Inspiration Files Finale…

…I think. I can’t say for sure if this will be the last post about my Inspiration Files for my FYE class, as I don’t know what the future assignments will hold, but for now, this is the final post on my previously listed inspiration files.

So, for the finale, I would like to talk about light. What photographer doesn’t love dreamy, golden-hour light? I know that it’s truly one of the elements that inspires me. I love sun flare:

I love bursts of sun mixed with shadows:

I love dappled sunlight, no matter how big or small:

And I love side-lit and back-lit images:

Basically, light inspires me all the time! The one thing I have noticed, though, is that I don’t tend to take a lot of pictures of silhouettes. While I think they can be beautiful, and I won’t shy away if I do find an instance when I feel as though a silhouette can create a great story/image, I have found while sifting through all my images that I do in fact prefer when the light brings out the details, or some of the form of the subject more so than just the outline.

In other photos, specifically my 50 Images assignment photo, I brought out my love for a shallow depth of field. I do love bringing out the subject with use of that as well. The examples of this would be from my favorites of the Queen Anne’s Lace I photographed:

While shallow depth of field isn’t the first thing I go for in an image, it is up there. Depending what type of light I have is how I first determine what DOF to use, but I do love a very shallow depth of field, especially for nature photography or some of the details at a wedding, no doubt about it!

Once again, thank you for stopping by and reading up on what inspires me the most as I continue on my journey of discovering my eye and photographic style! With every assignment and comment I find myself getting closer and closer to really being able to capture the image I want without too many extra images that may be nice but don’t quite express what I want(ed) to express.


Inspiration Files Continued

While I talked a little bit about mystery in my last post related to some of my favorite photographs, after reading some of my wonderful classmates’ comments and thinking about it some more over the past couple of weeks, I would  like to start out a little bit with color. I love color! Especially when it pops. I think that’s why I like these few so much:

As many of my wonderful classmates’ and teacher mentioned, many of my photos do have a story to them, an emotion that I felt needed to be shared, but his scale not only shows rust and wear and tear, but it also was a darker, but beautiful pop of color in a giant area of neutral sand. I couldn’t resist taking its photo – despite the banana vendor’s awkward smile and amused laugh for capturing such an “ordinary” thing.

This photo I love because it was the true sign that the warmer weather was back, and again, what a beautiful, dramatic pop of color here! I love cherry blossoms for that very reason – beautiful color against any backdrop!

Which brings me to this one:

While the colors here are a bit subtler and lighter, I still find these cherry blossoms to be a refreshing dose of color  – especially against the light blue sky that day.

Now this photo is one that I love for a few of the above mentioned reasons. It 1.) reminded me of a quote I LOVE from storypeople, 2.) shows the beautiful light available in the south of Taiwan that seems to ALWAYS flood through every window, 3.) again, has some fun pops of color, and 4.) reminds me of the first official day of our beach vacation in Kenting. This image came out exactly how I wanted, and holds a lovely meaning to me.

Now, when I move on to what more of my (again – wonderful!) classmates and teacher mentioned before, the rest of my photos really do fit in with the emotion/storytelling process, and anyone who knows me knows that I love to listen, especially to stories!

Who doesn’t love a bride and groom in love on their wedding day?

Or a bride taking a few moments by herself after getting ready before the ceremony?

I have quite a few of my images that I consider to be my favorites, and as I mentioned before, it definitely has been hard narrowing them down to fifteen. There are more I have that I think of when I think of how I told a story or shared an emotion through my lens, but I believe these to be a good selection, and it’s been quite helpful. There are two more elements of my photography that I have noticed and truly enjoy shooting, but I think I shall share those in another post another time, as this post has become a bit lengthy.

So, thank you for stopping by and reading! I appreciate it! 🙂

Following the Rules

When I think about how I shoot a photo most of the time, there are a couple of rules that I follow. For instance, one rule in particular is a little bit two-fold. Oftentimes I find myself double-checking that I am shooting in thirds. In other words, the main subject takes up either 1/3 or 2/3 of the photo; never 1/2 or 1/4! lol. The more I think about why I do this, the more I believe that it basically stems from the fact that when I first started learning about photography, this was one of the first rules that I read about. There is good reason for it, too. I mean, more interest can definitely be created under these restrictions, but at the same time, one musn’t be afraid to break the habit if necessary for a compelling shot.

In the same respect, which is where the “two-foldedness” comes in, I also follow the rule in which one should not place the horizon line in the middle of the photo. This has to do with creating interest again, but on the whole, I do my best not to. I believe this stems from the same books and websites I read when starting out as well.

Another factor that I often take into consideration isn’t so much a rule as much as a fear I have. I like to think of it as considering others’ privacy and space. However, when I truly think about it, it mostly comes down to being fearful of taking a person’s picture. I honestly love taking photos of people. I love architecture and nature as well, but there is something so captivating about a person’s emotion that come across when you click at just the right moment, all the while before anticipating when that moment is going to come. But gosh-darn-it, I’m scared! lol. I don’t want anyone to get angry, or – gulp – tell me no  (assuming I could muster up the courage to ask in the first place). I’m starting to realize how this fear is holding me back, especially since I will continue to travel in the future, but nevertheless, this is something that I definitely take into consideration when I click the shutter.

On a lesser note, as of late I have also been focusing on making sure that my shots are properly exposed. While of course this is important, I’ve found that in recent times I’ve been less willing to stray away from my light meter, even if I think it may turn out better at one stop over or under, depending on the situation. In my eyes, it really should be more about how the exposure is in relation to what the photographer is trying to express, not just the technical aspects. So, I’m also trying not to be too fearful of over or underexposing a tad more, so long as it’s truly expressing what I see and want others to see as well.

There are probably more rules that I tend to follow, but for now these are the main considerations I have and can think of in relation to composing a shot. And now I feel like it’s time to break them. OK. Maybe just stretch them a bit…  😉

Queen Anne and Her Lace

Today I took some time to do the next FYE assignment. I took some time to really shoot a subject, which doesn’t appear in my inspiration file (as many of those are from trips), but is related to some of the nature shots and flowers in there. My mom’s garden has many stems of Queen Anne’s Lace, and for the past few days, they have been calling me to photograph them. So, like I said, I took some time to look them over, move around, shoot, reposition, and do it again. I must admit that after about 30 frames, I was getting a little bored, so I thought about Kat’s Exploring with a Camera theme from a few weeks ago, and got underneath, eventually making my way around behind the garden. That’s when I came up with my three favorite images:

I did my normal editing in relation to what I thought looked the most appealing: slight changes in contrast and tones, as well as sharpening at times and a little vignetting when I see fit, and I must say that when I was able to create a little bit of bokeh with the dappled sunlight through the trees, and being able to have such a shallow depth of field is when I got really excited. I definitely love back lighting at times, and I do love details, so focusing on the little petals and shape of the buds was great!

However, by the 45th frame I was feeling a little bit worn out and not sure what to do, so I kind of gave up and didn’t think too much about the last five frames. Now I wish that I had. I could have done something, like incorporate me in there – maybe my feet or hands, something to make it more interesting. So, I think that is what I would change the next time around: take a “risk” and not just give up when I feel like I have the best shot(s). There are still  frames left!

In some of the comments, I realized that the word “bored” may have come off a little differently than I had intended. See, in no way was I actually bored with the exercise; I was bored with some of my shots and ideas. It wasn’t until I got down on the ground that I really liked what I was seeing, and had I not gotten lazy towards the end when I just kind of snapped away, I possibly would have come up with some other beautiful ones to add to my inspiration file as well. I’m sorry if it came across as me not liking the exercise, because in fact I think this exercise is awesome – especially if you push through and try new angles, ideas, etc. Thank you for all your comments and compliments, and thank you Kat for such a wonderful class; I’m really looking forward to the next part! 🙂

Inspiration File

Looking through my files, there are some images that I’ve taken that really stand out to me, while others just… don’t. I have TONS of images that I actually found I need to sift through and some that I realized I should probably delete. It was hard to narrow them down to my top favorites – especially when I’ve come to find that I’m not as organized with my images as I previously thought – but I have found a few that I know to be my favorites. Some of them are from very recent shoots while others I pulled from the archives because they immediately popped into my brain as some of my all-time favorite images. Throughout the next day or so I’m really going to look through them and figure out exactly why it is they are my favorite. I realize this may turn out to be a bit of a task, but I know the payoff will be worth it in the end because it’s one step that will take me that much closer to discovering my style.

For starters, this is one image I took not too long ago that I absolutely love. It turned out exactly how I wanted it to: a bit moody, tree in the foreground, with a bit of an old-school feel to it (hence why I took it with my Holga). I also love the grays and the vignetting in the corners.

I also noticed this moody element in a couple other of my favorite images I archived in my inspiration file. For instance, this particular image was shot during a hike as a storm was coming in. The steps led higher and the fog continued to enclose us. It has an air of mystery about it, and I love that.

This image is somewhat the same as well – a bit of a moody feel despite it being a bit lighter:

So, looking at these three images, I can tell that sometimes I do like an air of mystery and moodiness – especially when it comes from the natural elements, like the weather. However, some of my images are a bit more lighthearted in feeling and make me happy looking at them.

For instance:

Then there are images that I just love, whether it’s due to the light, the emotion, or the color, I just love them.

Fellow classmates, do you notice any sort of commonality running between them? Besides the few things that I’ve mentioned, I’m not entirely sure how to summarize my style just yet, but that’s what this class is helping us with, right? lol. Now that I have a [select few] of the images I truly love, I hope to look at them a little more in depth over the next week in order to see what it is that I truly love about them and why and how this relates to my style. Please let me know if you have any comments, though, as I would greatly appreciate them! 🙂