Sunday, February 22, 2009

Art Lesson That I Always Need Reminding of

Hello Fellow Artists:
I was going thru some old images from my pre-digital days this week and found this great shot of a wet leaf. I was reminded once again that luck and providence play a part in my artistic life. As I have written before I go to great lengths to plan when to photograph a location. When I go to new spots I will carry carry my camera and document what I see for future shots. I always carry a notebook and write down information about what time of day and season would be best to get the image I want from what is before me. This planning helps me to get the most out of my limited shooting time and helps me to get the results I want. This picture reminded me to stop and look around... follow a different path if it appears.
This shot was taken shortly after college. I had planned a day of shooting in Letchworth State Park in upstate NY. There is a great waterfall (yes I was a sucker for waterfalls and lighthouses all the way back then.) and miles of trails as the Genesee River cuts its way through the valley. I like to shoot on days when it is cloudy or even raining lightly. it keeps the contrast low and the saturation of colors high. I arrived around 7am. While getting set up I noticed the freshly fallen wet leaves in the parking lot. I took out my macro lens and got this great shot of the droplets of water on the leaf with the texture repeated in the rain-slicked pavement. I have always liked this shot. The day would have been a total bust had I not gotten that shot. It rained so hard I could not keep my equipment from fogging up and It did not stop me from trying, but by three in the afternoon I gave up in disgust and went home to dry out. The next day I processed the film expecting nothing and found I had gotten my shot in the first five minutes of the day.
So my moral of this long-winded post is planning is good and helps you get into the frame of mind to create, but be open to a change of direction. Follow the inspiration where it takes you. It is a balancing act to be sure, but worth it in the end. This lesson has proven itself to me so many times yet I am almost surprised by it each time it strikes me.

Keep Makin' Art


pilgrimchick said...

I entirely agree with you. Many times after coming home from shooting somewhere to which I was really psyched about going, it turned out to be the shots I wasn't thinking so much about that were the best--much like the one you posted here. Although I make a mental note about places I'd like to return to shoot, I haven't made the plans that you describe here--very good suggestions.

Carl said...

Hi pilgrim Chick:

I have even taken to keeping a compass in my camera bag. The light plays such an important role in how a scene looks that I try to plan for best time of day (sun up or sun down - almost never in the middle and sometimes time of year.) It is a bit overboard I admit, but it helps me decide where to shoot on any given Sunday morning factor in the weather and I can usually plan on getting a few winning shots. Having said that I need to look for more locations. I have worn down some of my favorite trails going back to the same spots over and over.

Patty Mooney said...

Are you going to try painting this? It seems like it would be such a marvelous water color.

Carl said...

Oh my. Paint this? I could try. I am looking at those water droplets thinging how could I pull that off? I have seen it done pretty well... but I never picked up the knack for it.