I have a new presentation called Discovery & The Creative Choice. As is typical with a new program, I find I am continually making changes. I am constantly thinking about the concepts I want to present, reading what others have to say, studying, researching and then honing the presentation. Recently, I found a quote about discovery from Albert Szent-Gyorgi who says, “Discovery consists of seeing what everyone has seen, and thinking what no one has thought” The context of the quote was with regard to a discovery being made in the medical world. In this case discovering a cure for cancer. Many have seen the cells over and over again, studied things out in their mind, but no cure. Until someone thinks what no one else has, a new discovery will not happen.
How does this apply to photography? I have my ideas, but am interested in yours. What does this quote mean to you? Does it have the same impact on photography? With all of the images that have been made or that we have seen, how do we discover new ones? Is new to you enough or does it have to be new to the world? With regard to my presentation, I’m speaking about discovery more in terms of finding worthy images in a situation that might be overwhelming or challenging. That said, should we be finding images that have never been thought?
With regard to today’s image, it was pointed out by a participant in the Charleston workshop. While I did not look at or make his exact picture, I did see what he was shooting and made my own composition. To me he did and good job of discovering a scene that is not normally photographed at Magnolia Gardens. At least, I’ve not seen this take before.
How about one more from the magnificent Magnolia Plantation & Gardens? Yup, I thought you’d agree!
I’ve had a last minute cancellation for my upcoming weekend workshop to ESP (Eastern State Penitentiary), Graffiti Underground and Fonthill. May 3-5. Its not too late! More details can be found by clicking the workshop link at the top of the page.
Previously, I showed a few abstract images taken of the bridge while on it. These images are from a parking lot at sunset. The blue (below) is from the twilight hour and the other much later.
Yesterday, I forgot to share one other piece of news. Some of you may remember, I have the privilege of being part of Dewitt Jones Healing Images project. Recently he posted a great story about some students at the College of Business at North Dakota State University. If you click on this link you can read the short piece about that project and how Bethany Retirement Living in Fargo ended up using Healing Images for their walls. The fun part is the image featured is one of mine! Fun because there are 1,000 images they can choose from including images from the likes of Tony Sweet, Dewitt Jones, George Lepp and Valerie Millett. If you click the images associated with the story you’ll see my JB signature on the print. In fact on another, you’ll see a shot of mine from Tuscany with the round hay bale.
PLEASE spread the word to your communities about Healing Images. It is an inexpensive way for retirement homes, hospices, hospitals, etc. to decorate their walls bringing joy to those who might have to be in these oft times uncomfortable places. As the site says….
Extraordinary Art – Affordable Prices.
At Healing Images, top photographers DONATE their work so that you can buy stunning photographic images for your healthcare facility AT OUR COST!
Our galleries are full of breathtaking images waiting to be made into gallery-wrapped canvas prints ready to hang on your walls
Making high quality art truly affordable is our goal.
If you haven’t heard by now, Nik was purchased by Google. Google/Nik recently announced the Nik Collection at just $149.00! Yup, you read that right, Silver Efex Pro, Define, Color Efex Pro, Viveza, Sharpener Pro and HDR Efex Pro all for $149! So, if you don’t have it yet CLICK THIS LINK and and then use the code JBARCLAY for another 15% off. This is truly a “no-brainer.”
Seminar and Workshop added!
On July 27&28, Tony Sweet, Denise Ippolito and I will be at the Whitney Center in Connecticut. This is a special opportunity to spend the day learning from three professional photographers, each with their own unique style. Saturday will be an all day seminar with two presentations from each of us. On Sunday you will have the opportunity to join all three of us for a unique workshop at Bannerman Castle! For more information and to sign up, please click on this link We hope to see you there!
Upcoming Topaz Webinar on May On May 28th I’ll be doing yet another installment of my ongoing webinar series, “Crafting images with Topaz.”
Todays blog image is of course one more from the amazing Magnolia Garden in South Carolina.
Last week, I had a question from a blog reader asking how many images I take from one spot while not moving my tripod. A good question! I will start with today’s main blog image as an example. When I saw this scene, I looked around without a camera for what I felt was the best position. I was looking for separation of elements, quality of reflections, background elements, distractions, white spots where the overcast sky was, etc. I settled on a spot and took a shot. I quickly realized there was spanish moss hanging in my frame from a close by tree. This forced me to lower my tripod enabling me to shoot underneath the moss. Next, I realized I wanted more reach than I had with my 70-200mm lens and added my 1.7x teleconverter. At this point I was ready for my next and final image.
I guess the answer to Henry’s question is, I try and look at the scene without a camera or tripod first. I move left and right and sometimes up and down until I feel I’ve found the best spot or that I’m doing the hokey pokey especially well that day….. Most times I’m looking for mergers and moving to eliminate them. Other times I’m moving to get closer or further away or to change my perspective. Once I find my spot, I set my tripod down and carefully assess the scene through the viewfinder. At this point, oft times I’ll need to move my tripod a bit to finalize the composition and make the image. As with most things in life, there are exceptions. In the dunes for instance, I did all that I just stated, however, once I found a good spot, I found looking though my lens for various compositions more productive than moving.
I still employed all of the above, all that changed was my ability to find more compositions from one spot. This is in large part due to the subject matter.
Another example would be the silk mill where I was photographing the tool caddy (see below). In this case, I would take a shot and evaluate it on the LCD. I would find that I missed a merger and moved the caddy just a bit until it was in the right position. I believe I did this three times until I liked what I saw. I also moved the caddy a couple of times to change the direction it was facing to see how I liked it that way.
Henry, I hope that helps!
At the risk of being cliche’, I’ll add my “boneyard” image to the plethora of others on the off chance some of my blog readers have not see one. The “boneyard” or Botany Bay, is near Edisto Beach in South Carolina. Depending on the tide, you’ll find a few trees in the water creating, well, a picture of a tree in the water! So there ya have it!
For smoothing out the water, I used my Singh-Ray VariND filter. If you want even longer exposures, you can use the ultra cool Mor-Slo 10 stop filter.
The mighty oaks draped with spanish moss and surrounded by colorful Azaleas were indeed a sight to behold at Magnolia Gardens.
I was drawn to this scene each day at gardens. Only one problem, the sky behind the tree was always white due to the bright overcast skies. Don’t get me wrong, I was thrilled with the bright overcast for most every other image I made there. Great light for the subject matter, but for this scene a bit of blue sky would have been nice. Then I realized, I could use two of my favorite products, Totally Rad – Dirty Pictures and FlyPaper Textures to fix the problem. If you are interested in how Dirty Pictures and FlyPaper textures work, head to my FREE videos on the TUTORIALS page.
Sometimes the elements align and you are presented with a scene that screams to be photographed. On my third trip to Magnolia Gardens, I was finally beginning to relax and “see” images that were not as obvious as the ones I had been shooting. I don’t know about you, but I bring to my photography other images I’ve seen, especially images I may have seen from the location I am shooting for the first time. I call this my “Visual Portfolio”. (Thanks Terry!) In the case of Magnolia Gardens, I’ve seen glorious images from my buddy Tony Sweet. It was hard not to run to the arching trees or white bridges and make the same images. So I did!! Then, I wanted to step back and see what else I might find that was not in my “Visual Portfolio”. Just on the other side of the famous and oft photographed white bridge, was this delicate scene filled with flowing color and strong lines created by the three main foreground trees. It immediately drew me in and has become a personal favorite from the trip. I know I’ve said it many times, however, it is worth repeating over and over, when I was finally “still” the images began to come.
Another from the magnificent Magnolia Gardens in the Charleston Area. This scene was found by Dan at the end of a long day in the Gardens. We had a nice group gathered in this location and so we all took turns.