Having spent a couple of hours shooting in Renaissance Park over the weekend along with a few evenings of moon shooting, I have a collection of photos I am hoping will get me through the duration of my camera being serviced. [As a side note, Canon announced the new 5D Mark III. I might just wait until I win the lottery before I buy another camera body.]
I find I get stuck in a rut. Especially because I shoot the same scenes over and over again–if I don’t, I won’t shoot often and shooting often is my goal right now. Instead of investing in a new toy for inspiration (since I need to save everything I can for that new camera), I am trying to give myself new assignments to see if I can shoot the same old things in a new way.
That’s what created the Going Vertical experiment. It was a gorgeous day with interesting clouds doing interesting things and it seemed like the perfect day to try shooting landscape photos vertically.
It’s pretty fascinating what happens when you draw a box around your view and eliminate everything outside the box. I think that’s what people mean when they talk about “the photographer’s eye”–the ability to imagine a scene through a box. However, just like those optical illusion experiments where you stare at an image and then look away, but the image still appears because it’s fused in your brain, after looking through a horizontal frame so many times, I start to forget I can turn the frame any direction I want.
And the scene looks completely different tall and narrow than it would wide and short.
I frequently shoot on the vertical when I’m shooting long architectural structures like the bridges over the river. But with my assignment limiting me to shooting only on the vertical, I find myself looking for interesting intersections of shapes and getting down on the ground a lot, trying to maximize the use of the sky. In other words, I’m having a ball.
Twice, people stop and ask me what I see. They clearly cannot fathom what I find fascinating enough to get down on the ground to capture. To the second person, I smile and say, “the clouds–they’re always doing interesting things.”
Since the tradition for the last month has become to include at least one shot of Tisen in every post, I do another HDR experiment with Tisen lying out on the balcony in the full-day sun. As nice as HDR should be for capturing both his black spots and his white spots in correct exposure, Tisen’s breathing introduces just enough movement that when the three images are combined, the focus looks soft. He’s still cute, though. 🙂