Behind the Camera 3

In earlier posts the question of reality’s  place in photography was considered and subsequently sidestepped by deferring to  ‘I came, I saw, I snapped’.

After referring to a few more points of view, while revisiting some of my own pictures, there appeared to be a worthwhile purpose in investigating what is being achieved by my own efforts in respect to representing realism.

There could be a use here for numerous quotes from, and name-dropping of, philosophical thinkers, but it seems a consensus of opinion is that reality has more to do with perception than physical consistency.  Photography adds further dimensions to the mix by determining an image is only relevant to the moment of its creation; coupled with the complication in which each viewer of the image has only their own experience to comprehend its significance. Therefore if a photograph is seen without its histogram can it ever be given a time and the ambient conditions, or if an unknown object,  named or given a particular situation?

An example of trying to quantify a particular picture,  giving a meaning, time and a place, is challenging even to the most erudite of viewers. Below is what can be seen as a possible landscape or perhaps, to those who have flown over a storm, clouds observed from above at 30000ft. In fact this picture was taken using a Canon SX30 set at a maximum 140x zoom looking into the streak of sunset shown in the second picture below; without a positive reference the cloud scene becomes whatever the viewer makes of it.

Another problem of deciding where to focus, or how to set a shot,  can crop up in nearly all photographic situations particularly when in failing light as featured in the lower picture above. Use available light? Use flash to highlight the foreground figure? Zoom into a specific detail? More decisions. Any of the above would produce an image that could be seen as justified, but against what criteria should the choice be made?

At this point it is time to consider not only the cameraman’s personality, but the intellectual and artistic prowess of the viewer. All of which comes into the possible understanding of the image and whether the intent of the photographer can be discerned and appreciated; does it matter if that information remains obscure? Should the operator of the camera give title to their image to aid transferring ideas?

Whoever invented the digital camera has much to answer for, making my brain work like this. Right time now to go back to basics, who needs to know all these things anyhow?


Behind The Camera 2

As promised a bit more colour with the advance of the autumn season. The pictures seen here are of Fifehead Wood, next to Fifehead Magdalen in deepest north Dorset. The shades of orange and yellow are left behind when chlorophyll leaves the leaves, letting the natural colours, such as carotene, get us camera toting people out into the woods.I think Michael, as he was wearing a red top, had a desire to be in the pictures too.

At a camera club meeting last evening the topic of landscape photography was discussed. Part of the subject matter referred to rules that can be applied to improve the quality of a picture. The most important of which concentrated on placing the focal point of a picture on the thirds. The two images featuring people in red follow this rule, it’s up to you to consider whether this makes those pictures any more pleasurable to look at than the other four? This rule has been talked about so much in photography competitions etc,  I tend to automatically look at the possible shot from this perspective first; the picture below uses the rule but it’s the colours that do it for me.

Moving on to Shaftsbury, as it is only a few miles up the road, I was pleased to be able to see the famous Gold Hill. The town certainly dominates the high ground as it built on land over 700 feet above sea level. It was good to see the view was definitely a tourist attraction, a park overlooking part of the Blackmore Vale commands a large section of the hilltop.

A typical English country scene greeted us, unfortunately it was a day of grey skies which meant most pictures were taken excluding as much of the sky as possible; for a brief moment we did get a few sunbeams breaking cover.













One surprise we did have was to find alpaca in the valley below us; bit to far away for sharp pictures, but what a couple seen below? I wonder what the brown one could be saying?


















Finally, after a short walk through a narrow lane, we arrived at Gold Hill, a site/sight that speaks for itself.