I have never participated in Foliage Follow-Up the day after GBBD, of which I posted my monthly magazine yesterday. Take a peek if you haven’t already.
Since the winter weather keeps me from posting pretty garden blooms, I have been out with my camera on the Farm shooting, what else , but dead foliage. Does not sound too interesting or colorful, but the textures are gorgeous. I love this time of year because it beckons you to study form and texture, because, devoid of color, they become very dominant in the landscape.
You pick up subtle detail more readily, and what little color there is stands out, like the blue greens above. A little camera depth of field gives a painterly appeal. This post gives me a chance to critique my own images.
I am a painter, but not a photographer. I have had many courses in college on photography and much lab work, but it was from an artistic perspective and documentation use of the camera rather than a technical expertise study.
So my images do not have that professional quality that many other bloggers possess.
But what I bring to the table is an ability to ‘see’. That is something I learned in architecture school. I can find interest in very mundane things, but without the camera skills, it becomes not necessarily what I want to portray. I can see it, but not reproduce to film or digital what I have imagined the shot to be.
Compositionally, there is movement and direction, but I need the ability to make the images come to life.
A lot of times, good contrast accomplishes that. Shooting on a snowy and gray day, makes and amateur photographer have to try that much harder to pull contrast and depth from an image.
Selective cropping would have helped too, like I did below to bring the dead Queen Anne’s Lace to life. I cropped out the blurred background and focussed on the flower itself. I also put the flower in the right third of the image. But this is too much work for me, having a job and writing a blog. I want to get it right the first time.
The image below is an example. So much is going on, that if I had more contrast between elements, yet still retained the textural qualities, I think it would be more interesting.
But I am more interested in getting the shot right the first time, like I said above.
Sure, I am a whiz with Photoshop, but that says nothing if I don’t have a great shot to start. This dead foliage mess below really interested me, but I could not capture that appeal. If I captured it right, it would not be described as a foliage mess.
I like the image below with the trees moving in opposite directions, but the image remains a bit flat.
I like the movement or undulation of foliage, but again, it lacks good depth. Note how the foliage follows the rocks edge. A better photograph would have brought this subtle detail to life.
The foreground background relationship is OK, but no real punch.
I like the lighting and color below with one large element in amongst the many. A focal point, like a little bird off-center would have been a real plus. I do realize the tree trunk is a focal point, but I needed another object for scale. I have big and little, but no in between. I have linear, but no round and soft.
This one is really directional and is one of my favorites. It juxtaposes what appears soft and highly textural to what is hard and smooth. Visual interest. I too like the diagonal elements jutting left, with just one heading off the the right.
This little secret find was just that. A little hidden glimpse of seed pods bursting with life. They are nestled in a crevice for protection, like it found the perfect home.
The repetitive vertically struck me along with the bark texture. I like the ‘dots’. Not sure why. And you NEVER say that in a professional critique. You must always know why.
“The log was just calling to me.” That is artsy and is OK said in a critique. Makes you wonder about these atelier critiques. I was very academic, but some of this artsy crap just bugged me. If you sound heads above the rest you just are? Hogwash.
And here are a couple I like for the subtle color and or perspective. And my love of little wind bronzed boxwood.
This one is a little gratuitous because I really like a stand of birch.
I like the juxtaposition of ice to running water. This water fall was created from building debris. It is pretty in its rough and serendipitous kind of way.
I want to thank Pam from Digging for hosting this meme. I was glad to join and hope to get some feedback from professional photographers. And you garden bloggers with those stunning images, let me hear your thoughts and tips too.