You only get one sunrise and one sunset a day, and you only get so many days on the planet. A good photographer does the math and doesn’t waste either.~Galen Rowell
Article Excerpt: “There are many elements of design, which include shape, line, pattern and texture. When combined, we experience form within a two-dimensional media. Each of these can make or break a photograph. I consider them equally important, but I look at the element of form as the most important element of art…Forms are defined by their lines, shapes, and volume. Lines define the subject and determine its shape. Volume, from front to back, top to bottom and side to side, along with complimenting light is what makes a photo three-dimensional…Photographing form can be capturing an overall contour of a three-dimensional object—say, a flower–or composing an image from an unusual perspective and capturing its shape in an abstract way.”~Juergen Roth from his article Discovering Form In Photography
I adore this article Finding Inspiration by master photographer Alain Briot. In it he defines and differentiates the relation between four of the most important aspects of photography – inspiration, creativity, vision and personal style. Here’s his take on these four:
A. One can be inspired without being creative.
B. One can be extremely creative without being particularly inspired.
C. One can be inspired and creative without fulfilling a personal vision.
D. Finally, one can have a personal vision without having yet developed a personal style.
Each of the aforementioned has its own explanation and I was impressed how Briot connected and correlated them. I will not expound further but will strongly suggest that you again set aside some five minutes or so of your time to go over this very compelling and informative article. In the latter part of his piece, Briot adds:
“Finding inspiration is an engaging subject. As we just saw there are many ways to find inspiration. Yet, there is one way that I have not discussed yet, and that is where your own internal inspiration, your “secret flame” so to speak, resides…This flame, this spark of energy, this initial internal combustion burst, resides within you. It has been there for a long time, most likely since the day you were born, and it is for you to discover if you do not know about it yet.”
For me, photography has always been a process of discovery, both of the world and of myself. When I look back at the pictures I took early on, they were amateurish, unpolished – works of an inexperienced snap shooter. I don’t know why I kept these crude pictures in my hard disk. I should have deleted them long ago. But I did not. Probably to serve a purpose such as a reminder that I should never take pictures like those again. So I read up on techniques, on styles, on the wisdom of the masters. I looked at lots of fine photos from books and on the internet. I experimented with my shots, practiced and trained my eye to “see” despite being nearsighted (I wear glasses). I learned to find photographic inspiration even in the most menial subjects. And learned to see the light such as in the picture above. Briot is right, it is within you. You have to discover that spark, and express it in your images.
Back to colors on weekdays. I should have done this right at the onset of January, but like everyone else I got caught up with lots of things during the holidays. Well, it’s never too late. Here’s a Monthly Planner for 2013 featuring some select images from my collection. Click on each image to view its large size, and to download it right-click then “Save Image as.” There you go, your own photo calendar which you can display on your desktop or print (I just don’t know if the resolution is good for up to A4 size, or probably smaller). Have a great colorful week ahead, and for the rest of the year! Keep on clicking!
Article Excerpt: “…one must always pay attention to the sky, and the available sky isn’t always the one best suited for the photograph in mind…So, as photographers, how can we best take advantage of what we have so that our landscapes are canopied by the best piece of atmosphere available?…One way is, after you have assessed the sky for its features (clouds, colour, rain sheets, wildlife, etc) consider how much you want to include. If it is a strong feature of the landscape and provides the required mood, include lots of it by dropping your horizon. Don’t be too concerned about any ‘rule of thirds’; just go with what looks good.”~Tom Dinning from his article The Sky in Landscape Photography: Making It Work
Oh by the way, have I told you that I operate and host my own internet radio? Yes folks, I’ve been streaming music online since 2009 through my music station JJeFM. It’s not a commercial or business outfit, it’s a one man personal undertaking by yours truly. With thousands of smooth jazz tracks in my collection, I just had to share my love for the music and I found a free broadcasting platform through Shoutcast. Though I cannot be online 24/7, I make sure as much as possible to broadcast at night when I get home, and I’ve been doing this the past four years. You can tune in using Winamp, iTunes, Media Monkey, RealPlayer, Jet Audio or other popular media players which can access Shoutcast Radios. Once you access Shoutcast, just type “junsjazz” in the search bar and you will be directed to my station which is online right now. Or you can simply click this direct link to tune in. Its early eve in the Philippines and the station will be online for the next four hours, until I hit the sack. From “Keep on clicking!” to “Happy listening!” Enjoy the music!
So why does black and white photography command such acclaim? One reason is that colour is a distraction. It takes attention away from the visual building blocks of a great photo; texture, tonal contrast, shape, form and lighting. A photographer shooting in black and white has to learn how to use all these elements to create a memorable image.~Andrew Gibson