Point of departure and the difficulty!

I came across the phrase “point of departure” for the first time in a photo study post by Brenda with title “the photographer II“. In her post Brenda mentioned about Ralph Gibson (An American art photographer best known for his photographic books).

Point of departure according to Ralph Gibson, “to have a point of departure is not to go out and shoot. It’s to have a project in mind and going out looking for a shot that represents or showcases this emotion or concept that your project is about.”

“From now on, before I go shoot, I’ll consult internally to focus on one thing I want to capture, and have that point of departure. It’ll give purpose to my work and me being out there. The advantages are that I’ll learn patience, presence and a deeper sense of observation. This is a powerful and deep message…have a point of departure.” ~Ralph Gibson

I was caught up with the idea of point of departure and I started to look into my own philosophy about photography. A question I was asking myself, have I ever had a project in my mind? Tiny details of my photography tours. Gosh! I am such a bad learner. Of course I was not standing or sitting still to get my subject in my frame but my themes were quite broad. My only aim was to get an interesting photo either while walking up on a mountain for few hours or visiting an arboretum or a botanical garden. A very few times I had a fixed idea in my mind, a point of departure, like when I tried to capture moon from my kitchen window, capturing first fresh snow or capturing sunset sky after a rainy day. The duration of such projects were quite short.

Having a point of depature is not that easy. Aamateur photographer like me will always have a feeling of loosing some frames beacuse they do not fit in. Getting that matuarity is difficult than it seems.

There is so much so say but I donot want to bore my readers. I am happy to share that last Saturday I had my first proper photo tour with a point of departure, “low angle photography”. I am sharing some photos from that tour. Hope you will enjoy these and give me feedback.

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I am sorry if I confuse some of you with my earlier post on “low angle photography: looking up“. Yes I shared pictures on low angle photography in there as well but the photographs were taken on difference occassions. This post is about having a fixed plan and trying to get some good shots.

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Low angle photography – Looking up!

Here are my photos to Brenda’s “a photo study: low angle“. I have thoroughly enjoyed her post. It comprises of nice explanation and fantastic photos. A good way to learn a new topic in photography.

My understanding of low angle photography is summariazed in the following points:

  • A different perspective to create unique compositions.
  • Camera is either beneath the subject or looking up at it.
  • Crouching and kneeling are very common positions but sometimes one might have to lie down to get a “worm’s eye view”.
  • Or otherwise looking up at the subjects above us.
  • Changing the angle can have big impact on the composition.
  • The most important is to find an unusual viewpoint.
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Bending knees after a hike is difficult
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How tall is the lamp post
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Hope no one saw me when I shot this photo in a graveyard
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From my gym windows
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Smiling Cherry Blossoms

Yesterday I was on a “point of depature” tour, the aim was “Low angle photography”. I got some interesting shots and shall write a new post involving the concept “point of depature”.

Hope you enjoy the photos 🙂

Studying rhythm in composition!

Recently I have started taking interest in the theory of photography in order to improve my photography skills.  I am focussing on learning different concepts and am following Brenda’s posts on “photo studies”. Brenda has explained “rhythm” with variety of photos including repetitive and non repetitive components in a photo and even included Ted’s video on rhythm in visual composition.

In this post I am presenting my understanding of rhythm ( just like rhythm in music). To start with there are photos with repeated patterns found in nature and in man made designs.

 

The rhythm in these photos is related to a specific pattern.  Next I want to see photos without repetition. In such cases by using a rhythmic element we present the mood or the flow.  We feel the movement when we see waves or flowing water or a picture of a road gives us a sense of rhythm.

 

 

I would love to hear your comments. Please share your knowledge of rhythm.

Next challenge would be to find rhythm in a minimal setting. But one thing at a time.

The rule of space!

I found Brenda’s post a photo study:rule of space very interesting. Posts related to various key concepts in photography are helping me understand  the theory of photography.

In her post Brenda talks about placing negative spaces in different situations to create sense of motion, activity or conclusion. Here is my contribution with photo deatils.

1.1/250 sec. f/8 18mm, ISO 100

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2.1/160 sec. f/6.3 55mm, ISO 100

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3.1/125 sec. f/5.6 55mm, ISO 280

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4.1/125 sec. f/4 18mm, ISO 220

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Have I managed to give a story in each of these images and create proper negative spaces? Is there something which is either unnecessary or lacking? Help me improving my knowledge.

Thank you.

Revising post “Life is not all black and white”

Raj from XDrive has commented on my earlier submission based on a topic “Black and White“. Today I managed to improve my images according to what Raj has suggested. I hope I have understood what he wanted to convince.

Pic1: Beautiful landscape there! I can see the details of the sky which is also preserved nicely. Reflection is good too. The tree in the foreground also contributing to the scene. But I see lots of dark area in the picture. I would bring out the shadows and reduce the contrast a bit if needed. Basically, there are more blacks here.

Pic2: it’s very difficult to do a justice to a rose in black and white! It’s a great capture, I can see the fine details on the petals too. But picture overall is a bit underexposed. Also, the black background is making the picture look dark. You have to do the balancing of shades of grey carefully in post-processing.

Pic3: Since your intention is to show the statue, I feel you should have taken the closeup shot. Slower shutter speed also caused the softness to the image. Here the story is “mother and the son” other details are not required. Only need to have the sharp and closeup view of the statue.

Pic 5: Great shot and nice details everywhere. The picture looks sharp all around with the chosen aperture. As an improvement, you could try bit more contrast to the image?

Learning something new increases curiosity and later gives satisfaction. I am happy for now.

Comments are welcome. Help me learn more.

Playing with lenses

It’s time for a post on another session of learning photography. In his 11th lesson Raj discusses issues related to various lenses. It’s a very informative post and I was quite happy to learn about different lenses.

I own an entry level DSLR Nikon d3200 and have only two sets of lenses. One the kit lens 18-55mm and a zoom lens 55-300 mm. I am very glad that I bought this zoom lens as I travel a lot and also I enjoy taking birds photographs. Here I show the way I use my lenses in different situations.

The first picture was taken on our way to Marleshwar Shiva temple. I was glad that zoom lens was attached to the camera.

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1/125 sec. f/5,6, 98mm, ISO 280

A note: One of the moeny is looking at prasad in a thin plastic bag which he snatched from a girl. A big challenge of dealing with monkeys near our temples from north to south in India. May be there is not enough food in forests now a days.

During our journey I saw these small red-yellow flowers. Most of the time they were hidden in heavy green vines but I managed to capture this one photo.

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1/500 sec. f/5,6 300mm, ISO 200

The next shot of a sunset, I tried with zoom lens but it did not work (I am not sure of the reason). Within no time I changed the lens.

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1/2000 sec. f/7,1 55mm, ISO 400

Next image was taken at Mandu. To capture wide angle image I used the kit lens.

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1/400 sec. f/32 40mm, ISO 6400

Whenever I am out around lakes to captures birds. The zoom lens is a must. You see the result here “for a morsel of bread”

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1/2000 sec. f/7,1 260mm, ISO 400

And lastly, for capturing the scenic beauty around Villa d’Este  in Tivoli, near Rome I used the kit lens.

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1/250 sec. f/8 18mm, ISO 100

Time for your comments Raj!

Life is not all black and white

I love black and white photography and love to watch work of others but for me it’s a very difficult task. I try to avoid. I tried to work on it in my earlier days and even particiapted in Leanne’s Monochrome theme but then I was not satisfied with my own work. In a way I gave up on that.

In the 10th lesson of learn photography series, Raj has discussed various issues related to black and white photography. I decided to give it a try.

I like to take pictures while travelling even though the conditions are not often supportive but then it is easy to get a black and white or at least a monochrome  photo during winter. HEre is my first photo taken on Monday while travelling. The blur tree is the proof.

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1/320 sec. f/4,5 34mm, ISO 3200

I tried to work on flowers but could make it with only one rose. When the colour of petals and stamen are similar it is difficult to get a perfect balance of grey.

The second is the statue of mother with her dead son by Käthe Kollwitz taken in Berlin.  Tourist are not allowed to enter the room and respect it. I kept the space around the statue just to show the size of the room.

Next is a bright colour perfectly locked bicycle.

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1/10 sec. f/5,6 55mm, ISO 100

The top and the roof.

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1/40 sec. f/8 48mm, ISO 100

I took this picture for the bright colours and I don’t want to miss the fun by converting it to black and white. Would you like to turn it to black and white???

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1/200 sec. f/8 45mm, ISO 100

Now it’s time to listen to Raj.

Focussing right!

Another wonderful post by Raj@Xdrive inspired me to dig into my photo archives and share my thoughts/images with my fellow bloggers.  Lesson no. 9 on Learn Photogrpahy  is all about focus .   Raj says “…our focus point is of greater importance as for as the final output is concerned.”  OMG, this is what I learned in early days of photograpy. I was quite happy with this little finding 2 years ago.  Presenting two images from the past:

Next is to show how things change when we crop a picture. The first picture looks OK but after cropping I ralized that it was not properly focussed. The image details are  f/5.6, 1/125sek. and ISO 100

Below are some shots to illustrate “focus” with photo details.

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1/125 sec., f/5.6 55mm, ISO 220
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1/160 sec. f/6.3, 55mm, ISO 100
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1/40 sec. f/4.2, 31mm, ISO 400
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1/15 sec., f/5.6, 55mm, ISO 400

Hope you all enjoy this post. Now it’s time to listen to Raj!