Thursday, November 1, 2012

Image of the Month: November

For me the basis of my entire photographic approach has always been from the perspective of a portrait artist.  Meaning that I view all images as portraits even though the subject matter is landscapes, urban environments or anything but people that is typically associated with the term 'portrait'.  With that mindset and approach I also feel that lighting is a critical element and perhaps the tool of priority when it comes to eliciting the best possible portrait of said subject matter.  Lighting and portraits go hand in hand.  In essence light becomes a tool used to heighten the visual intent and communicative potential of an image.  Since most of my photographic adventures occur in the outdoor environment I'm totally reliant upon natural light and always mindful of how the natural light is a major ingredient in my overall composition.  To use light to my advantage I have to consider the direction, angle, quality and intensity of lighting just like one would do in a studio environment.

Another basic photographic principle I follow is to just keep it simple.  I prefer to casually direct the viewer's focus by manipulating the staging, overall composition and lighting rather than overpopulate the scene with extraneous peripherals.  This flower image was taken outdoors with natural lighting documenting the first dusting of the winter season years ago.  But by using the lighting to my advantage and creating a dark background I was able to offer opportunities for the viewer to linger on the details of the leaves and overall ambience the image conveys.

© 2005, Joanne Scherf

This is actually one of my favorites because it is simple, uses natural lighting, a little selective soft focus, and organically combines the two seasons in one image; a summer hydrangea cascading with the season's first snowfall.

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