Wednesday, June 3, 2009

"They Give Us Those Nice Bright Colors ... I Love to Take a Photograph. So Momma Don't Take My Kodachrome Away..." (Paul Simon 1973)

Here's an example of an image that has the colors brought to the tipping point. Any more saturation and it becomes cartoonish. Any less and you don't get the intense feeling of the fall colors in Acadia National Park.

This one winds up being a faux panorama. Rather the several images being stitched together, it's cropped into a pano format. That means decisions have to be made. The first is what is the picture you're going for. It's full width, but taken in from the top and bottom. The bottom of the original has the grassy patch leading up to the edge of the forest. The top had plenty of trees, but not a whole lot of color. Out they go. Neither one was adding to the image and both became distractions. With the grass on the bottom you'd look at it and want to see "something" of interest in the grass. Had there been a woodland creature (a rabbit, a squirrel, a bird pecking for worms) it would have been the "center of interest" and the foliage would become secondary. There was nothing there, so it added nothing to the shot. Why keep it.

The "focus" was to create a mild abstract. To give the colors the stage. If the colors are the objective in the print they might as well be bright colors. Were the colors really that bright? Probably not in the natural world. If you were to look at the original print you'd be able to pick out depictions of things. On the right side you can "see" the head of a person, mouth agape, made up of a couple of yellow leaves that just happen to come together at that moment. Other things that can be seen are depictions of a bird and a squirrel. Neither are actually there, but you can justify them in the image.

There is a master of hiding things in her paintings. Bev Doolittle has done several paintings where the more you look at it the more you see. An example is "The Forest Has Eyes". (The title is a link to a site showing the painting.) Everywhere you look you see Indians watching. It would be interesting to be able to create similar images in photography without making the hidden objects too obvious. I'll have to work on that.

Remember, you can click on every image on this blog and see a larger version.