Seeing the Common Differently

220830-085015-JEH22 I saw this patch of light as it flickered and moved so I photographed it to see how it would look.  The light was filtered through a tree where the wind was blowing the leaves and then coming through the bathroom window onto the side of the shower with towels, etc. hanging on the door.  

I have been on a path of photographing common everyday items or scenes around me, but doing it in a manner that enables me to explore how it might look.  I want to figure out new ways of seeing and displaying the only things I have to photograph.

Finding different ways to see are critical for my photography since it might be that either I succeed or else stop photographing.

So far I’m finding that my trials only work minimally.  I still need to find different compositions, etc. and the techniques I try don’t do much to overcome the lack of new things to photograph.  The images that work are few in number.

B&W Variables & Possibilities

220831-072320-JEH22There are many variables that I am exploring, including the effects of colors.  This leaf is red and green.  But the main variables I am considering are Intentional Camera Motion (ICM), focus (in/out), exposure, and aperture in conjunction with distance. 

Another value that I am exploring with this technique is using it to blur images so that people are not identifiable, at least to outsiders and search engines, and being able to crop out small sections of pictures made with wider lenses and then upscaling them for use in my blog.

One issue that I haven’t addressed yet is that I need to set the camera up just for these kind of images and do a lot of checking as to the appropriate settings for the conditions.  This means that I probably won’t be able to photograph events this way and at the same time, make normal images for Homewood, etc.  One solution might be to use two separate cameras in those cases and switch back and forth, but that would mean getting another camera.  An alternative would be to print the regular images, like I did with the last image below from a book I made of a Homewood trip, and then photographing the print.

Lacking Motion, Create It

Being somewhat frustrated with lack of things to photograph for my blog, I started thinking of ways to generate different photos from around where I live.  In thinking about it, I realized that there is a definite lack of movement in and around senior centers.  Sometimes I feel like I live in a ghost town.  Very few go out and walk.

One way I might be able to still create pictures might be to intentionally introduce camera motion.  That style would give me an additional way to make images that could compensate the lack of activity and privacy at the same time.

The above are a few recent experiments.  The first image was made from a print on my wall.  The print is a color print made while we were riding camels in the desert in Egypt.  I photographed the print while using intentional motion with the camera.  

The X-Pro3 worked great, but I folded down the LCD and used it so that I could easily check the exposure and review the image as I experimented.  I had problems with exposure since I didn’t have a ND filter that fit my lenses, but that issue will be short lived when my ND filter arrives.

A good example of how to make blurry images can be found in this video about Olga Karlovac’s images.  But, I won’t be able to do this in the snow at Homewood since no one would be out.  I might play with the technique and see if I can adapt it to my world.

Issues with B&W

I pretty much have my B&W processing “dialed in”.  What you see here is the result of my basic start, which I then sometimes tweak depending on the subject and lighting.  Note that while I’m using a Fujifilm camera which has many film simulations available, these are not based on Acros.  I start with a raw file and then apply my processing as I download the images into my computer.  The processing is a combination of a LR preset and my tweaking of the tone curve, auto tone, etc. with LR.  I also sometimes do some individual color tweaking after applying my basic preset in order to get the tones the way I like.

Processing my images is not the problem for me.  Some bigger issues are finding suitable scenes that work well in B&W and then listening to those around me complain about B&W images.

One issue is figuring out how to decide whether to use this B&W style, or color, with what I have available to photograph and with how I wish to express my emotions and beliefs relative to the state of our environment in these trying times.  I still dither back and forth about whether to use B&W or color, and whether to use one way or the other exclusively or not.

And then there are the subjects I have available and how to portray them.  I never cared for being known for the quality of my “snap shots”.  I often don’t agree with other people’s version of reality and I prefer to display images as I think of them.  Removing color helps, but is it enough?  No.  It still doesn’t change what I photograph.

It’s a Challenge

It’s a challenge to stay one step ahead of Marcia and make pictures before she cuts the old blooms off.  It has been so dry and hot that the blooms don’t last long.  I try to look each day.

It is also a challenge to find scenes that work for monochrome images.  Actually it is a challenge to make any images this time of the year where I’m living.

Another challenge for me is that my knees and back compete more painfully each year for attention while I’m trying to concentrate on making images.

Looking with a 35mm F2 Lens

I have decided to use my Fuji X-Pro3 camera with three prime lenses for all of my photography, even though it makes me feel a little naked.  Not having any other options makes that a little easier.  My 35mm F2 is my primary lens.  These are a few images I made with it as I am getting a better feel with that effective 50mm focal length.  I have the 23mm F2 lens and the 50mm F2 lens to round out my decision to try and only utilize these three prime lenses with my camera.

Hopefully I’m not just photographing at random around Homewood at Plum Creek for just something to do.  I am still looking more closely for scenes that I can photograph that others might not have seen and photographed in this manner.

So far I only go out with one lens.  I need to pick a camera bag to use when out walking that enables me to take all three lenses with me just in case I need a different lens; but I don’t plan to photograph that way often.  I prefer just picking a lens before I go out with the intention to only photograph what I can with that one focal length.  The Fuji 35mm F2 lens is the best compromise.

AC is not The Solution

The earth is heating up due to the human-induced global pollution of the atmosphere.  Can we just increase air conditioning for our comfort as a remedy?  No.  That makes the climate heating worse.

If we build and keep installing more powerful air conditioners which more and more people will need, the amount of energy needed just goes up.  The more electricity we need to generate, the more heating we create.  It is a vicious cycle that is a self feeding feedback loop continuing to make the problem worse and worse.

So you say, build more nuclear plants, they don’t create more atmospheric pollution.  There is also a problem with doing that.  The more that the temperature rises, the less efficient are the nuclear plants.  Many of them around the world have had to cut back on the amount of electricity that they generate due to the heating already occurring which will still rise for years and years based on the pollution already added to the atmosphere.  While the fuel might be nuclear, the plants still need to generate electricity with a process that requires cooling.  That cooling is provided by the water source next to where they built the plant.  Either a large lake, the ocean, or a river which the nuclear plants also heat up. Those water cooling sources have been getting hotter, and in some cases are drying up due to the human created climate change which is creating worse or more widespread droughts.

The only solution if you wish life to continue on earth similar to what we have experienced in the past, or if you think this way “Make it great again”, is to quickly eliminate the human generated atmospheric pollution, the energy after products like greenhouse gases, etc.  And at the same time, figure out how to live with the damage already done i.e., the overshoot of the effects of the greenhouse gases already in the atmosphere.