what the camera sees (overexposure) # 4 ~ formulaic

cat dishes

One of the difficulties / challanges I face moving forward with what the camera sees is the fact that all of my other work is a direct depiction of what my eyes see: something pricks my eye and sensibilities and I make a picture of what I see.

In the case of what the camera sees, it is not a straight forward proposition. I need to actively look for the elements which I think will work together in order to make a good picture. Quite obviously, my eye does not see what the camera sees using shallow focus and overexposure techniques. Consequently, at this point in the side trip (MO wise) I have a number of misses inasmuch as I have not identified precisely what all of the elements necessary for a good picture of this type are.

Quite obviously, the one absolutely necessary element is an area within the frame of "hot" direct sunlight and in my messing about I have decided that that hot spot seems to work best on the bottom surface of the picture. I have also decided that a corresponding area(s) of darker tonal values is also a necessary element which stands in contast (figuratively and literally) to the hot spot.

Another key element, independent of the light, is that of perspective. So far all of the "successful" pictures have been made with a 12mm (24mm- 35mm equiv.) lens which produces a diminishing perspective POV. All of these pictures are made looking down but I believe that the diminishing perspecive thing will work with any POV - up, down, right angle, etc.

Yet another key element is that there needs to be a narrow zone of sharp focus - or least apparent sharpness relative to the rest of the picture - in order to give the eye somewhere to land.

All of that written, what I am trying to do is to create a formula for making what the camera sees pictures. This idea is very foreign to me inasmuch as my picture making has almost always been of the spontaneous variety. No formula, no rules, no dictates or other considerations while making pictures: just see it and picture it.

Over time, it might be possible to train my eye to see what the camera sees but until that time - if it ever arrives - I will most certainly require the guiding hand of a formulaic approach to making what the camera sees pictures.

Did I mention that I am having fun with this?

what the camera sees (overexposure) # 1-3 ~ having fun, fun, fun (till my daddy takes my cameras away)

open door  

bush shadow

storm window reflection

My basic picture making MO has always been that of straight photography - straight photography refers to photography that attempts to depict a scene or subject in sharp focus and detail, commensurate with the qualities that distinguish photography from other visual media, particularly painting. Or, as I like to say / write, use the one characteristic of photography and its apparatus which defines its difference fro the other visual arts, its inherent characteristic as a cohort of and its relationship to the real.

That written, I have, on ocassion, made side trips (MO wise) into the realm / genre of Polaroid and pinhole picture making. Exploring what, given the limitations and proclivities of such hardware, might be descibed as making pictures which depict what the camera sees as opposed to what the eye sees.

iMo, one could argue that straight pictures depict what the camera sees but I would argue that straight pictures are an attempt to make pictures (within the constraints of a picture's framing) which depict what the eye sees.

All of that written, I have embarked upon another side trip to explore the premise of what the camera sees. Although, this trip employs no special hardware in pursuit of such ends. These pictures are being made with my normal digital gear albeit with a complete disregard for the rules of proper exposure techniques.

One of the challenges of making what I would consider successful picture making results with this MO is that of absolute attention to framing and the organization of color, shapes and lines, and tonal relationships across the 2D plane of the pciture's surface. That demanding consideration is due to the picture's tenuous relationship with the real - if one of these picturse is to have visual merit, it depends almost entirely upon the diligent attention to the forementioned visual characteristics. Because, for the most part, that is what these picture are about.

In any event, I'm having fun.