Thursday, April 16, 2015

There is no bad light...there is just light!!

Boat house reflection
How many times have you heard that said? Well, I believe it is true...given that you are open to any subject matter...if you show up...and are open then you can always make an interesting image.
On a recent workshop I led in Annapolis...the light was harsh, even though we started around sunrise, it was going to be a bluebird sky I like to think what is good in light like that, and sometimes there are subjects that need harsh light for great images, like reflections, shadows and we started looking for those reflections and other opportunities that only present themselves in bright light. The hulls of boats anchored in harbor make interesting graphic subjects..working with a telephoto to really get into the hull and the water line reflected in the still harbor waters.
After a little time working around the harbor the sky really did turn an amazing dark blue...I saw a beautiful wooden mast and put on a neutral density filter in order to cut the light and drag the shutter enough to make an impressionist image of the mast and lines against the blue sky..I was thinking color contrast, shapes (triangle) and photo technique opportunity...
The same boat offered up another opportunity only in black and white as the shadows and lines interested me, with the star on the hull as a point of interest seemingly teetering on the shadow and I loved the kick light from the water on the hull while the lines created the shape of a triangle.
After shooting in the harbor we walked some of the back streets and passed one of my favorite houses on the corner...I always stop there as the morning light strikes in just the right way...I was thinking color contrast, texture and shape (L) as I composed the window off center.

As we continued to walk textures became important in the early morning light, I loved the unusual shape of this porch framing the entryway but even more I loved the way the light was striking and allowing all the textures to be revealed. I saw this as a symmetrical image because of the way the columns framed the doorway.
The pickets in front of the Shiplap house were in need of painting but made for great subjects as the strong light enhanced the texture of the peeling paint. Regarding composition, I was thinking odd numbers but balance and dark background. The Shiplap House itself needed paint. I loved the light on in the we made a few compositions here and then I decided to convert them to monochrome enhancing the textures of the wood and paint. The white pickets and window were striking against the dark red building.
And lastly this image I saw in an upstairs window in the back of a restaurant just before we departed the workshop when the light is strong...look for textures, and reflections, shadows, think monochrome possibilities, keep great compositional ideas working and use creative photography techniques...
I hope you can join me in the field on a workshop in the next field workshop is shooting the tulips at Sherwood Gardens in Baltimore on April 25....if you are interested click here for more information and registration...and thanks for reading and following my blog!