“Clouds or Lines, a photo should stop your eyes”

I like photography. I have fun with my cam, I buy books, I read a little about it. I’m just an amateur! “What does the photographer want?” is an interesting question :

“Untriggered by assessments” : What does the photographer want?

To play with his tool (the cam itself)? With Photoshop? To surprise us? To meet people? To be a witness? To show something? To capture-a-moment!

Etc…

I like to work on composition, the structure of image. I love underexposed photos. I like to show little things (toys, insects). I like strangeization.

Here we are : for me, as we all live in a world full of photos – our eyes (and attention) pass from a picture to another, continuously – thus : a picture should stop the viewer’s eyes.

There are many ways to do that. One low trick is to take anything reflected in a puddle then to put the picture upside down, hahaha. Eyes are trapped, then your brain watches around ,then fixes it. But, well, photo stopped the viewer, okay.

Here’s how I play.

 

This was an easy effect here : the blue color was enough to make you “feel” a pool, therefore I drowned it into blur to play with the spears. Atmo : there’s no sun, the water’s cold, there’s nobody and parasols are closed.

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There’s this danger (always, with clouds) : you can quickly get a painting. Indeed, I often send clouds to friends. Like : “Oh, look!“. Nothing to be proud of, but sometimes mother nature just helps. The sky here was perfect, summereveninging like silly. Like calling for the picture. Héhooo! I just used the depth of field to make a dreamy sky…

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My daughter was so proud of her stick. I don’t know what she had in mind at this moment, but I sepiaed it. Probably a queen, or feeling a top of the mountain summer minute. The clouds (again!) were perfect, don’t you think?

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First, I think it was a “lines game”, underexposing the whole thing to get real blacks. It became a feeling of boredom you always get in new places like this neighborhood. Everything is clean and new, giving you a huge appetite for cracks in the concrete (I found some), a lynchian scream muffled in a room – and you dream to get elsewhere to find an old church and cobbled streets…

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Placing the cam so low that thistles look like trees. Purpling flowers against a dangerous sky made me feel the heavy stormy summer. Bees were the cherry of the cake. Stop and wait for thunder…

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Some photography rules are funny to disobey off : “never place something in the middle”, rule of third, blah blah bleh. It’s why I put the dragonfly there, so there! I just had to get the tree on the right, the orange roof (important), the innocent sky…

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Running errands, I found a structure : dead flowers, white/grey lines, a star above. Typical of what I love. When you see it you’re all…

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“Graffitis – oh a fish, it’s… – wait, who are the 3 guys? – ah okay”

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Cuteness is inevitable, sometimes. I had to lie on the ground to do this, but awweeeee, right? Of course I thought “family” and “winter”. And the colors…

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Here, in Dieppe, Normandy, it’s a game of lines, of textures (water, concrete), of light and shadow, and it contains the sound, too, don’t you think? Listen…

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Capturing a moment, of course, is easier with digital cams. Just get ready. My two daughters here are in like pajamas. The light seems to show it’s summer evening, thus the house (behind me) was not far. Now I hope you imagined the low orange light in the kitchen, waiting for family time to come soon. Kids and the sea…

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A “road” in Cabourg. It was lonely grey, I was listening to Hindemith (Mathis), and the house seems closed. It’s like a drawing. And here, above all, don’t touch the cursors to make the picture sharp! It’d ruin the mood, oui?

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Cuteness again? I was reading in the morning sun when I noticed this demoiselle araignée dancing around. Hello, miss! I just needed the size of the page number to show it. And to keep her clearly defined…

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I link this with my previous article : The passage from prose to verse; from speech to song; from walking to dancing.

Isn’t photography available to the same structure? The passage from “testimony and catching” to…

To what? Stop the usually bored viewer to make him feel something?

I think that photography is to walk what interesting photography is to dance (or poetry/speech).

 

 

Last week I participated to a challenge with a single theme : Yellow. As I guessed, everybody posted the yellowest picture they had. To “stop” viewers, I posted the most turned out yellow I found. In the middle of killing pictures of YELLOW flowers, I found this cold uninteresting wire in a winter garden, voilà. I did not win, fellows, but you could have guessed it…

 

 

Have a nice day!

 

When the pleasure is in the comparison

ONE

I just watched Seven Samurai (Japan, black & white, 1954), then The Magnificent Seven (1960).

It’s a big pleasure watching both, but each time it’s very different. Kurosawa’s movie looks very odd, because of the culture, the language and the well known Japanese actors’ intensity. The US one is much more easy and comfortable, with stars (Steve McQueen, Yul Brynner…).

But there’s a “side-pleasure” : you compare. The stories the paces, the ends, the bad guys, the fights…

TWO

Traveling! Tourists have many ways of being tourists : in a group, alone, moving around and visiting, or staying in one city (choose Paris, OK?) and walk “going whichever way the wind blows” (we say “le nez au vent” – nose in the wind).

It’s beautiful or not, deceiving or marvelous, you take pictures or you chat with your spouse. But you have to admit :

The pleasure, again, is in the comparisons game.

THREE

There’s a game I love : learning another language. It’s absolutely full of delights. Culturally. Translating. Discovering idioms. Trying to find out where translated words don’t really fit, match the other language. Finding similar words… or traitors (a library (bibliothèque) is NOT a librairie (bookstore) in France…).

It is, constantly, a game of comparisons.

FOUR

I strongly think that a big part of our inner life is linked to the world with the concept of Analogy. We endlessly get informations with our senses (about places, culture, and people, everything we meet) and then we braincompute them with what-we-already-know with analogy.

Then, we compare. Then, we decide.

This decision can be : run away, explore, smile, talk, anything.

OUTRO

Where else does it happen to you? Where could you trigger a “game of comparisons”? How is it an enrichment? Where is the effort? What about memories? Analogy with them?

Thanks for reading!

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Continue reading

Experiences or Things?

I had a friend who loved to separate concepts. You only could be a “giver” or a “taker”, for example. Which one are you?

These rhetoric traps were funny to detect, as a sign of…. whatever.

Useless it is to say you can be a giver here AND a taker there, AND differently all along the day, useless to say it’s a constant process : life, movements, dance.

With money, should you buy experiences or things?

As if you have to choose between both…

I’d buy experiences AND things. And things which could bring you a great experience : typical : a DVD, a book. And things bought WHILE you’re living a great experience. Etc etc etc.

The constant adaptive dance of life is really great to process and to unfold…

Experiences can make you grow, or give you memories, they change you if they are important. Things can be offered, can trigger experiences, can be source of pleasure. A bottle of Chardonnay wine (thing) is able to illuminate a great experience (the greatest conversation ever, in a summer night). Etc.

The tool and dial and lever here are really easy :

Each time someone summons you to choose between two concepts (it’s very common in companies, in hierarchies), close your mind or catch the double and juggle like with plastic poos : it’s a trap, enclosing you (or trying) between two artificial pincers which don’t even exist. Get out of here, and remember that life is NEVER simple. It’s subtle, fluid, complex, and a joy to activate.

Have a nice day!

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“The Light Undergrowth” : Travel Photography, but what…

Listening to Alt-J.

As I play photographic challenges on Gurushots (“Beautiful Imperfection”, “Dominant Purple”, “It’s Raining!”), I reckon my brain is activated – to find or take beautiful pictures, of course, but also, as this site is also a Social Media where I seek “likes” to reach a better place in the middle of thousands of photographers, how to please/surprise the many voters.

Here, I have to think about MAYA, “Most Advanced, Yet Acceptable”, the design motto.

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So, as the “Travel Photography” challenge is filled with gorgeous HDRs of Paris or splendid mountains, and as I DON’T travel, I have to think : Little travels? Inner travels? My bedroom travels? Running errands travels? I chose to show… moods. Why not?

Not places of interest, no Eiffel tower, but what I saw from a car. A dark blue sky and a lighthouse, a beach near the end of the afternoon (framed by a window and a safety belt). It’s about traveling, right? I won’t win anything here, but it gave me the idea for this article.

Other doors, gallivanter!

This idea here was to show something else, to borrow take follow other roads, to mistrust mainstream (which is all relative, I know). Yet acceptable. Too dark but not too much. Nothing touristic, but the air, or the light because the summer sun is about to beat the summer rain…

And if there’s something to watch, it’s the light undergrowth (invent a wishing tree then make a wish) or the colors of the sky/sea in Dieppe.

So if you’re in front of the Eiffel Tower, what do you take, once you clicked on the iron lady? The sky around? People under? What will you show of Paris, really? What’s this state of mind and wherewhen do we need it?

Thanks for reading!

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Ooh, I wish you well
I wish you well
I wish you well
I wish you well