January 2015 — What Photographers Really Do

Photography is about controlling things. There are so many things that can and should be controlled in a photograph that it can seem overwhelming. I had a few moments my first afternoon at the hotel in Costa Rica to do a bit of practice with a brand new Panasonic LX-100. As usual, I wanted to start with something more static and under my control as I experimented with the camera. So let’s work with that static subject for a moment and see what real photographers actually do when building an image. Here’s my first shot (yes, I had the camera set to 16:9):

INT COSTA-RICA 12-2014 EM1 14028.jpg

Hmm. Okay. But it seems a little lifeless. First up, I got out my misting bottle and sprayed water on the subject!

INT COSTA-RICA 12-2014 EM1 14029.jpg

This took away some of the flatness on many of the leaves and added another visual element and highlights. Next, I took out my little pocket reflector (gold) and bounced some sun into this shaded area:

INT COSTA-RICA 12-2014 EM1 14030final.jpg

In essence I’ve controlled where the eye will go in the shot by putting the most light there, and this has added contrast to the subject.

Notice anything else that needs to be done? See those brown petals? They need to be removed. Apparently after I’d done that dead leaf pruning I decided I wanted a slightly different composition, as here’s how things turned out in my final image of the sequence (I’ve tried to add depth):

INT COSTA-RICA 12-2014 EM1 14031.jpg




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