I enjoy taking photographs of other people taking pictures. This a cameraman from Fox 29 in Philadelphia during the Thanksgiving weekend in 2012. I took the kids downtown to visit the Christmas Village display. At the time I captured this image, he was filming a college choir singing carols.
I processed this image to enhance the various textures that I saw: gloves, microphone, strap, pouch, jacket, etc. I like how the cameraman himself is obviously in the picture, and yet is also invisible, as he is blocked by the camera and covered with a hat, jacket, and gloves. I chose the tight shot to focus attention on the actual camera as a piece of equipment, but I retained just enough of the surroundings to establish the context that this took place outside in a city. There is the back of a man wearing a jacket and a building at least 7 stories high, although both are obscured to avoid distraction from the camera.
Now, did you already notice that this image is in black and white? I captured the image in color, but I chose to present it in B/W because I see the textures of the various materials (cloth, metal, plastic) as more revealing than the colors. I also processed this image to specifically enhance the contrast between the light and dark areas, but without having any total black or total white. Simply, this image is a study in many shades of gray. Then, to finish the image, I enhanced the sharpness of the edges throughout the image.
I want this image to give you an enhanced close-up look at the detail of a television camera as if you were standing right next to it and studying it for awhile.
The remaining section of the Old Bridge over the Severn River
Do you prefer these extreme stylized photos? Do you prefer more realistic, natural photographs? Or do you enjoy them both and a balance with some of each is good?
This is the photo I went to capture that morning in Annapolis. I particularly wanted the pier that is left from the old bridge. And, I wanted to captured it from across the Severn River, from the west bank. But, now that I have it, I'm less interested in this shot with regard to the composition of the photograph. A curving bridge is a classic shot, and the bird in the sky adds an interesting detail. But, for people who don't know the area, the remaining section of the old bridge only interrupts the foliage on the far bank. So, I increased the dynamic range of the bright and dark areas and increased the saturation of the colors. I'm not planning to print this one. If you like it, though, please let me know.
The United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland
This image is my second version of this shot that I've shared with you, and I like this one much better. This version is closer to my original vision of a bright morning over the water and the grass. I was able to bring out the yellow and magenta of the sunrise on the left side of the image. While this shot is a photograph of the US Naval Academy, I created it to be first an impressionistic view of the sky, clouds, and water. The thin line of buildings across the center is intended as somewhat of an afterthought, or even a surprise, only to be discovered after reviewing the colors of the sky and the texture of the water. But, for anybody who is familiar with the area, this image should be an obvious reminder of how beautiful the campus can be in the morning.
The US Naval Academy Bridge over the Severn River in Annapolis. I like this one because it emphasizes the special lighting and the "S" curve of the road is also visible. The bridge is curved because the middle was built before the ends while the previous bridge remained in use during construction.
I also like the solitude of the lone runner at sunrise. I think it gives the entire image a sense of peaceful beauty.
Last week, a friend gave me a new book: Show Your Work, by Austin Kleon. The premise is that artists need to regularly share their work, even to the point of allowing others to steal from them, because that is how to get discovered.
So, yes, please steal this pizza. I make that offer because I know you can't. I created this photograph specifically to be printed. The high resolution and extra sharpening are only visible in the printed image. On the screen, what you are looking at now, is a good photo, but it's not likely to make you want to reach out and take a slice. But, that is exactly what my guests at my photography show last Sunday all agreed made this a special photograph.
This photograph is not a picture of a pizza. It is a photograph of the essence of the experience of pizza. If you just need a picture of a a pizza, open your web browser and search for "pizza." You will find millions of them. Most of them are very good, but how long does it take you to find one that reminds you of the experience of pizza--that makes you want to reach out and grab a slice?
So, you could steal this picture of a pizza, but unless you learn how to adjust the settings in Lightroom, select the best paper for printing, and cut mat board board for framing, you won't be able to steal my work. Also, in this image, there simply isn't enough digital data to reproduce this picture at the quality that I have produced it for sale. You would need a digital camera with at least 14 MP resolution, and then go to the same restaurant. But, you can share this picture on your Facebook page, or you can subscribe to my RSS feed to read my next post. That's not stealing. That's helping me get noticed. Then I'll invite you (and your friends) to my next show, so you can see the original photograph in person. It will be delicious.
And yes, I'll have real pizza available so you won't leave hungry. By the way, I actually ate this very pizza with Sarah, Anna, and Joshua when were at Baltimore's ArtScape in 2012.
The 12-meter dish satellite tracking antenna
Here is another shot from my sunrise visit to the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. I like the reflections of the tree line on the water, which also shows the ripples of a light morning breeze. I like the gradual intensity of light from bright on left toward darker on the right. The subject of this shot is the 12-meter dish antenna, but close-up shots were not attractive for a photograph. So, I framed the shot to capture the bright green of Forrest Sherman Field.
US Naval Academy Bridge in Annapolis, Maryland
I shot this on the United States Naval Academy Bridge in Annapolis, MD, a high-level, fixed-bridge carrying MD-450 across the Severn River. It was about an hour after sunrise. There are several elements that get my attention here. Most prominently, I see the balance of the dark shape of the lone runner in the bottom left against the bright glow of the morning sun in the top right. I also like how the prominence of the railing guides my view from the foreground to behind the runner and over the crest of the bridge and toward the distant horizon. I also like how I was able to place the runner between the two rows of street lamps. I enjoy the texture of the clouds with the light coming through. I used a tonal contrast to enhance the detail. And finally, the fishing boat in the bottom right corner gives context to the image as being on the water.
I planned this shot to capture many of the elements of the bridge itself. Those who know the area will recognize the bridge by it's long, smooth curves, both vertically and horizontally. Long-time residents of the area will remember development battles over the size and design of the bridge to replace the aging previous bridge, which used a drawbridge to allow naval traffic, thus seriously disrupting road traffic. The long curves of the current bridge provide both functional and aesthetic elements. The width of the bridge was designed to allow pedestrian traffic across the Severn River, as seen by the runner here. And, the long vertical curve was designed to provide the height necessary for naval traffic, up to 75 feet above the water level, while keeping the surface of the bridge aesthetically pleasing, as seen in the distinctive light posts and the wide railings.
Overall, the long, sweeping curves of the bridge provide a smooth and gradual transition at both ends, with Jonas Green Park to the east and the US Naval Academy to the west. I hope I have captured the peace and beauty of the Severn River as well as the energy of the US Naval Academy.