The Barefoot Photographer®

a photography blog

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Making the Usual Unusual

As many mornings, I was out walking Sadie today.  The sky was beautiful.  I watched as gray and lavender gave way to pink and orange.  The bits of blue sky peeking through the marshmallow clouds was just the right compliment to the cloud colors as the changed with the rise of the Sun.

I have had a blog topic for a while now -- just not the time to write it.  Nature Undisturbed is up at Dogwood Gallery & Framer.  The show surpasses last year and I cannot wait for everyone to see it.  The opening reception is this Friday at 6pm.  This will be a busy couple weeks for me.  I also have a workshop at the Serenbe Photography Center on April 24 with Kathryn Kolb.

But back to the blog -- the sky was amazing.  But haven't we all seen amazing skies?  What about today was different than another sunrise?  Nothing.  That is just it -- there was really nothing different.  By the time I returned from the walk and was able to get my camera, the beautiful colors had faded and the Sun was up.  I had missed this opportunity, but I knew there would be other days.  Perhaps tomorrow, perhaps next week -- but the sunrise would provide another color show.  Then will I take a photo of it?  Maybe.  

Last week at the walk through of the show -- our juror, Lucinda Bunnen, made an interesting comment.  She said, "Sunrises and sunsets, that is what people think photography is about and it isn't."   When you think of the number of photos out there of a sunrise -- how can you make one that really stands out?  Can you?  

There is nothing wrong with shooting a subject that is overdone.  Every photo you take is a learning experience.  Many times you will be inspired by photos you have seen to try to duplicate the image as best you can.  This is nothing more than practice and education.  Photographing sunrises or sunsets is education.  There will be a time where there may be that event that is a unique and usual subject.  

How can something be unique and usual?  The subject in general is one you have seen a million times (no exaggeration) yet this time the subject really shows you something new, different, and fresh.  Being yourself, developing your own style is something I try to impress upon people taking classes -- especially those with aspirations of getting in shows and heading to the art side of photography.  

Knowing how to do something is one thing -- having the eye for unique composition is the art.  Yesterday I spent the morning at a local car show with my son.  He is showing interest in photography now.  I was really blown away by his photos from the show.  He got in, close, used depth of field, isolated subjects -- he really showed his view of the event.  When a photographer can get his vision across to the viewer the photo is a success.  You never want to hear someone looking at photos in a show say, "oh, my brother took one like this..."


Vagabonde said...

That is an interesting post. I have tried to take several sunset pictures, but there are so many trees that I was not successful.

I’d like to ask you a question - a while back I told you that I had been contacted by professional PR persons in Atlanta about my photos on one of my post. I sent them all the photos concerning the plantation I had photographed and never heard from them. Today I went on the Web site of that plantation and noticed that they are advertising their local for weddings and such and using at least two of my photographs. I was quite astonished. What should I do? I never gave them the authorization to use them.

Donna Rosser said...

I think they need a bill from you for the use of your photos on their website. They need to pay you. I would send them an invoice today!

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