27 April 2015
Let me know which you prefer and why. I encourage you to click onto each image to enlarge.
A sunny, brisk spring day led me to the university’s botanical gardens where I was ready to see willow in bloom. Fortunately, I spied the last of the American willow (Salix discolor) buds. These early spring gems are also known as pussy willows–willows whose buds are small furry catkins and become grayish, yellow and not quite flower-like. April is their finale, and I caught the very last branch of these showy treasures. In the Lens section is the few buds that were left for my viewing. Their unusual design seems to be an apt way to draw human nature to them.
As I walked to discover more of the season’s unveiling, the native Eastern redbud stood before me. The second image shows the “The Rising Sun” variety, and it’s easy to see its resemblance to the Pea family. Those miniature flowers are sweet lures in hues and shapes.
I’ve been experimenting with high key photography where the subject is rendered starkly or softly against a white, white backdrop. This effect often renders an ethereal sensibility. This effect also eliminates obvious shadows and emphasizes bright light to boost the appearance of the subject. During the last two weeks I have shown other high key photographs in the Lens section. You can return to them on my Homepage by scrolling down to 20 April and 13 April.
High key is mostly about light that reduces elements in the background. Natural light is my choice, but indoor studio or inexpensive lighting can be as successful for this technique. And it can be achieved with one or more lights.
My first image of the willow was taken as the wind became fierce, and made for a blurry image that suited high key. The image of the redbud found the air quiet and the branch undisturbed, giving a clearer showing of these spring flowers.
In each image the high key helps to focus on the subject: those gorgeous jewels of spring that we’ve waited too long to savor. Now those early bloomers have retreated, and the move toward the next round of flowers is upon us: tulips to be sure are starting to show their flower heads. And much much more is yet to reveal itself on the spring landscape. Then every flower, every cluster of unfurling leaves can have its moments of ephemeral fame.
Tip of the Week:
If you are interested in high key photography, see the following video from YouTube. It provides a brief lesson on “High Key Photography on a Budget.” Click here to view the 5:08-minute video by The Lighting Guy.
The proposed title change and its conversation continues:
As you may have read in last week’s post, the title of this challenge is an evergreen phenomenon. Once again it wants to redefine itself, and I am at its mercy.
My thanks to everyone who made suggestions last week about the next title change. As I read about the current state of photography, many individuals and websites are steering away from the use of iPhoneography and Phoneography. “Mobile” camera devices such as Smartphones, iPads, and iPods have progressed to a tipping point where those monikers are being eliminated. Still, I want this challenge to differentiate itself from others, which is why it has to have a slight twist on the usual photo challenges. I hope that you agree.
Here are other suggestions that I have synthesized from your thoughts. We need to continue the conversation, and I hope that you will give me your opinion about these variations on previous themes. Until the sense of the new title seems consistent with the current philosophy about photography and our photo community tosses in their ideas, this conversation will strive to create a title that reflects today’s philosophy about photography. I believe that the challenge is about: self-expression, self-exploration, connecting with others, and curating a dialogue. My proposed titles are:
Photography Challenge, Using Camera Phones and Mobile Devices as Your Lens.
Photography Challenge, Using Phones and Mobile Devices as Your Lens
Photography Challenge, Using Phones and Mobile Devices as Your Camera
Click here for the history of the challenge. Let me know what you think, and PLEASE continue to send me your ideas.
View other entries from this week’s challenge:
As always I welcome comments about this post or any part of my blog.
If you’d like to join the Photo Challenge, please click here for details. If you have any questions, please contact me. Below is a reminder of the monthly schedule with themes for upcoming Photo Challenges:
1st Monday: Nature.
2nd Monday: Macro.
3rd Monday: Black and White.
4th Monday Challenger’s Choice (Pick One: Abstraction, Animals, Architecture, Food Photography, Night Photography, Objects, Portraiture, Still Life, Street Photography, and Travel).
5th Monday: Editing and Processing with Various Apps Using Themes from the Fourth Week.