Wandering through the woods behind our house is something I enjoy doing several times a week. Usually I walk without purpose just going where my feet take me; discovering little bits of nature's beauty. This time was different. I had a mission. In the Finding Your Eye: Journey of Fascination class I'm taking with Kat Sloma our exercise this week was to take a photo walk looking for something specific...contrast. Contrast comes in many different forms: light/dark, tall/short, shapes, colors, textures, or concepts. We often think of them as opposites. Contrast can be used to make photography more appealing. As Kat explains, contrast can "catch our eye and draw us in to look closer."
I found contrast in colors; dull/bright and also a contrast of nature's beauty and man's carelessness.
When I came back into the yard, I noticed this old milk can. I found contrast in textures, a silky web created by a living creature and rough rust created by nature. There's also old can/new web, light/dark, shapes, and lines.
I ran across this photo in my archives. I remember the day I took it. I laughed when I saw these words in the sidewalk, especially when I noticed a puddle of water had made the word "private" darker. The contrasting concept, private/public, was what first caught my eye. The contrasts of color and lines added interest. Notice where my feet are. A perfect description of me!.
As I searched through my inspiration folder I realized that I had many photos with contrasting elements. I may not see that as the reason I took the photo, but I definitely think it was part of what attracted me to the subject. I found this picture of my favorite seedpod. Nature never gets it wrong! Here you see an example of contrasting colors that are beautiful together and of contrasting shapes that create interest. Not only does the color attract attention, but the oval leaves, square seedpod, and round opening make this seedpod eye catching!
It was harder than I thought, looking for contrasts. Although it took me a while to get focused, I wasn't discouraged. I think the difficulty was the fact that when I walk in the woods, I just trek along until something unusual catches my eye. I had to really focus on looking carefully around me to see the contrasts. Finally the contrasts began to jump out at me. I wasn't looking for beauty or the perfect image. I was only concerned with focusing on contrast. I saw something, composed it and then snapped the shutter. I was outside a good while, never discouraged or ready to quit, The only thing that made me stop was my cold fingers, even though I had on gloves! I knew it was time to end my walk, warm up, and see what I had captured. When I uploaded my images from the day, I realized I didn't consider any of them great images. And that's OK! The assignment was an exercise in training our eyes to look for contrasts and that's what I captured!