography, blur can be better at times. You may have to experiment with this from time to time, but it is definitely worth the work when you get that one fascinating image.
Digital photography has certainly made it so much easier to freeze action. However, it can be easy to go overboard and end up with a boring image. That means you need to use the right techniques in order to freeze the action without stopping the sense of motion.
~from the article Techniques of Freezing Action in Digital Photography
I saw this grasshopper one morning perched on an aloe vera plant at the house. It was still and I immediately saw the reason for its non-activity. Missing were its most powerful anatomical parts – its hind legs. Hurriedly I took out the digital camera and took shots. Some thoughts ran into my mind – I was taking advantage of a poor, hapless creature. But then its immobility was a strong attraction. For crying out loud, now was not the time to have a conscience for a cricket! So I snapped on, took different angles, tried different perspectives and came out with a couple of dozen shots. Afterwards, I took hold of the creature by the wings and gently settled it on a bush across the fence. In its condition, I don’t know if it could even survive the day but I thought I had done my part by placing it in a most conducive environment. And the lesson is? Photographers may be relentless, inflexible and determined when it comes to taking a shot, yet they are only human; they also have a heart. Wishing you all a wonderful week ahead!
It’s the subject matter that counts. I’m interested in revealing the subject in a new way to intensify it. A photo is able to capture a moment that people can’t always see.~Harry Callahan
Never get into a staring contest with an animal especially if its a top predator. After this single shot I immediately backed off. I had a feeling the eagle was sizing me up for his next meal, or maybe he was just curious at the lens that was as sharp as his eyes.