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Monday, February 18, 2013

Finding Your Eye: Journey of Fascination ~ Contrast Photo Walk


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 lines and dark/light.


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!
 

12 comments:

  1. Beautiful set and I love your Private/Public photo LOL.

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  2. oh i disagree - i think you got some really great shots here! especially loved the blue glass in the woods. really pretty!

    i think tend to be more like you when i comes to photography in that i just sort of see what catches my eye rather than look for something specific. but i think these kinds of exercises are so great at training our eyes to see new things. and it's also cool how you've interpreted contrast in your shots. really good stuff miss cathy! :)

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  3. You and I have a very similar walking/clicking style :) I really love the blue glass among the stones and the subtle blues and purples nestled in the stones. The Public/Private just makes me laugh!

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  4. It's good to work at training our eye to see and look for different things. An exercise like this is a great way to do that. It helps us notice and be more aware, which helps us become better photographers. I think you did a great job.

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  5. Cathy, I always enjoy your wandering in the woods shots. It seems like such a lovely practice to connect with nature. I like how you captured the contrast between nature and man in your second shot. And that public/private contrast is too funny!I I found I learned a lot in looking for contrast too.

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  6. Cathy, you have taken some interesting contrast photos. It is not always easy to see things straight away, I found on my photo-walk once I started looking for contrasts I saw them everywhere. I will look forward to seeing more of your walks in the woods.

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  7. This is great, Cathy! The second image really got my attention, especially your words about "nature's beauty and man's carelessness." I never would have thought of that, but now I know that I have seen examples of that over and over.

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  8. Enjoying your exercises in your photography class, Cathy. My favourite is that square seed-pod, such an unusual shape and lovely colours!

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  9. Great job, Cathy. I love what you wrote at the end - the exercise IS about seeing in a different way, and about how contrast can make for interesting images. I like the one of the fallen items - nature vs man. It makes me pause and think, with the contrasts and comparison in the way you've framed them. Thank you for sharing your experience with us in class!

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  10. What a neat assignment. I haven't taken that class with Kat yet. I will have to look into it. That seed pod is amazing! Do you know what plant that is? I am pretty sure we don't have anything like that here in NY. You had such a good eye with this - seeming to find multiple contrasts with many of your subjects.

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  11. Cathy, I love the way you turned public/private into a self-portrait, and that you knew exactly where to place yourself. That would be my spot, too, though I doubt I'd have thought of photographing myself there. You have some very nice examples of various contrasts.

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  12. I'm so enjoying your walks and the photos assignment. The web/can is my favorite, but I also love the seed pod. I'm having fun following your progress!

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Thanks so much for stopping by!!