Monday, August 29, 2011

Style or No Style?

I often here comments about a photographers style or aesthetics, and have even been ask what mine are. I am never quite sure how to answer that question. Generally my response is 'If it catches my eye, I photograph it". Sometimes the strangest of things catch my eye, like these orange cones.

click any image on my blog to view them larger
 A short time back, I came across a photo challenge where you were to go through your archives and determine what color you were drawn to and then photograph a color outside your comfort zone. They even gave a sample of how to combine the photos into a grouping to see what colors were most frequent. In their sample one color was clearly predominate in each photo. I went through my archives and could not put together anything like what I was shown. Instead I came up with the collage seen on the left here.
 My older archives are mainly nature and architecture and of course candid family photos, which I left out of the above sampling. This last year though my eye has been catching all sorts of things as is evident in the following samples of this last weeks photo jaunts.

I still see a definite lean towards nature, and yet I do not think of nature photography as my style. As for a predominate color??? So what do you think, do I have a particular style or color theme? Or, is my style just a Hinze 57?
(Some of these photos have been featured in various post on my blogs this week, here; here and here.)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Silhouettes part 2

Still on a mission to create a cool looking silhouette I headed down town to see the 'open air painters'. I thought that would make a really cool silhouette. Sad to say though I couldn't find a single one, not sure what happened to them but they were no where to be found. So here is what I got instead.
Then I headed over to the Japanese Gardens. I have to admit, because of it's popularity with couples in love I was hoping to get a nice silhouette of a couple but I guess it wasn't the right day for that either. It was however a very beautiful day in a very beautiful setting, so I opted for a silhouette of the trees and got a nice reflection with it.
The whole time I was thinking if someone was just standing there or there it would make a great shot. Of course I thought hey I could do self portrait shots but I don't have a remote shutter release. So instead I settled for a close up self portrait silhouette.

Purchasing a remote shutter release for my camera is now at the top of my must have accessories list. I really enjoyed creating these SOOC silhouettes, I hope you enjoy viewing them. For more interesting and creative silhouettes check out the 52 Photos Project Week 18.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Partial Silhouettes

For some unknown reason I am drawn to silhouettes of towers and steeples, here are a few of my favorites.
Taken in Alton, IA at midday
Although I am not a morning person by any stretch of the imagination, if I can shake out the cobwebs I do love the sights and sounds of the early morning hours. Sunrise is a perfect time for capturing beautiful silhouettes. Here are two of the clock tower at the Old Courthouse Museum in Sioux Falls, SD taken early yesterday morning.

If not for the lights on this steeple these would have been full silhouettes.

These last three were taken at sunset, another great time for beautiful silhouettes.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A walk through the Sculpture Gardens

After touring the National Gallery of Art, I had the pleasure of taking a walk through it's Sculpture Gardens. Here are just a few of the fun and beautiful sights I enjoyed.
view of the fountains and pool from opposite side.
In the center of the garden sits this peaceful fountain and pool. From what I understand, during the winter it becomes an ice skating rink. In the background of the first photo is the National Gallery of Art which houses many fantastic works of art.
I had to wonder if those birds realized that they were perched on a sculpture of a tree and not the real thing. It was magnificently formed and if it had been a material other than highly polished aluminum I might have mistaken it for a real tree.
This little house sculpture was a lot of fun to photograph. It is not as it appears here, but rather as it appears in this next photo.
When viewing this from the front it appears to be a box shape but when viewed from other angles you can see that it is not. Wandering through the garden discussing each work of art with my niece I am sure I could only have been described as animated, until that is I came to this next sculpture.
Coming upon this scene I came to an abrupt halt, both in movement and voice. Riveted in one spot, I stood silent until my niece said that she didn't know what the sculpture was suppose to be but it was titled 'girls'. To me it was a very sobering sight and I told my niece I thought the artist was trying to portray the horror and sadness of the Holocaust. I was not far off, you can read the artist intent here. Now on to lighter works. This one brought a big smile to my face, especially when I discovered my niece had no idea what this object was. Almost made me feel like I was ancient.
 My niece told me that the Sculpture Gardens was a favorite spot for many DC residents to enjoy a bit of peace while they eat their lunch. There is even a small cafe' within the gardens. This next photo is of a portion of the cafe's outdoor seating area.
All in all I had a very lovely time in this peaceful garden.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Red Red and More RED!

Generally I find photography prompts a lot of fun. Sometimes though they can be very challenging. The other day I came across a blog where the photography prompt was photographing something red from a number of different angles. It sounded fun and not all that difficult so yesterday I went in search of RED to photograph.
Sure there are many of the typical red objects in Sioux Falls. Flowers, fire hydrants, red brick buildings and of course don't forget stop lights or signs. However, I prefer the unusual to the ordinary. After a long day of watching for unusual red I had pretty much given up.

Just after sunset I headed down town hoping to capture silhouettes of swing dancers at Fawick Park. When I got there though the park was empty. Either the event was canceled or maybe no one but me thought it was a fun idea. Not wanting to go home without having photographed something of interest, I headed for Philips Avenue to see if maybe there was something red in a shop window. To my dismay the only red in the shop windows were the Open or Closed signs. Just as I was about to give up I saw this sign. While it is not all that unusual it had appeal.
I realized it was going to be a bit tricky to get the red lights in the neon sign to show and still keep the image light enough to see the rest of the scene. By this time it was fairly dark out, so after some adjustments I was able to capture a more natural light image. They are bit dark but at least they didn't totally lose the red lighting.
Then I remembered that in the next block the little retro style diner had red in their sign, so I headed over there and got these shots.

Once again lighting was a challenge and the red of the letters didn't show up very well. I do like the fact though that the red lights created a nice red glow on the front of the building.
Although I was not totally satisfied with meeting this prompt I thought I was done hunting for red when today I drove past this house and couldn't resist.
 I really love the combination of the white house with red trim and red roses. Yet now that I found a somewhat unique red, I have lost the link to the prompt. LOL, yes I know I should have saved the link or made a mental note of who's blog I saw it on but I didn't and so I am sorry to say I can't guide you in the direction of more RED photos. Do you know who is hosting a RED photo prompt?