Friday, August 29, 2008

Harvest Vortex


PHOTOGRAPHER'S DIARY: It's always about light, but it's not enough to stop there. Images like this point up the fundamental importance of tonal balances. How bright was the brightest straw catching the late afternoon sun? How dark, how penetrable were the shadows? No photo, painting or movie can make the constant adjustments eye and brain make in understanding what is seen. Photography can't duplicate the visual, and more importantly, it is not my purpose to try.

The problem I'm solving is not, "What did it look like?" but "How do the forces of the composition balance & resolve?" Here, I found it essential to create continuity as the rough texture of the straw became shadowed. A bit of glare on the left, too deep a shadow on the right, and the eye hesitates. As the eye moves left to right, it must be able to move smoothly through these zones; the photo must remain essentially one rectangle of even texture. At the same time, the shadow area must be dark enough to give form to the whole composition.

When I printed this for the Gunn Library exhibition, I found I needed to reinterpret those balances. Print on paper is a different medium than computer screen. Neither has much in common with what we see.

7 comments:

GMG said...

Hi Ted! First of all many thanks for your comment on my post of 08.08.08 at 08h08 at Blogtrotter, now in Kos, Greece! It was great to read you there. Second, sorry for the long delay to come here, but August was a terribly busy month, as everybody else seems to be in vacation…
Anyhow, I found sometime now to land here and enjoy your blog. The foggy pictures are stunning; and the light on this one is superb. Great treat!
Wish you a great weekend!

PS: The NYC pictures were from May 2007; I wasn't there when I posted them. But will get back!

Ted Roth said...

No problem with delay. We all get diverted, though I've never been diverted to Greece. Thanks for the visit however belated and don't believe everything the oracle at Delphi tells you. I'm off to Maine tomorrow, so you may not get visit from me for awhile.

Jerry in Tampa said...

Ted - you have been inside my head! I guess we (passionate photographers) are all consumed by the "light" - where it comes from, where it hits, how bright, how diffused and so on.... I find the light, compose my image (often several different ways) and look for the magic! It rarely turns out exactly the way I "pictured" in my head - and my fascination with image gathering continues....
Your image today is warm and real with wonderful tones and texture!
Ted, I really appreciate and look forward to your thoughts of your photographic journey...

Jerry in Tampa

GMG said...

Hi Ted!
Enjoy your stay in Maine, hopefully still with some summer sun left... I’ll finally get some days off this year; not much, just from Friday night (September 5th) through Monday morning (September 15th). But I don’t leave you empty hands: a beautiful beach and lots of champagne wait for you at Blogtrotter. Enjoy!

Middle Ditch said...

Great picture

virtual voyage1.wordpress.com said...

Definitely true about the different impact of print on paper and computer screen. Hope to pick up on posts with
touring shots taken earlier in the summer.

Ted Roth said...

I'm back from my 10 day trip to Maine and catching up on messages left on this blog and in my email. Jerry, GMG, Middle Ditch and Virtual Voyage. Thanks so much for your comments and for all the comments received by email while I was away. As I have almost 3000 photos to review as I begin to put together material from this trip, I'll be busy for some time to come. Hmmm, and soon fall leaves will be appearing in CT.