Incredibly Dense Fog!

Hello everybody! As the title says, it was an ominously foggy day! In Colorado, we do not get fog that often and when we do, it usually lasts for an hour or so before dissipating. Today was a special case. The fog was there when I woke up at 8 AM and lasted well into the night! I tried to take advantage of that by walking around my neighborhood and taking pictures with the Canon 6D and Sigma 35mm f/1.4 combination. With these photos below, I thought I was able to show you all just how unique this day (and night) has been! Enjoy!

PSA: you can click on the images for their native resolution sizes.

Foggy Road

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Foggy Tree v3

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Blink with meaning,

Ceasar Jones

Street Shots

Whew! What a busy week it has been. Attending a private University using the quarter system does take its toll on you. Anyway, this week I was wondering about what genre of photography I would write about. Astro-photography? It takes too much to get a decent photo. Forensic photography? No, too graphic and morbid for you and I! Hm, what of street photography? Well, there are a lot of variables involved:  the environment, atmosphere, and my favorite subjects: people.

The environment is a critical aspect and sets the mood of the scene. Are you shooting inside a busy city such as N.Y.C. or at a run-down metropolis such as Detroit? Below is an example of the environment dominating the photograph:

streetRomanas Naryskin

Upon sight of the photograph, one can tell that it is a train yard that hit a day of rest since it is empty and a few drifters come and go with small adventures to share. The fog in the background adds to the ominous feeling of the empty train yard. There also is a silhouette in the mid-ground that adds to the mystery of the photograph. Whew, the hairs on my arms momentarily stood up!

As for the atmosphere, I am talking about the culture of a certain region that a photographer might decide to shoot in. Do the people mind at all if you took pictures of them from across the street? Are you surrounded by a culture that is very self-conscious and might cry out at you for taking pictures of them without their permission? Is there a turf war going on between two rival gangs that may be affecting the atmosphere negatively?

***This brings up another subject entirely: A photographer’s right to shoot the public. It should be known that the laws vary from place to place, especially from country to country. Every photographer should be aware of the Legal Handbook for Photographers by Bert P. Krages II.***

Here is a comparison between a friendly culture and a hostile one:

Hostility-005Hostility – Naterally Wicious, Flickr

swearing

Romanas Naryskin

The two men smiling at the camera above seem to be friendly, right? Well, they weren’t exactly happy with Romanas taking a photo of them. Before smiling, they were cursing at the photographer. Unfazed from experience, Romanas kept on shooting until he was satisfied and left the scene immediately.

That’s the amazing thing about humans. You could guess all day what they are thinking or showing in a photography and your conclusion would still be wrong. That’s the uniqueness of street photography, you never know what you are going to get and you are forced to interact with people, indirectly or directly. Here are two more pictures from NYC to complete the blog:

blackgirlmirror-2012-copy

09_by_dechobek

’09 – dechobek, deviantART

Blink with meaning,

Ceasar Jones

Black and White Photography

We see millions upon billions of colors; it’s difficult to distinguish them from the next shade of a specific color. The possibilities for discovering different colors are infinite. However, that can be overwhelming when viewing photos especially in the digital art age where there are many opportunities for anyone to take photos and play with the saturation/contrast slider in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom or with the already customized presets installed in the Instagram apps. The colors can also distract from the details within the picture.

Black and white photography began in the early 1800s with a device named the Camera Obscura. When color photographs was invented by a man named James Clerk-Maxwell, black and white photographs still remained popular because of the value it carried with each photograph. To this day, black and white photography still holds its ground against many genres of photography because of what it offers: nostalgia, attention to detail and versatility.

Nostalgia is a fantastic thing to experience and in the age of Information, we are absolutely stubborn when it comes to keeping in touch with the latest fads in technology or anything relevant to our interests. Digital photos are uploaded to the Internet every day and therefore lose any meaning the owner intended to get across to the viewer. With black and white photos, especially those done properly will cause the viewer to immediately relate to the photograph with a memory similar to the image.

ImageCandy Cigarette – Sally Mann

The image above immediately takes me back to the time when my brother was a young and rebellious 7-year old. I found him outside with his friend, “smoking” cigarette butts! Being the good older brother I was, I scolded him. His response: “so?” This picture brought a specific memory back almost immediately. Sally did her job as a photographer well.

As stated above, color sometimes takes away from the incredible quality and detail within a photo. Being an aspiring minimalist, I often am sensitive to the range of color used in photos. If the colors are too contrasted, I become turned off and move onto the next picture. With black and white photos, I seem to study each one of them for the details captured with a decent lens. I have noticed that the elderly are especially great objects to use for black and white photos. With such monotonous colors, the details effortlessly reveal themselves as can be seen below:

ImageSanta? – RaVN11

The mind-blowing details can be observed in the intricate but messy facial hair, the clogged pores on his nose and cheeks. His overall facial expression is obvious. I interpret this picture as a man in deep thought suddenly interrupted by an obnoxious photographer. It is a fascinating portrait regardless.

Black and white photography does not have to apply to only people, though. It can be applied to nature, architecture, sports, or even action photography. Black and white colors can make the lone pier seem to extend to infinity, a skyscraper more tall and intimidating, or it can cause an athlete to seem more dramatic or heroic during an intense moment in a match. This blog will end with some excellent examples:

ImageUntitled – Georg Sedlmeir

ImageChrysler Building – Dave

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Muhammad Ali vs. Sonny Liston – Neil Leifer

Blink with meaning,

Ceasar Jones