2011 Favorites, Part 4

October, November, December. And some of the lessons I hope I’ve learned.

October Assigned: This was of no use as a publicity image, but as I wrote at the time, I'm learning to not fear the shadows.

October Personal: Speaking of shadows, I'm also drawn to images with graphic dynamism, regardless of other technical qualities. You can see this from across the room and know that the cat wants to come in. Look closer and you want him to come in.

November Assigned: Actor Peter Fox rehearsing for It's A Wonderful Life. Simple elements of a theater light, the suggestion of a microphone, and the actor's concentration work with the directional light and dramatic angle. I like it.

November Personal: By this point in the exercise, I've figured out that I should go out at magic hour more often.

I had no assignments in December, so I allowed myself to choose two personal favorites, both of which illustrate the key lesson of the overall exercise.

One of my favorite images was a mistake. I wanted to focus on the scotch in my glass, but moved the focus point just as I squeezed the shutter. I love everything about this image, despite the fact that I don't like to take pictures of people without their knowledge or consent. But how do you capture this kind of feeling otherwise?

I was walking home, finished making photos. I saw him watching me, and I saw the light, so I knelt down and grabbed the shot. No camera club judge could love this picture, but I do. More on this below.

These last two photos offer a bit of an epiphany for me. Notice that both feature jarring out-of-focus elements in the foreground. I have always tried to avoid significant out-of-focus elements in the foreground. Why? Because I read somewhere that they are distracting and therefore bad, bad, bad. The lesson here is not about out-of-focus foregrounds, but about how I’ve let the things I “know” prevent me from seeing things for myself. I think I’m going to have a lot of fun as a photographer in 2012. Because I’m going to look for the light, play with the angles, and keep my frames simple. Guess you blog followers will see how I do. Happy New Year.

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Filed under Camera Settings, Composition, Dance and Theater, Lighting, Motivation

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