Sunday, 29 November 2015

Harmony Through Space and Form

Down by the lake
the weather-vane looked so elegant against the pale blue of the sky.
As if on cue, the three birds flew by in perfect harmony,
following the rounded shape of the arc.

The white bell-tower cut out against the deep blue 
allows us to study every detail without surrounding distractions.
I'm especially drawn to that suspended bell.
This type of capture is one in which space intensifies the experience of form.

Sometimes it is form which intensifies our experience of space.
In this image, the space becomes the part which is framed by the form
of the structure.

Sometimes, we aren't quite sure which element is showing off the other
to its best advantage.
I feel that the form of the metal sculpture 
really brings us into contemplating
the space of the sky, with more space appearing between the lines.
 I feel that the sky and the space complement each other just about equally here.

The chain is a really strong element here
and the colour and space of the water really shows all the details of the chain.

Some images are wonderfully contemplative.
I feel calm just looking at this one.
I was standing under a Weeping Willow tree
and watched those dainty branches blow in the wind.

A large stone structure seems to be swallowing the sky!

A tender moment against the rocks at the lake's edge.

Closer to home - and on one of my walks.
An expanse of cobblestones 
with a single oak leaf in the golden light of  late afternoon.

The simplicity of the grey, textured space of the roadside 
brings those beautiful leaves into our line of vision.

Even the urban chimneys have their place of honour.
This one is in my neighbourhood and provides the city with its heating.
Natural gas is used and is therefore non-polluting for our environment.
The smoke is simply water vapour which soon disappears into the air.

This is the same chimney taken in the early evening.
You make well ask why it is pink?
Well, during the Christmas period, right up to the New Year,
this chimney is illuminated by different coloured lights reflected at its base.
I happen to rather like the pink reflection shown here.
The lights at the top act as a warning to the helicopters
when they land on the roof of the nearby hospital.

I am taking an online class with Kim Manley Ort
Our exercise this week was recognizing the importance of space and form
and the roles they play.

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Silhouettes and Skies

A trip out into the country where I can enjoy nature
and a simple fence silhouetted against the sky and mountains.

Closer to home, in my neighbourhood,
the local church steeple rises above the buildings around it on the hill.

A little fluffed-up sparrow settles on a branch
of this young Gingko tree which still has a few leaves.

There's nothing quite like hanging seed-pods 
to gracefully adorn the cloudless sky.

A little colour this time of these pods ready to drop and swirl in the wind
like mini helicopters when they leave the tree.
I find they look so glamorous against the pink tones of a painted house.

Mr. Blackbird shows us his elegant silhouette 
perched on a branch of a beech tree in the park.

These are the tall poplar trees I walk past
every time I go to my nearest park.

When I see that a beautiful sunset is going to take place,
I drop everything and go quickly outside with my camera 
and climb to the highest spot I can find
to capture the silhouettes of the trees against the forever changing sky.

The leaves of the tulip tree are easy to recognize
and the low hanging boughs decorate the sky
and fill my frame.

One last look at the skyline which is now turning orange.
I've taken a vertical shot to exclude distracting things
like tall city chimneys and cranes!

There are still some private houses among the buildings
in my neighbourhood.
I love to see this one cut-out against the sky on my way home.

The lighting behind the poplar trees has changed a lot
since I first went out.
I notice that the lights have come on along the small bridge
I need to cross to get home.

Some days, 
it's really worth dropping everything
to seize the moment.
Don't you think?
I hope you do the same!

Friday, 6 November 2015

Autumn Writes a Story

Spring is tender
Summer is passionate
Winter is elegant

 Autumn contains all these qualities
and shows us how.

with passion

and the tenderness of new buds forming for the following spring.

Elegance in the park

and when the autumn colours reach for the sky
we hold our breath at the sheer audacity

We follow the paths of fallen leaves

not wanting to touch a single thing

I've never seen such a beautifully decorated bench at the foot of a beech tree

Catch a falling leaf and make a wish
it is said that they always come true 
I'll let you know!
Here's one for you!

The sun plays such an important part
in illuminating those gorgeous leaves.

The Gingko leaves like golden fans upon the grass

lead us to some steps on their carpet of loveliness

which we climb to discover yet more beauty

The American oak leaves dance against a backdrop of sunlit beech.

The pond acts as a mirror
for a nearby tree

and the fountain is decorated with shimmering leaves from a tulip tree
floating on the surface of the water.

As I walk through the gates of the park
the fallen leaves seem to accompany me into the street
as if they know that I am unwilling to return back home.

Luckily for me,
this lovely park is in the city where I live
and I can visit it anytime I want.
It's only a short bus ride away.

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Creating Abstract Photography

What is abstract photography?
For me, it's taking something known and easily recognizable 
and presenting it in a different way.
It can be done by zooming in on details with a macro lens and creating
unusual and sometimes even surreal images.

The rational mind will struggle to analyse and try to label what it sees.
Yet if we allow ourselves to follow the lines and the shapes and colours
we can just enjoy a slightly surrealist landscape that cannot be quite understood.

Isn't it fun to just let go and flow into this new way of seeing
through the fringes of this curtain-like structure
which isn't actually a curtain?

Or wouldn't you like to slide and play along these tunnels of light
created through a mingling of sunlight and shadow?

Or what about bending down to touch these bronze sculptures
that remind you of something but they're totally the wrong colour.

Macro photography allows us to concentrate on a single detail
and give it an abstract quality.

Blue Gingham seen through different eyes!

Enjoy the texture and 3-dimensional surface and how the edges catch the light.
It doesn't matter that we don't know what it is.
In fact, not knowing heightens our perception and makes us just take pleasure
in what we see.

Look at the patterns and texture and colours

Shiny surfaces create art all on there own - reflecting what is around them

Water also presents us with wonderful reflections and movement
and offers us its own special abstract quality

Panning or intentional camera movement is another way of creating abstracts.
I really enjoy these!
For that, I need to use a slower shutter speed and move my camera
as I press the button.

To end my selection, I offer this night shot.
This was created by panning and capturing these flying luminous objects
all heading, with seeming purpose, to an important destination!

So, to create abstracts in photography
I can zoom in on details
Show only the part of a whole subject
create an unusual look by transforming something through a change in colour.
 I can play with my shutter speed and take my subjects from different angles.

All these things allow me to play freely
and disregard any rules that I have learned over time.

Abstracts set me free from convention
and allow me to skip and jump and shake it all up
most deliciously!

Abstract photography allows my inner, playful child to have fun
because it lets me re-invent what I see and feel!

This blog posting has been inspired by a workshop I'm doing
with Kim Manley Ort