Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Now Departing

Greetings and welcome to Hohenfels Volks, THE place for our place! I hope everyone enjoyed a great weekend and is ready for another one! Here in our Hohenfels area, autumn is rapidly approaching. Soon the trees will be awash in reds, golds, and greens, which creates some great opportunities for photos!

Today we’re going to discuss departing from the literal. As you know, most creative images involve some departure from literal translations of the scene. Often, when shooting black and white, we use filters. In color digital photography, we use CPs and editing software.

To begin our discussion, it’s important to point out a simple fact. That fact is that in order to make any meaningful transition from literal values to a creative placement, you need to know the more technical side of photography. Today’s general discussion assumes you already understand exposure and DOF, as well as the other more technical sides of a good image. On the artistic side of creative departures, we need to understand the relationship between place and fall. This has been discussed before, as has the creative use of DOF to enhance or minimize an area’s impact on the scene.

Hohenfels Volks: The Cleric
ISO 125, f/4, 1/160
By bringing the reds more into play and simulating a red filter, the departure creates something that stands on its own. It also left the tree at a level that exceeded the values of reality, creating a nice chunk of texture.

When we place an area of a scene at a certain value, it needn’t be the literal value. You’re meter will give you the value for 18% gray, but not all things are neutral gray. For instance, clouds should be near white or about 3 stops over the meter. By placing the clouds at 3 stops over meter, or M+3, we have placed them at about their literal values. Everything else in the scene will fall to its prospective values and levels, giving us a literal interpretation.

In this hypothetical situation, we may want some part of the scene to be exposed to a higher value. This can be done, as mentioned, with filters or software. For instance, if we desire the bright green leaves of spring to stand out more, we may expose them to M or even higher. Another way is to use a yellow filter in soft light, if you’re shooting black and white. This can be simulated in software applications through the adjustment of color channels.

A big part of this, as always, is your vision. Visualizing your results, and the steps to make them real, will make your creativity stand out more. It also enables you to make creative departures and still end up with an image that says what you’d like it to. Not every image needs to be literal, many of Ansel Adams and Clyde Butcher’s images are not literal, but they connect to almost everyone who views them. They are often viewed as more realistic than the reality of the scene.

This goes back to creativity, visualization, and knowing your tools. Read the manual for every piece of equipment you own, and the software, too. It’ll prepare you to make the best images possible when you make your vision tangible.

Here’s hoping you enjoy the rest of your week and capture the shots you’ve been wanting. Get out and make it happen, then show us, share what you felt through your images on our Hohenfels Volks Faceboook page.

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