Colour and Monochrome

September 27, 2015

Running water with autumn leaves and rocks

Copyright 2015 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Fall is just about here and some of the leaves have already begun to turn colour and/or drop.  One can argue that it is best to make colour photographs as the various hues really are the key component to the image.

BW photograph of a side-lit boulder

Copyright 2015 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

On the other hand, with a relatively uniform monotone subject, very strong sidelight creates contrast to highlight the form and texture of that subject.  This is a perfect situation to compose and expose with the intent to use a black-and-white process for the final image.

Some photographers work in colour and some work in black-and-white.  Others move between the two depending on the final vision for the image.  Both of these photographs were made on the same day with not too much time in between.  With regard to distance, the water and the rocks were perhaps a few hundred yards apart.  We are surrounded by intriguing  subject matter and it is up to the photographer to “see” the opportunities and create accordingly.

Take care.

Meaningful

September 25, 2015

Aboandoned shopping cart near a cornfield

Copyright 2015 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

“Pretty” pictures or trash?

Abandoned shopping cart near a cornfield

Copyright 2015 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

The bottom line for me is that in the post-New Orleans/Katrina trips era, I have wanted to make meaningful photographs.  What is considered “meaningful” is, of course, open to interpretation, and, to me, it has the connotation of “social consciousness”.  I want people to think about the impact they have on others and the environment.  If I can make photographs that stimulate the viewer to think “Why is this so?” or “Is this the way I want things to be?” or “What can I do about this?” then the photograph has meaning.

Will I stop making “pretty” pictures?  No, especially since they are good for the soul.  Will I continue to photograph trash? Most definitely.

That is, until there is no more trash to photograph-and that is not likely to happen anytime soon.

Take care.

Choices

September 20, 2015

Photograph of graffiti on rocks

Copyright 2015 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

We all have to make choices.  The question becomes the process by which we arrive at our decisions, and this relates to the previous post about sensations and perceptions.  Those two factors greatly influence the decision-making process.  For a long (long) time, I was very focused on the issue of trash, and that is reflected in the number of posts written about, or related to, that subject.  In many cases, the photographs were the result of a rational decision to seek out and photograph the mess that people leave behind.  In other cases, I found trash when I was not specifically looking.  The cumulative result inexorably affected my mood and disposition.  It also sharpened my senses to the degree that I, in fact, find it very, very hard to not see trash.

BW photograph of backlit trees in bright sunlight

Copyright 2015 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

I have other choices.  I can look for different subject matter.  Yes, part of Morgan Run has been defaced, and it may take months for the paint to wear away.  That time may, however, be extended as a new norm has been established, and that is reflected in the graffiti that has been added since my last visit.  The photograph that leads off this post is an example.  The continued presence of these marking, though, does not mean that I have to keep subjecting myself to sensations that are discouraging.

BW photograph of rocks in bright sunlight

Copyright 2015 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

There are other places to walk.

I just have to make a different choice.

Take care.

 

What Do You Seek?

September 18, 2015

BW photograph of running water at Morgan Run

Copyright 2015 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Sensations are the stimuli that excite our senses.  Perceptions are the meaning we give to those sensations.

BW photograph of a Budweiser bottle amid some rocks

Copyright 2015 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

These two photographs were made no more than 25 yards apart.  The visual stimuli are quite different and most likely lead to different sensations and perceptions.  How do you respond to them?

The meanings given to sensations are, of course, open to very subjective interpretations.  These perceptions then tend to shape our world view.  As a result, we then tend to find exactly that for which we are looking.  Confirmation Bias occurs when we only seek out, and pay attention to, data the fits our pre-conceived ideas about a subject.  For example, if I think that the world is a trash-filled pile of rubbish and that people have no respect for nature, it will be easy (very, very, easy) to find evidence (sensations) to support that view (perception).  On the other hand, if I think that the world still has beautiful, unspoiled areas, then I can certainly find evidence to support that point-of-view.  These photographs demonstrate that.

Speaking of the photographs, both of these were made with a short telephoto (the effective focal length was 85 mm) lens, which provides a narrow, portrait-like, rendition of what, in reality, was a very large area.  Controlling the amount of visual information allows the photographer to shape both the sensations and the perceptions of the viewer.  Please keep that in mind when looking at photographs.

Take care.

Which?

September 12, 2015

BW photograph of a guitarist playing to an empty audience in an outdoor courtyard

Copyright 2015 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

This was either the best, or worst, gig a musician could have.

In all fairness, as the evening advanced and the sun set, people started to gather.  Hearing the guitarist play and sing to an empty courtyard, though, was quite melancholic.

Take care.