Monday, October 24, 2011

Day 294 - Practice Makes Better

Over the years friends have asked me why my pictures of things seemed so much better than theirs.  I think that part of it is simply practice.  The more you do something the better you'll get.  Note: Digital makes this MUCH easier and cheaper too. The other thing is that I'm willing to keep at it until I get images that I like.  Take this series from this afternoon.

 This is a ginko tree in my parents front yard.  That's my car parked behind it.  The amazing color is what caught my eye.  But the background is cluttered.  There's my car.  The walnut tree and house across the street in the background.  The only thing this really shows is color.
 Now I've started closing in on the texture and color of the leaves.  But they are a bit back lit, so you don't see the colors as well.
 Now I'm starting to frame the shot to pull your eye through it.  The diagonal lines of the branches pull your eye around the photo.  What background you can see through the leaves is more diffused.
 Still back lit, and playing trying to unclutter the background.  The trunk doesn't do anything for this shot.
Still back lit, but all about the texture of the leaves.
 Trunk provides more visual appeal, but the background is distracting again.
 This tine I thought the contrast in colors of the leave and the grass with the diagonal of the trunk giving movement to the shot would be an improvement. Still back lit.
 This is more tightly framed.  Still has the trunk and it's shadow pulling your eye through the picture.  Still back lit.
 Pure color and texture, but the back lighting has it all in shadow.
 Texture, contrasting shadows and lines.  A bit of clutter in the lower left, but cropping it would also remove the lines.
 Good detail of the leaves.  Color is truer in with the sun behind my shoulder.  Tree trunk on the left is distracting and should be cropped in the final image.
 More tightly focused.
 Trunk and leaves no longer back lit.  A bit too close, not enough foreground for my taste, but the texture of the bark is now highlighted.
Better color with the sun behind me.  Using the trunk's shadow to create movement.

Are these perfect?  No, but they aren't bad, especially since I did them with a little point and shoot.  Like many skills they get better with practice. 

Work continues on my mystery project.  Shaping started last night and ripped out this evening because it wasn't right.  Made it a bit longer and started shaping again.  Much better this time.

One of those hard practice makes perfect things.

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