The guy behind the lens

My photo

I'm a Science Teacher, Nature Photographer, Husband, Father, and Grandfather who loves to explore the natural world by traveling, photographing and thinking. 


Saturday, October 8, 2011

Minds work best when open!

Today's post takes  me in a slightly different direction. As a nature photographer, most of my images are meant to reflect the subject in as authentic and "as is" view as possible. Over the years I have tried to present here exactly what I originally saw through my lens. This reflects my science background and the need to "document" my observations, rather than to interpret them in an artistic way. Early on, I feel that my images were an extension of "data" rather than potentially something more expressive. As I have (hopefully!) grown as a photographer I "see" more when I am composing a shot and now consider a a wider range of composition choices before pressing the shutter button. I'm also more willing ( and hopefully able) to see an image that is technically a bit off and see another view of it so that it might have  some artistic value. 

This image of a cluster of Mexican Plum (Prunus mexicana) was one I liked, but since I had spontaneously shot it handheld on a breezy morning it was not as sharp as I would want. I liked the composition and the bokeh, but the softness of the flowers was just not acceptable. It was at this point that I started to see beyond the documentary photograph and began to envision it as something more impressionistic. As such, I embraced the "weakness"of the photograph and sought to enhance the softness and through some Photoshop filtering and layering. The result was surprising to me as it has a very painterly feel while preserving much of what I liked about the original photograph. 

Click in the image to visit the original Blue Lion Photos gallery

As a person who feels that "Minds work best when open", I think this is a small example of an open mind being able to be flexible enough to see another interpretation that can be artistically pleasing. I would not expect to see all future Blue Lion Photos be impressionistic, but such a style is now another facet of the diamond of my particular experiences. 


Al said...

That is an intriguing effect and works well because you started with an artistic original photo.

Jo said...

I think this is very cool. I've recently started playing around more with my photos, using Picnik (no photoshop access right now). I find I can really create some unusual photos working from originals, and come up with end results I really like.

And I agree with Al -- your original was quite good, and the effect enhances.

Ewa said...

sometimes edits look better than sooc photos, I really like what you've done here

Kay L. Davies said...

Beautiful. I love the blue twig, and "another facet of the diamond"!

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie’s Guide to Adventurous Travel

Harold Stiver said...

Excellent!! As long as it is not done to mislead the viewer, why not experiment.

eileeninmd said...

A lovely image, well done!

Julie G. said...

Wow, this is fantastic! It really does look as if it was painted.

Cindy said...

Fascinating John..your journey from documenting to art..This is a great image and well enhanced..I've never been a "documentary" photographer..but am looking for a 'philosophy' of photography & am tending towars a blend of art & reality.This is the ticket!

John said...

Very well done. Great explanation and rationale.