The Relationships in Phoptographs

In preparation for presentations that I will be making to the Tidewater Camera Club on October 3, 2011 and the Nature Visions Expo on November 11 – 13, 2011 I have been updating my “Seeing in Black and White” program.  I prepared the original version of the program about two years ago and at that time I focused mainly on conscious, technical decisions that a photographer can make to add emphasis to the subject.  However, one of the objectives of the updated program will be to discuss why tapping into our own sub-conscious to identify feelings, thoughts and experiences is also an important aspect of our photography since it can influence or even define our individual style.  In going through my images I wanted to find examples that would illustrate this point.  It was an interesting exercise and turned out to be quite an eye-opener.

I picked out the following two images and started to look at them individually in an attempt to describe how I captured the feeling of the moment. 

Although the images were created several months apart and are clearly of very different subject matter it occurred to me that there are actually more similarities between the images than differences.  For example, a key similarity is the way I tried to describe the feelings I experienced when these natural and manmade structures were revealed at the dawn of a new day when the advancing daylight illuminated their magnificence. I tried to use tonal relationships to bring out textures to emphasize the way the limited available light affected the surfaces of the structures and therefore their appearance.  Although I believe there is a relationship between these two images, the real eye-opener occurred when I started to look at other images in the same context and saw many similar relationships.  This convinced me of my subconscious at play and that it significantly influences the technical decisions I make in creating my images.

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