Tag Archives: Black & White

Guard Duty

Guard Duty
Guard Duty

As one friend told me, this is a perfect example of a slice of life photograph. I am not sure if, during the Civil War, whether any of the persons who were involved in the war had the opportunity to sleep so comfortably on the battlefield. But, it certainly romanticizes the moment and the era. Don’t you wish guard duty was so simple ?

Feel free to comment and share your thoughts.

Blanket of White

Blanket of White
Blanket of White

Feeling rather chilly this morning, 53 F  at what is supposed to be just the beginning of Fall, I began thinking of the last winter which ran through the North East of the country and set record lows and snowfall depths – 8″ there, 12″ in other places. It was certainly one of the roughest winters I have experienced in Syracuse thus far. On two occasions, I had been trapped in my driveway because of the incessant snow and delayed city plows. Yes, I was miserable because of it.

Yet, because of the incessant snowfall, when I did get out, I saw some rather amazing sights. One of those sights happens to have been the Green Lakes out in Fayetteville, NY completely covered in a blanket of snow. This is one of the deepest pair of lakes in this region which were carved out from melting glaciers from the last ice age. But, under this tremendous snowfall, it seemed transformed into something that seem to pop out straight from a fairytale or some story book.

Although, I am not looking forward to the cold again, I am certainly looking forward to taking more photographs like this if the opportunity presents itself this winter. If I collect sufficient, I will see about starting a new portfolio focused on the beauty of winter.

Feel free to comment or share your views on the photo and if you wish to share the post, you can do so in the bottom right of the page.

Boots of Valor

Boots of Valor
Boots of Valor

America’s Civil War pitted the Confederate Army from most southern states against the Federal Army from the nothern states. Besides being a war of ideology and interpretation of the Constitution it also placed families, friends and allies against each other – a social upheaval. That is just a synopsis, and as much as I could turn the entire post into a history lesson, that is not my intention.

I wanted to share an image I took at a Civil War Re-enactment held at Jamesville Beach over the course of the summer. A rag-tag group of Confederate soldiers had assembled for a briefing prior to going of to “war”. I caught this scene, “Boots of Valor”,  while they were all assembled, receiving their instructions with the riffle boots all aligned. There was one officer who stood out as he was the only one standing at attention receiving orders. His attentiveness was also apparent in his posture. Can you guess which boots are his?

Anyway, I present to you “Boots of Valor”. Feel free to comment.

Trinity

Trinity
Trinity

The last time I caught three flowers clustered together it was a shot I took in a friends garden. I ended up naming the photograph “Blossom in Three” under my Garden Gems collection.

Here, I was visiting Thornton Park’s Rose Garden in down town Syracuse after a morning rainfall. There was a sort of, as the French would put it,”je ne sais quoi” that drew me to the scene. It was almost spiritual in a way to see the flowers bathed with a soft light and water droplets – like they were being refreshed and rejuvenated. I guess that is what prompted me to refer to it as “Trinity”. I had been fighting with the idea as to whether to display it as either color or black and white. Looking at the result, I think I am glad I stuck to black and white.

This is one I definitely plan to add to my portfolio in time and one that will be available for sale if anyone is interested in a print. Feel free to comment!

The Forgotten

The Forgotten
The Forgotten

While teaching a student some of the basics of photographing flowing water at a nearby fountain, I broke away from the student and the instructor – a friend of mine, Joe Inzalaco – to observe some of the other nearby sites and activities. I had noticed there was a small festival going on nearby Clinton Square celebrating the various groups of refugees who have come to recognize Syracuse, NY as their new home. I  also noticed another refugee of sorts, one who was displaced.

He seemed almost invisible, out in his own world and that is why the name, The Forgotten, became the description of this photo. I caught him walking past the festival in the background, making his way, alone, across the city which, like the refugees, he calls home.

 

Flamenco

Flamenco
Flamenco

Flamenco, the popular Spanish dance with its very energetic and graceful moves is also the Spanish word for Flamingo; And, that is the name of my latest image – Flamenco.

Although I don’t focus on the energy of the flamingoes in this shot, I do focus on capturing their gracefulness especially with the one in the foreground with its neck curved back on itself and its beak partially hidden from view. The flamingoes in the background take up postures which also draw attention to the idea of gracefulness while their reflections shimmer below them. If you think I have gone overboard in my description of the images, you are probably right. I enjoyed taking the photo and I think it is one of my favourites for the summer. I plan to make it visible on the gallery and I plan to have it available for purchase if anyone is interested but for now I am just showing it off on the blog.

In closing, I have always been intrigued by the dance and I think that intrigue has been captured in the photo as I aimed to emphasize the grace, beauty and aesthetic appeal of Flamenco. Enjoy!

Is it worth learning about film photography?

In a world where regular commercial photography is moving more and more toward digital photography, is it worth the time investing in learning about film photography? The answer is a resounding, Yes. And, I will explain why.

Recently, I acquired a book on photography. The author is primarily a film photographer but this edition of his book has been updated for the digital photography era. So, it discusses elements which are important to both film and digital photographers. However, in reading about the book I have learned a lot more about the zone system and its uses beyond simply taking a properly exposed print. I have learned how the differences in proper exposure for different objects in a scene can be harmonized through the zone system and how the zone system translates into a system for properly developing the prints. I have also finally realized why persons choose to expose for the highlights most times than to underexpose the images.

The book also goes on to explain the use of coloured filters and their significance to black and white photography. It also explains how the effects of the filter can help to help adjust an exposure to ensure that all elements within the frame can be rendered within the dynamic range of the film (digital sensor). It will be very unlikely that I will use coloured filters to generate toning effects in my black and white. I will more than likely resort to using basic software for those purposes. But, even for photographs which I will never convert to black and white, I know how to correct more of the colour balance in those photos.

I agree that I will never put a great deal of the techniques to use, but it is good to know where the common dos and don’t of photography come from and what their purpose were. I think it is important to understand whether those concepts still hold their own in the digital era of photography or whether they have become antiquated.

If anyone is interested in learning a little more of what I am talking about I recommend picking up the book “The Art of Photography – An Approach to Personal Expression” by Bruce Barnbaum. I will warn you early that it is a long read and a lot of it is based around the author’s tastes and interests but he certainly explains in depth the significance of different practices in photography, where they originate and how they can be applied for artistic expression.