This excerpt was taken from my post last Oct. 14, 2012 titled Solemn Sanctuaries:
I always have this fascination for church structures, the older and bigger, the more interesting. They are such imposing landmarks with their towering belfries, ornate decors and massive interiors, fulfilling their roles as venerable venues for the faithful, and solemn sanctuaries for the Lord’s flock. The Philippines is a showcase of ancient churches, cathedrals and basilicas. As the only predominantly Catholic country in Asia, churches big and small, old and new abound all over the Philippines.
Yes folks, we revisit the churches, cathedrals and basilicas in my image collection, and how it is to capture the grandeur and details of these architectural landmarks. Welcome to another of JJ’s picture series. Have a splendid week ahead my friends!
Photography is very often about using the best tool for the job—both in terms of hardware and technique. One of the more flexible, if misunderstood tools that every photographer should have in their bag is black-and-white shooting. Knowing when to leave color out of your shot, and how it will ultimately affect the quality of your image, is key to understanding this very traditional form of photography. Black-and-white shooting can make certain drab shots look fantastic, but it’s not for every situation. Knowing when and where black-and-white is appropriate is key to getting the most from the technique.
~TJ Donegan from his article From Gray to Great: Tips for Taking Better Black and White Photos
Lines are powerful elements in a picture. Like shapes, forms and colors, our eyes are naturally attracted to lines which can dramatically enhance an image. How we place lines or how we frame them is all part of composition. Lines can be the central subject or contributing elements and it is crucial to know what part they play in the picture. Now there are vertical, horizontal, curved and diagonal lines and each carry their respective meanings. This article – The Use Of Lines In Photography – explores and explains the connotations associated with lines. An example: vertical lines portray “dominance, power and growth in photographs.” Subjects that come to mind include trees, buildings, towers, electric posts, columns, sheer cliffs, waterfalls and the like. You can read the article to learn more of what the other lines are associated with. There are parallel lines, leading lines, broken lines, jagged lines, lines that divide and lines that connect. Whatever you do with them it helps to understand what they are there for and why they are in the image in the first place, because they can be effective components of composition. (Photo location: Lemery Church, Batangas)
To shoot, of course! No amount of teaching, courses, tips and tutorials can replace actual, hands-on practice which leads to experience, which leads to knowledge and which leads to understanding. But are there certain norms, conducts and codes that a photographer must be aware of? I’m not referring to shooting in places or of people where and when its not allowed. We certainly are law abiding citizens (I can’t say the same thing for paparazzis whose job is to shoot for scoop). I thought there were no particular demeanors or beliefs for photographers per se, until I found this article from Warren Krupsaw, one-time student of the great Ansel Adams, who presents 16 Behaviors of the Serious Photographer. All are wisdom-laden, and one of the things in the list that Krupsaw proffers is that a serious photographer “Takes care not to abuse the Power of Photography” which “can interpret, convey a message, evoke emotion, inspire, depress, etc.” Wow! Dig the truth in that. And last on his list is “disregard any (or all) of the above” if it does not apply to your situation. Huh? We may scratch our heads on certain contradictions and backtrackings in this world of photography but that is how it is – there are rules and there are no rules, there are guidelines but you are free to do what you want, there are fundamentals but you have the choice to discover, experiment and explore for yourself. These words of wisdom are again guideposts culled from the years of experiences of photographers who were shooting even before we were born. They share with us their discernment, acuity and observation not to make us perfect photographers (because there is no such thing) but to make our photographic journey a worthwhile and meaningful one. (Photo location: Notre Dame Cathedral, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam)