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Friday, August 28, 2015

Down By The River


I'm participating in a project with a group of photography friends. We're working through David Duchemin's book The Visual Toolbox. The chapter we read this week was about isolating your subject and removing anything distracting from the image.


I went down by the river with my 50mm and my 75-300mm telephoto lens. I was looking for ways to isolate the subject that drew my attention by using these lens and my position. So many times what we find interesting gets lost in the clutter around it. For instance, in the picture above, in the upper right corner you can see a faint reflection. The reflection is of crews that are working on a bridge from the water. There was a tugboat running around, cranes, and workmen. By changing my position and using the telephoto lens I was able to avoid the cluttered background.


A telephoto lens also comes in handy when you spot things you just can't get close to like the cable above. The image below is of a cool mist area and splash pad. I wasn't able to get very close without getting my camera wet, so the telephoto was perfect.


I discovered as I walked around with my telephoto lens that I was looking up more and looking in the distance. I'm a person that looks right where I walk, so this was a new experience. The only time I really concentrate on looking up is when I'm around historical buildings. I'm fascinated with older architecture.



Check out these balloons that were hanging in a window on about the fifth floor. If I would have even seen them, I could never have gotten this shot with my 50mm lens.


One thing is for sure. The next time I'm out taking pictures of historical buildings, I'll be taking my telephoto lens with me to help me capture the details.



This tall sculpture,  Touch The Sky created by Jane DeDecker, has three children on top of a stump. It is right in the busy River Market district. No matter which way you turn there's something in the background causing clutter. There were buildings,  the river market, an amphitheater, traffic, and people.  Since it's  a tall sculpture I was able to zoom in and capture the child's face looking upward and the hands reaching for the sky. There's just something that touched me about the sculpture. I wonder, is she expressing joy, praise, or asking for help?


I've never been one to carry extra lens. I don't like the extra baggage, but I do see the benefits and I will be taking my telephoto lens with me on more of my wanderings.

12 comments:

  1. Looks like a lot of fun and love the concepts on the theme, here, such a lovely job working that camera. The one with the mist is gosh beautiful. I have the book also but haven't had a chance to look through it. Can't wait for the next installment.

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  2. You and I had such similar experiences, especially about looking up and looking farther, we are so alike. I agree with all the same reasons you liked trying this lens. Even today when I was on an adventure with Mallory, but not focused on using my camera, I still found myself looking up and looking farther.

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  3. You certainly nailed the assignment for this week. Like Barbara, I love the mist one. I tend to keep my telephoto lens on my camera as so often I just can't get the shot I need with any other lens. Great job Cathy....

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  4. Great shots. It was a beautiful day to be down at the river.

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  5. What a lovely series, Cathy. You certainly got some great shots with that telephoto lens. I love the rocks and the cool mist and the details on the buildings.

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  6. I almost always have my zoom with me, but over the years have become lazy when it comes to switching lenses on my walk-a-bouts. This lesson has brought it back to the forefront of my mind to use the gear I have to it's fullest potential. It's amazing what we miss when we become too comfortable with what we know & do at that moment.

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  7. These are all great shots. I love my long lens.

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  8. A wonderful way to discover new things with your telephoto. Very nice.

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  9. I really enjoy the backstory on each picture - your thinking and explaining. I LOVE the image of the Capital Hotel - like the perspective and the angle of the building in the frame against the blue sky. And the sculpture of the child reaching up for the sky, arms wide open . . . this is a perfect example of taking an existing art work and making it your own - clear, uncluttered, and beautifully composed. The balloons are a sweet surprise - could you flip that picture horizontally so we could read LOVE - or is it more interesting as is? Great work - in every way!

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  10. This is a great book with lots of great exercises. You did a great job of isolating interesting pieces of this busy river scene.

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  11. My camera bag looks like a purse, it's a Kelly Moore bag and has a lot of compartments for extra lenses. I do carry several. Your images are gorgeous, spot on. I always feel so peaceful when I am by the water!!

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  12. What a lovely idea: to get together with a group of friends and work on a photographic project. I’ve done this with writers, but never with photographers. Food for thought… You have done this lesson, proud. I particularly like the bollards on the harbour’s edge and also the cable. I’ve never taken more than one lens with me, before. I can see that the time has come!

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Thanks so much for stopping by!!