I would argue that more people are taking photos today than ever before in history. Almost every single individual has access to a camera. This access is bringing fourth millions of photos to the internet.
The first assignment in the text calls on me to look at some of my favorite photographs and determine what they have in common. I recalled a photography assignment I had last semester in a photojournalism class. I highlighted the town of Avalon, NJ. Some of these photos are discussed and pictured below.
I find myself liking pictures taken from irregular angles and of places I enjoy spending time. Pictures have the ability to make one recall a memory or state. The pictures of Avalon remind me of the summer and the memories I have from living, “down the shore.”
A single location can be captured in different ways to tell different stories. Pictures have the ability to influence people to view situations, events, places, or people in ways they may otherwise not.
My photographical “vision” appears to be one of scenery. I like images that are dramatic and pleasant to look at.
A reflection on this image…
Through this image I am trying to express a feeling of care free-ness. The colors are light and relaxed. If a tighter lens was used, I do not think it would have the same effect. It is important to see the entire field and story: a van on a care-free journey to the beach.
The moment I took this picture was definitely important. As the car was moving, I took several images and chose the one where I thought the van was in the perfect location. Some settings would indeed change the look of this image. If I had a different shutter speed, the van may be more blurred, which would add a completely different feel to the image. I could have focused just on the van and blurred the background. I am happy with the settings that I chose in this image.
There are many leading lines in this image with the road, bridge, bay, and skyline. A vanishing point exists beyond the bridge. Because of the angle I took the photo at, the lines interestingly lead both into and out of the frame of the photo.
The light in this photo is soft. It is just another hazy day at the beach. The softness of the light and the natural colors contribute to the care-free emotion that the image captures.
Depth is one of the best attributes of this picture. One can observe the homes far in the background, the bay spreading from north to south, and the sky resting over the beach.
A reflection on this image…
The original purpose of this photo was to express “anticipation” of an upcoming summer. This made sense within the context of a larger photo essay. But isolated, I think this photo shows a feeling of beauty. This goes back to the first assignment in terms of my self-perceived photographical vision (taking photos from varying angles of interesting places).
With the naked eye, this view would not be possible without getting low to the ground. Again, there are various natural brown, green and blue colors.
This photo would not be as dramatic if it were taken with a wider lens. The close-up view shows elements that may otherwise not be noticed. A beach is a vast open space. I see getting close to individual elements as an important thing to do in order to create compelling images.
I chose to take the photo at this moment because it had the ocean tide coming in, creating interesting lines and patterns. The shutter speed setting on this photo was appropriate. I think the motion is captured without damaging the beauty of the photo.
In the distance one can see the movement of the wave crashing against the pier. Since I am so close to the subject, I’m not sure there is much I could choose to exclude from this particular photo.
There are many leading lines in this photo. The pillars of the pier go off in several directions, which makes the photo more dynamic. I see them as leading from the top down into the ocean. To better direct the eye I might consider going above the pier and getting an aerial shot of the scene.
One of my most favorite parts of this image is the light coming from behind the pillars. It was not an overly sunny day, but a peek of sun is coming through the clouds, and then through the scene. There is definite depth to my image. The ocean is expansive, and the photo gives a hint to its depth while also focusing on the immediate location.
On the manual…
The idea of using a camera manually is not overly exciting for me personally. In today’s age, people enjoy technology doing things for them. I am no different. New technologies are made to make things easier.
But, looking at photography as a craft granted me a newfound perspective. Adjusting the settings manually truly make a photo one’s own. It is the same idea as using a calculator. I can easily type in a few equations and out pops an answer. But for years I had to learn the basics of mathematics to understand why the answer was what it was.
One professional photographer I know only shoots in manual settings. This is to say that he is better than the technology. He even receives several awards and people buy his photos regularly. He understands the technology and fine tunes it himself.
Understanding the technology can grant me a greater appreciation for it. Certainly all the buttons and knobs are daunting, but with trial and error, I can advance my own skills and produce quality photos that I am proud of.