Friday, August 17, 2007

Prepping for the Fall

I am all set to attend six shows this fall:
- Doylestown (Pa)
- Yardley (Pa)
- Chestnut Hill (Pa)
- Moorestown (NJ)
- Charles Boehm middle school (Yardley, Pa)
- Archbishop Wood HS (warminster, Pa)

You can see the details at my Show Schedule page.

There's only a few weeks left before the first show, and one of those weeks will be spent in Florida with my family. I am busy making handmade frames for these shows - I am very satisfied with how they are coming out. It is time consuming to make them, but I greatly enjoy it and it is even more satisfying to see how well they come out and how my work looks in them. It will be a great improvement over the thinner wood frames I was using previously.

I think this is a nice collection of fall shows. If you do come by my space at one of these shows please let me know you've been at my website/blog - it's nice to know this online effort is worth it.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Black Eyed Susan and Daylilies

It is the middle of summer - actually more towards the end of summer - and the predominant color is ... green. But in the area near where I live there are a few types of flowers that most commonly break up the monotony. These are the daylilies and black-eyed susan. They are everywhere in fact. The daylilies are so common it boggles my mind that people pay good money to have their flower beds look so much like their neighbors.

I guess there are advantages to these apparently robust flowers. They probably don't need much water, which is a real plus in the hot, dry summers we often get. But photographically they become much too common - it can be very hard to be original with them. I do try though, and I think the image below is composed well enough to use these flowers in a setting that simply says "summer".

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Tradeoffs and Compromise

Every time I go out to photograph, even for a causual shoot at local locations, I am quickly reminded that to make high-quality photographs (and by high-quality in this discussion I mean sharp, well exposed images) I often have to make compromises. Low noise with low ISO, or quicker shutter speed (and possibly a sharper image) with a higher ISO, along with its higher noise. If I catch myself without proper stabilization, such as a tripod or monopod, and the light is marginal, then I begin making judgement calls. Other factors that come into play are aperture, lens quality at certain range of use, subject matter (moving or stationary), and others.

Photography has many dimensions, and one is this mental process the photographer must go through to evaluate all of the factors that are present, some in his control and some not. A solid working knowledge of one's equipment is critical to being able to make judgement calls that just cannot wait. E.g. a deer that won't hang around much longer, sunlight that is beoming stronger by the second, water disturbance that is making its way towards your subject, and so on. This working knowledge allows one to anticipate what actions could be taken, what settings should be set, what buttons to push and dials to turn, all without spending critical seconds thinking about them.

On a slightly related note this morning I found myself out in the same sunny conditions that have been hanging around for a week or two now. I know that most of my favorite images have been made in diffused light, so I was not crazy about the lighting, but since I have only a few hours a week (if that) to photograph I often have to take what I can get. I was happy to have been able to use fast shutter speed and low ISO, and the images are very sharp as a result, but I was also slightly disppointed by the results because of the full sun, albeit low morning sun.