Friday, January 08, 2016

Pondering Pictures

Over the past six weeks or so I have become re-involved with some of the picture posting web sites like Guru and Pixoto. In so doing I have been doing a lot of "voting" in Pixoto's image duels and Guru's challenges. A few things have struck me as interesting, and actually surprised me.

As much as I love butterflies and Monarchs in particular, I am amazed at how alike all the pictures appear. I will probably not take as many butterfly pictures, but will still continue on my quest for my unique picture, which will probably look a lot like many other photographers' unique pictures. That was a surprise.

Another surprise (although it shouldn't have been) is the seemingly infinite ways that photographers take pictures of water droplets on all kinds of natural objects. Yeah, me, too. But like the butterflies, I will be a little more selective and not see these as ready-made excellent pictures.

Then there are people pictures. Also seemingly endless. I find myself skipping most of them. A frazzled old face will grab me. So will one that shows an emotion I wasn't expecting. Most pictures don't have any emotion. They are just nice portraits- and portraits are not very interesting to anyone but the ones who wanted them taken. That doesn't mean they are "bad." It just means it is very difficult to make portraits that stand out from other portraits.

Lest I forget: Dog and cat pictures.
More dog and cat pictures.
And then- yep, more.

Train pictures have not yet become boring to me. Most train pictures manage to capture either the lonely "lostness" of railroading, the power of the engines, whether steam or diesel, or the lines to infinity that are the rails.

I also am now even more intrigued by lines and structural angles than I was before. The rails and bridges, building designs and even clouds stand out in my mind and jump off the screen at me. I am more interested in them than before.

But these sites are excellent places to learn a lot about other people's styles. What I am learning most is to begin to experiment more with different aspects of what I am looking at and moving my own style into new directions.

This means:
  • Use my eye
  • Look for what is outstanding- as in "stands out"- in the picture.
  • Be even more aware of lighting and focus.
  • Look for those perspectives that get missed in the big picture
  • Macro pictures can be a dime-a-dozen. Look for that something different.
  • Learn more ways to use post-production, adjusting, fiddling, cropping, and even going to HD more.
In short, I have a whole new challenge ahead of me on my upcoming trip south. Lots of pictures will be played with. Should be fun.

(Note: These all are my own pictures.)

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