Thursday, September 11, 2008

At the water's edge

Yesterday's photographic theme was all about water. Certain subjects draw my photographic attention more than others, and water is definitely one of those subjects that lure me in. Especially moving water, but we don't have so much of that in these parts, especially not at this time of year when all of the little creekbeds are just about dry as a bone. So for now I have to make do with still water. And stillness is fine, too. Especially early in the morning, on your way to work. These images are from Fox Lake, all variations on the same theme - to capture the mist rising over the water.

While I was there, in the stillness I heard a Pileated Woodpecker, Belted Kingfisher, Great Blue Heron, and heard and saw some unidentified hawks. Sorry, no bird pics, they were either too far away or not visible at all. I was really hoping to encounter some Canadian Geese on the dock side of the water, but I actually saw none at all.

Later in the day, after work, I made my way up the The Ridges, where there is a nice little pond. I was pleasantly surprised to find lily pads still in bloom.

There were also large groupings of a flower I determined to be White Snakeroot. I mean, it was all over the place.

I like this shot, but I feel it's a little too busy, and the reflection of the sun off the water in the background is distracting. I thought I would try it out in black and white with a bit of a blurry halo around it. I like that result a little better.

A close-up of White Snakeroot

I always enjoy taking pictures, but sometimes I'm just not pleased with the results. I debated whether or not to give voice to my inner critic in this post, and decided to go with it, albeit with a much more condensed version than I had originally planned (there has been the space of a day between this writing and the time I took the pictures, so the critic has backed off a little).

I very much prefer to take tight, close-up shots of things, with only 1 or 2 subjects filling the frame. This was the type of photography I gravitated to immediately when I first got my digital SLR 2-1/2 years ago, and I plan on taking that even further by getting a macro lens sometime in the near future. That said, I do also like to capture more "landscape" style photos, but I feel like they often fall flat, either because they lack a focal point of interest, or the composition is slightly off. It's also more difficult for me to get proper control over my exposures, and the colors often end up looking either flat or washed out. I want to continue practicing taking these landscape-type pictures, but 95% of the time I am frustrated with my results. The only way I will become more comfortable with it is to keep trying, but it's tough. My instinct draws me to stick with what I'm good at, and getting better at (i.e. close-up photography). For example, my favorite photos shown in this post are the 2 very close-up shots that are all about the foreground, not so much about the background:

So there you have it - my photo self-critique out in the open. If you have opinions about any of the images you see here, whether they be positive or negative, feel free to let me know!

No comments: