Monday, March 5, 2012

Components of Composition: Remembering Our Vision

Greetings, volks. Welcome to Hohenfels Volks, THE place for our place! What a day, all set to be decent, then, WHAM, a huge snowfall!

I hope everyone is doing well. Today we’re going to discuss visualization and envisioning your image. We’re going to deal less with the technical side, and more with our art as an art.

Most people when asked about visualization think about seeing things in their minds. They often associate it with seeing reality. Remember, we can be craftsmen and capture everything purely as it is, or was, and we can be artists. Most of the time we shoot what we see and think would look nice. We don’t really give a lot of thought to our image and the little things like levels, luminosity, luminance, and other small factors.

Thinking about those factors can be technical and very limiting unless you learn to think of them as tools. Starting with your metering, these little factors can be the biggest tools to getter photos that we envisioned.

We all need to slow down sometimes. What better way than doing something we love, our cameras ready and fingers itching to capture something. Stop and look at your scene, what’s it saying? What are you seeing and what are you feeling? How can you create a scene using what you have that will evoke what you wish to convey?

Close your eyes see where you can use your light to bring out a detail, to pluck out something reminiscent of your feeling. Perhaps you wish to convey the wrap around luminous quality of the light, try shooting your spot metered area for 1 stop higher and editing for a slightly lower contrast. Make sure your shadows and highlights will be supported and not blocked or clipped. How about the radiant charm of a sweet little girl running around that party you’re attending? Shoot her at metered + 2 stops, and develop down your levels and mid-tones, while lowering your contrast a small amount. She’ll glow with your vision, in just the way you thought she did!

Here’s a photo to give you an idea. I visualized the sun setting at a very high level and the chapel seeming alive with a lower contrast lighting, which would allow the shadows of the window to remain mysterious. With the chapel part at about metered –1 and the trees at –2, the sun was at about metered +6. Stopping down to the chapel, metered and set at –1 brought the sky down and gave it some detail. By shooting at f/22 the sun becomes part of the image with the flare and star-bursting. During RAW conversion, the levels were crushed in some, the shadows were given +2 and the highlights given –1. With contrast set to –1, the result seems to bring the chapel to life, while keeping the mystery. The trees, with their scattered branches, add to the mystery.

Hohenfels Volks: Sunset at the Chapel
ISO 400, f/22, 1/50, 24mm
Sunset at the Chapel.

Stopping for a moment to think about your intention and visualizing the final image goes a long way toward making it a reality. Take the time to think through your settings, exposure, and edits and your image will come to life.

Here’s wishing you a great Hohenfels week!

Don’t forget to post any of your images you’d like to see here at the Hohenfels Volks Facebook page. Of course, commenting on both Facebook and here is always appreciated, too! Don't forget, we're on Google+, too!

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