Photos are flat, 2 dimensional images either on an electronic screen or a thin piece of paper. They are not like the real scene in front of the photographer and only a compressed view of what the photographer sees. Yet some images have depth to them while others remain in 2 dimensions. So how do you convey this depth of a scene to the viewer?
I was reviewing images of a trip to Capitol Reef National Park and the San Rafael Swell of Utah and a few images caught my eye and serve this purpose. You hear photographers talk about a balanced image with certain parts heavier or lighter but this mainly refers to left and right or top and bottom. Another way to look at images, and one that is more engaging, is front to back. This is where the challenge for the photographer lies in finding ways to represent a 3 dimensional scene in a 2 dimensional medium.
Of course roads can be a great path for the eye to follow into a scene. The top image shows a road disappearing into the shadow. The combination of a road, contrasting blue and yellow and a mix of shadow and light all give this image a depth that I actually saw in front of me. The second image uses layers of black and white with a strongly contrasted tree in the foreground. I enjoy giving the viewer a place to start in an image as much as giving a path for the eyes to follow. The second image gives a good start but the rest of the scene is up to the viewer and the eyes go deeper into the scene.
The third image uses strong shape differences to lead the eye around a corner in a smooth way. The difference in color creates a contrast and when combined with the shapes, one is left to explore and wonder what is around the corner. The last image relies on one thing: good light. Nice, soft evening light is a photographer’s best friend and gives the viewer an easy image to view. This was during a partly cloudy evening and some areas were lighter than others. I used this to my advantage to keep the attention on the details in the foreground while still giving the image depth. Light and shadow, shapes, paths and contrast of light and color are all elements I use to create depth to a 2 dimensional image. There are other methods and elements in an image that contribute to adding depth and are dependent on the vision I have when taking the picture.
Reviewing older images has been a great learning experience for me because I’m able to find things I didn’t know about earlier and certain images escaped me. I’ve learned an incredible amount in the past year by shooting more images and asking myself why some images work and others don’t. Stay tuned for more as I’m just beginning to dive into 2012!
Here’s a sneak peek at a new image for the new ericpephoto.com coming soon!
A cold front arrived to Park City bringing snow and wind. The weather was previously warm with some spring color beginning to show. The wind and heavy snow soon coated everything leaving a blur of color and snow. I wanted to show snow in a pleasing way to the eye and I can think of no better way than with a splash of color. Sagebrush, rabbit brush and mountain oak hide within this blizzard of color and make a wonderful addition to any home.
You can now see it snow endlessly.
Learn more about display/framing options HERE
I needed to get out and photograph a sunrise in Park City after much time reviewing images on the computer so I set out this morning to do just that. I didn’t have a particular place in mind, just a snow-covered path to walk on with the moon and Venus still very bright. I walk this path regularly and have taken many pictures from various places along this path. It never ceases to amaze me the variety of images that come from knowing a place and visiting it frequently.
It’s been warm around here and much snow has melted in the valley. Cold nights refreeze the snow making for easier walking in places that I couldn’t walk before. I used this firm snow to explore a bit off the trail and came away with a few new views of familiar scenes. I’m hoping to go out tomorrow too and explore this “new” area more.
Perhaps the best part of today’s normal photo walk came as I passed an older guy that I see regularly. We stop and talk about photography a bit each time but today was different. Today, he had his camera and an old Nikkor lens. He was walking his dog with his camera around his neck along the same path he walks all the time. His face showed excitement and his eyes were scanning the surroundings. I walked away smiling a little more with the hopes he got some good shots:) EE
A quick post with a few photos from Paradise, Mount Rainier National Park, 2010. I’m posting older photos that I feel I’d take today if I was there. Many images are not exactly as I’d shoot them today but certain elements are present that I currently look for in images.
The first image is a simple composition that took a while to find. I look for interesting patterns in the flowers, both of color and geometry. It may take quite a long time of walking slow and looking at flowers to find an interesting arrangement. Time well spent:)
The other 2 images have a diagonal and depth mix that is attractive to my eye. Again, I’d probably shoot the images a bit differently today but that’s how you learn. I particularly like the B&W image because it is the last thing I expected to photograph and edit in a world of color!
Enjoy, I’ll post more tomorrow. EE
I read a blog the other day by MJF Images (follow & read HERE) that talked about capturing a sense of place. This was great timing as I have been thinking about that with my images as well. I’m challenging myself to take fewer images this year but I want each image to say more. Each place has a story and its up to the artist to represent that in a clear and concise manner.
These few images are from 26+ miles of backpacking in the pouring rain. The trail is in Olympic National Park and remains one of my favorite backpacking trips ever. I saw so many new sights, clicked hundreds of images and was in awe the entire time. I won’t go into details and I’ll let the images tell the story of the 3 days in the rain. You’ll have to go to the bottom to find the name of this place:) EE
PS: The name of this place is aptly called Enchanted Valley. It receives nearly 200″ rain per year and it loves every bit of it:)