The Unshared Files: Images That Didn’t Make the Cut II
This series of images were all photographed at the same place and represent different approaches to the same scene. The water was crystal clear and the patterns in the sand created a visually appealing scene. I could write an entire blog post about the methods to capture this in the camera given it was quite difficult but I want to focus on the artistic interpretation of the scene. I’ll start by stating I’m not out to capture a scene to show you what something looks like. I’ve mentioned it before and believe that a camera is not a great tool for showing what something looks like. If I wanted to do that, I’d be a tour guide and take you there to see with your eyes. Instead, I use the camera to do something else. Something I don’t need to explain:)
Each of these images has a visual appealing element that resulted in creating the final image. Narrowing this down to the essential elements of an image can be difficult, especially when shooting several variations of a scene. These were all shot with a DSLR so I came away with several options in composition, perspective and subject. I’ll share my final result at the end of this post. The first image shows dark and light tones as a result of the interaction of light, water and motion. This is an important element to the image and this shows nothing more. The missing element is the waves in the water that created the patterns.
This image shows the waves, the motion, the clarity of the water, patterns and the light, but is lacking in perspective. It looks like a scene from eye level and looks like an incomplete image in my mind. Often times we can slightly alter our perspective and create an image that accomplishes the same goal with the added benefit of being visually appealing. This image has some added elements though that were absent in the first one. The small waves were also clear and distorted the already interesting patterns into stranger shapes.
The third image gains perspective, retains the distorted shapes, the contrast of light and dark tones, patterns in the sand, waves, shows motion and a glimpse above and below the surface. Things are starting to come together! The image looks a bit busy to my eyes though, and with a scene of light, water and form I wanted to show this as simply as possible. Keep shooting!
The fourth image simplifies the scene into the essential elements: motion, light, distortion, contrast and clarity. By placing the wave in the top 1/3 of the image, more attention is given to the lower section of the image. Our minds know what sand dunes and the associated patterns look like and we think sand or desert before we think water. As your eyes discover the transition to blue, the distortion of the patterns along with the slight change in light tell your eyes it’s not a desert at all, its water! The one thing lacking in this image for me is perspective. It may not be overly obvious looking at these images but from being there, I can tell there is a better angle to show all these elements in a simpler form.
You can find my final image “Oscillation” HERE
What do you think? Maybe one of the images above show this better to your eyes? Do you see in bold colors or more subtle monotones? I like all of these images and thoroughly enjoyed shooting and creating each one. Narrowing down a set of images to one is a crucial skill for any photographer regardless of your subject. Working through processes like this will hep focus your eye on what you are looking for in an image and hopefully the viewer will be able to see it as well. If you put effort and thought into your images, I have no doubt they will:) Until next time…