Seizing Possibilities

Seizing Possibilities
Seizing Possibilities

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Life's a Beach July Desktop Wallpaper #photograph

1024x768 iPhone 
1680x1050 + 2560x1600 
As always they are also on Flickr and Facebook.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Space how much are you giving your vision?

In the quest of trying to keep focused on your photography or art and what you want it to emanate; think about these photographs and let yourself feel…
Sydney, Australia

Sydney, Australia

What is the difference of the evocative mood or feeling you get from these two different perspectives created by moving the horizon line?

What about the distant versus the more close-up photograph? What is the difference in feeling they create within you?  How do they make you feel?  How does that fit with what you want to evoke in your work?

Sydney, Australia

Sydney, Australia
Consider the role that space may have in your photography.  Think positive and negative space, think dimensional space and what that means in creating your evocative images.  What I want to do is continue to provoke you to think consciously about how the photographs or drawings or paintings you create convey your own perceptions of your world and do they fulfill what you are trying to do in your work.  

Space is essential when considering composition.  What isn’t there is just as important as what is there.  There is both positive and negative space in any confined frame.    And how you handle “space” determines if what you are producing is more two-dimensional or three-dimensional in the perception of the viewer.

Perhaps the easiest aspect of space to grasp is that of positive and negative space.  It comes into play when you consider balance as well as composition.  Think about those illusions where you perhaps have two people face to face.  In one person’s view they see the positive space of two people while someone else reads the negative space and sees the goblet.  In portraiture generally the positive space would be the person in the photograph while the negative space is the rest of the photograph.  The amount of space you give to each will produce a different feel to the photograph.  

Wetherby Station, Australia

Kula Eco Park, Fiji

Consider the freedom the distant Opera House has with the larger negative space around it and how it makes you feel with the wide open space, then consider the confines of the photograph with it filling the frame.  The purposes and intent is very different in each case, so is the feeling it conveys.   Neither is right or wrong but it fully has to do with what you want to say and convey in your work, how you feel and what you want to project to others.

Overlapping, perspective, focus and blur, size, value or a hue change will all help someone perceive your work as having more dimensions.   In works with true dimension there is a foreground, middle ground and a background and they will all be treated differently and appear to have different qualities of the given illusions.

Auckland, New Zealand

An overlapping of objects creates the illusion of space and dimension particularly when the foreground object is brighter, clearer, has more detail and is larger.  This will create a foreground space that is unmistakable, alone the dimensional space only exists as a pattern but when overlapped or combined with objects in a middle ground slightly reduced in all of those aspects will help to create a more two-dimensional space, when combined with a background that is blurry, reduced in hue or color and indistinct will add a third dimension to your work.  Shadows or shading will also give the illusion of dimension to objects so be conscious of this.  To totally remove shadows say in portraiture creates a flatness that may not be exactly what you want to convey in your work unless of course that is your particular style.  Just as vice versa, if you increase the contrast in your photographs it helps to create greater dimension.  Although in photography if you do this you can create “halos” around objects and therefore create more of a pattern than a perception of depth.

Darling Harbour, Sydney, AU

Space might include pattern to help create a certain perspective or perception of your work.  Pattern or repeats can create an interesting photograph but will keep it very two dimensional in nature, more of a design element than artistic element unless some of the other aspects of three-dimensional space are included in your photograph.  Notice the marked difference in these two leaf photographs in terms of dimension of space.

Great Smoky Mtn National Park, TN, USA

Biltmore Estate, Asheville, NC, USA

Morecambe, England, GB
The perception of space can also be achieved through size.  Those objects closer to you are larger while the ones that are at a greater depth will be smaller creating the illusion of perspective and space and dimension.

Lancaster, England, GB

There is also a linear perspective that will help to create a sense of three-dimensional space.  A good example of this is a path or road that seems to disappear in the distance and gets smaller as it recedes.  Buildings will also have this same linear perspective as will picnic tables!

Hue or value is also a tool to help create the depth you may seek in your work.  As colors recede they decrease in hue and become a bit more subdued in saturation of color.  Colors will appear brighter and more clear and as they recede into the middle and background spaces the intensity will also diminish.  It is a good realization to have because you can create that “pop” of color that can create drama in a photograph when this concept is adjusted.  If you are working strictly in black and white, value becomes your friend in the creation of depth and dimension.  Whites will draw your eye and blacks and grays will create the depth.  See my earlier post on value as an element of art here.

Kadena, Okinawa, Japan

Indianapolis, IN, USA

The combination of several of these tools to create a three-dimensional space can create what is called atmospheric space.  This is simply what we know to be true particularly in landscape work where the atmosphere in a photograph or drawing, where objects in the distance become blurred, less detailed, become bluish or gray in color or the shading of a hue to reduce color intensity creating atmospheric conditions and the illusion of greater three-dimensional space.

Dandridge, TN, USA

Christchurch, New Zealand

Christchurch, New Zealand

This week think about space in terms of your vision and intent.  How does it make you feel?  How can you use it to evoke a sense of your view of the world?  What way can it best be used to create your evocative images?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Emphasis-are your photographs saying what you want them to?

Why is it sometimes that a photograph or piece of art really speaks to your soul?  What are your photographs really saying? To you?  To others?    What is your vision?  What does your work emphasize?

Focal point in photography is something artists will talk about as part of their work.  The principle of art called emphasis also seems obvious at first thought yet if you look closer the principle of art called emphasis is much fuller in scope than simply a focal point.  Whether a specific element of art, emotion, general feeling, a person or a part of nature, it is what the picture emphasizes.  It could be color or one of the other elements, but it is what your eye is drawn to in a photo or drawing or what captures the intensity of emotional reaction in those who view your work. 
Emotive emphasis-more than just a focal point

Focal point using depth of field capturing a sense of place
A focal point is often what you hear brings emphasis in photography, the place that draws your eye yet it is used a bit differently than in art as emphasis.  Emphasis having a bit of a broader brush is more than what your eye is drawn to; it is what your heart is drawn to.  A focal point can be achieved in many ways in photography.  It can be achieved through a shallow depth of field and a focused foreground on a blurred background.  Your eye will automatically read the detailed aspects of your photograph.  
focal point through depth of field

It could be where lines in your photograph lead you to look or light or value.   
Leading lines
Light as a focal point

It could be a color that is contrasting and therefore takes dominance in the photograph or a shape that is different than what the rest of your photograph entails.   
Color that draws your eye and focal point of interest

shape as a focal point

A change in texture might cause your eye to focus on a certain aspect of your photograph. 
texture change as a focal interest

There are many articles on the web speaking more directly to focal point, but it seems to be an easier concept to grasp than emphasis and photographers who seem to like “rules” to help understand certain compositional aspects of photography.  It is simply a point in your photograph or drawing that your eye is drawn to or focuses on and is achieved through various compositional considerations.

Emphasis speaks of a forcefulness and intention of expression that will give importance to something specific.  If you have read some of my past posts you will know that I speak a lot about the feeling or emotions that your work will evoke from those who view it.  It could be as simple as a WOW! Or “breathtaking” or “beautiful” it could lead or be a more intense emotional feeling of peace or joy or despair or evoke a feeling or desire to help or raise emotions of awareness that make you intensely aware of someone else and their plight or lifestyle differences.   The achievement of that is much broader in scope than just a focal point and while that is part of what emphasis is, it is not what it is in its entirety.  Emphasizing color can play a major role in creating an evocative emotional reaction and used in the expression of your work.  When it plays the primary role in your photograph or artwork it is the emphasis you use to convey your thought and emotions and will be what people react to, even when the viewer doesn’t realize it!  Emphasis can be achieved through the use of any one or combination of the elements of art.  Art is an expression of emotive elements and emphasis is a major role player in it.  It is the force or intensity oozing from your work.  It is an idea that gathers its existence from sharpness, blur, clarity, shape, line, value, texture and/or color.    A harmonious whole can be achieved through this unifying principle.

 Just stop and let a single photograph speak to your heart.  What does it evoke in you?

I hope you are beginning to see how formulating what you want to evoke or what part of your heart you want to share with your viewer becomes paramount for you to understand or come to some realization of your creativity and unique perspective of this world.  Letting yourself go in that expression, being creative in the form it takes to convey it, is what will set you apart and make people recognize who you are and what you have to offer in understanding themselves and the world we live in and therefore your artful expression.   Once you let your emotions or your inner most self direct or lead you in your work, you can begin to formulate how your art might achieve emotion in its expression and form.   Emphasis will be its major role player. 

So what do your photographs trigger in others and their emotions?  What do your photographs complete in their thoughts and emotions?  Better yet, what are they saying to you?  Do they emphasize what you want to convey? 

What is it that your creative self wants to share with the rest of the world?  Your creativity and the ambiance you set in your art and photography will help determine the reaction of your viewer, so what will you choose to emphasize?  Ideas are good but being able to carry them through to an end product that is evocative and says something about you and your world is the ultimate in goal and vision.  It is created by subject matter and your choice of what you emphasize in your work.

As always various example of these points are found on Facebook focal point and emphasis and Flickr

Focal Point articles:  See Digital Photography School's article here and from PictureCorrect here.