About this blog title

I cannot tell you how many times I have shown up at events with a couple of cameras around my neck, a gadget bag full of odds & ends and a lighting kit and have been asked that question. If it happened once every few years, that would be one thing. But it happens a LOT. It's like getting pulled over by the police and he's standing there with uniform, gun, flashing lights and asking him "Are you a cop?" I would love to come back with a witty reply, such as "No, I am Jesus. Don't you recognize my beard?" However, I cannot be that rude.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Maple Tree In Auburn, NY

I like a broad range of music and photographic styles. In the early days of developing my eye I would try to emmulate the photographic styles of photograpgers work I would see in magazines. My first and formost love is black & white. My all time favorite photographer is Eugene Meatyard. Most people I have met that have seen his work do not like it. But I was entranced by it.

Maple tree in Auburn, NY.                                                                                                    photo by Gary Walts

Another one whose work I absolutely loved, and is a thousand degrees away from Meatyard's style, was David Hamilton.  Hamilton's work is all grainy, soft, pastel colors of young girls in dreamy settings.
The styles of these two are light years apart. However, today I realize what they have in common that I like. There is a mysterious quality to their work. Both created images that look as if they came out of dreams.

Their photos cause me to pause and ponder. Who is this person? Where are they?  How did they get where they are? Invariably when someone sees a photo they like they raise the question "Where is that?"
If that question pops up in a conversation about any of your photos take it is a clue that you probably have made a good photo.

At my current age I no longer am concerned about finding photos or developing a signature style. For the most part my eyes are always turned on and things just catch my eye.  A case in point is the Maple Tree presented here. I was going to photograph a job at a nursing home in Auburn, NY. I had to be there at 7:00pm. I pulled into a parking lot and right there, dead in front of me, through the windshield was this Maple tree illuminated by the late day Sun.  I wasn't searching for it. It was presented to me. The photo is no masterpiece. I put it into my "Pretty Pictures" category.
The light and shadows are crucial to making this photo work. Composition too is critical. By looking at this photo one would never know that between the tree and the background is a busy highway. I lowered my angle to hide the road. I also had to snap while there was a break in the traffic. Large trucks were tall enough to appear in the frame. One would also never know that I was shooting from a paved parking lot of a medical institution. So composition requires selecting an angle of view and framing it so as to include & exclude certain elements.
I have also said many times that I see evrything as arrangements of shapes.  You can from this diagram the major shapes that make up the composition. You change the shapes via angle of view and choice of lens.  
I see the world through the lens as an arrangement of shapes.

Everything contained in thes blog is copyright Gary Walts 2011

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Please leav comments and suggestions about this blog and how I maght improve it. Thanks, Gary Walts