Sunday, June 17, 2018

Point No Point #54

Point no Point, Vancouver Island, April 2017.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Point No Point #52

Point no Point, Vancouver Island, April 2017.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Point No Point #49

Point no Point, Vancouver Island, April 2017.

Friday, June 08, 2018

Point No Point #47

Point no Point, Vancouver Island, April 2017.

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Compositionally Speaking; My Frame of Mind

I am a photographer that likes to compose my images full frame in the camera with as little cropping as possible. Often when I'm out photographing, I already have a pretty good idea of what the composition will look like even before I have my camera set up and have tripped the shutter to make the photo. However, it can be challenging at times before I find the right composition. Other times composition happens unexpectedly when what I thought was going to work as a great composition just doesn't work, take the example posted, I was photographing at Ellison provincial Park near Vernon BC and was struggling to find the right composition as nothing "felt" quite right, then the camera, on a tripod and on a ball head accidentally slipped over to one side due to the fact I had not tightened the ball head enough, I was looking at looked at the focusing screen when this happened and when it tilted over I thought that's it, perfect!

One can Methodically examine the composition of a print and look at what worked and what didn't, but it's actually when taking the photograph where everything comes into play and every situation is different. I know that when I'm looking through the viewfinder of my camera I have a feel for what it should look like, but I can't explain how I got to know what is right or doesn't feel right in terms of compositional balance, it's having the right balance of the various elements within the frame which is the key. I think that looking at the work of other photographers including painters has been a great help to me, and sometimes when I am really stuck I use a small plastic framing card with to "frame" things up. Often its the interpretation of the scene before me that works the best, I try not to put too many elements into the frame but keeping things simple, with photography it's not what you put in the camera frame lines but its what you leave out.

To crop or not to crop:

Sometimes the original compositional idea just doesn't work and it makes sense to crop the photo afterward.

I feel that cropping a photograph for stronger artistic composition is a personal preference, and it can make for a stronger image. However, many photographers believe in presenting a full frame image with no cropping. Personally, I have always admired the work of photographer, Henri Cartier Bresson, the originator of street photography who never liked to crop his images. I also love the work of photographer, Edward Weston using an 8 x 10 view camera and making contact sheets, where he had no choice but to present his photographs "full frame".

When I was working as a newspaper photographer for the Kelowna Daily Courier, my photos were cropped on a regular basis, sometimes by the editors or by myself when I am editing through my digital images, for instance from a sporting event like hockey , I often cropped an image for more impact so there is less "dead" space around the players, with other feature and news photos I left them full frame to convey all the elements to help tell a story in a pictorial way.

 Each photographer has their own unique style in terms of how they look at the world through with their cameras and lenses. I think cropping is a personal preference, each photographer has their own way of looking at things in terms of how they present their work, there is no right or wrong way. For my fine art black and white work I almost never crop my images as I always try to shoot full frame when I make the picture, even when I shoot with the square format Rolleiflex.

I think one of the keys to making a good photograph is to have some kind of idea when out in the field as to how the finished image might look, that way when working on the photo afterward either on the computer or in the darkroom you will have a sense of where you are going with your photograph instead of just guessing and hoping for the best.

Ellison Provincial Park (No.651) near Vernon, British Columbia, Canada, November 1992. Copyright © Gary Nylander. Scanned from 4 x 5 negative. Tachihara view camera, 120mm lens, Tri-X film. The camera accidentally tilted on the tripod so I made the photograph at a skewed angle.,,

Black and White Transformation

There's lots of information and even phone apps on how to convert color photo digital files into black and white after the picture has been taken. But what about deciding upon the black and white image before the picture is taken? I believe the success of a really good black and white photographs starts before the camera shutter button is even pressed, some call this pre-visualization. Picking out good black and white images in a world filled with color is not always easy.

I began my photography career by shooting black and white film for newspapers, on my time off I loved nothing more than to load up my Nikon F2's cameras with 35mm Kodachrome color slide film and go out and see what I could find in the natural world around me. Over the years my work transformed the opposite way, when I was working as a photojournalist and I shot everything in color (digital of course) and now on my time off I love to load up my 4 x 5 Ebony RW45 view camera with black and white sheet film (Ilford HP5) and go out and see what I can find in the world of nature around me.

 When I first started shooting landscapes in black and white on a more serious level I found this visualization process was not so easy, I read the Ansel Adams series of books on the zone system, which I still feel has relevance in today's digital world, including one photographic peice of equipment which I have found extremely useful is the Pentax Digital spot meter, I have attached the scale of tonal values in numerical values from zero to ten on the outside of the barrel of this particular light meter, and by reading the different tonal values in my scene before me it gives me an idea of how those shadows, highlights, and colors will look like as a black and white photo. In this way I was better able to understand how those colors I was seeing would transform into a real black and white photo, after a while I found that by using my 1ยบ spot meter and the zone system it gave me a fairly good idea of how my final image might look as a good black and white photograph before I even made a single exposure.

In conclusion, when I am out taking pictures I try to think in black and white and find potential black and white photographs using my mind's eye to capture something that is seen not guesswork but by using a tried a true consistent method that has worked for myself time after time. The image posted is from some early work that I recently scanned. Witty's Lagoon Park, winter sunset (No.466) Copyright © Gary Nylander. Vancouver Island, December 1999. Tachihara 4 x 5 view camera, 120mm lens, Kodak Tri-X film. Scanned from 4 x 5 negative.,,

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Point No Point #46

Point no Point, Vancouver Island, April 2017.

Saturday, June 02, 2018

Point No Point #45

Point no Point, Vancouver Island, April 2017.