Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Artistic Eye: in photos

Art is a way of seeing.

That’s far from a new thought, but yesterday I posted a few photos of a local park in the blog I set up for my county to show the area in all its glory. I posted the link in my Facebook and received a comment about my “artistic eye.” That’s what art is all about: seeing things in a different viewpoint, looking more deeply and at different angles to find details. I’m not sure if it can be taught fully, but there are techniques anyone can use to see things more artistically.

I’m not a good teacher. I never have been. I found this back when trying to help my kids with their homework. Understanding and teaching are different. However, I’m always willing to share what I’ve learned and thought I’d try today, using other photos from the park that are more artsy than descriptive, if that makes sense.

I have a thing for docks. There’s something romantic about an old wooden structure reaching out into the water, a path that leads seemingly nowhere, unless you have an alternate mode of transportation. I don’t see only the dock here. I see the possibility of a small boat coming to its open end, ready for passengers. I see a couple walking out hand-in-hand to the edge and sitting together enjoying the water (or slushy snow in this case) and serenity of nature, wordless, since quiet is a powerful means of communication. I see footsteps in the snow beside it that were there before the weather warmed and made treading out on the pond on foot impossible. I see the shelters in the background amidst the trees that hold the possibility of get-togethers and laughter. I wonder who made the footprints. I wonder if the water is seen as a barrier between the dock and the shelters or a connection. I see the changing season: grass beginning to show on the land while snow and ice still control the water. I see possibility of metaphor.

Angle matters. If I had centered my son in the photo, I wouldn’t see the little pavilion in the background and I wouldn’t get the path of water leading to it. I wouldn’t have the edge of grass that echoes the melting of the ice that echoes the short sleeves. I wouldn’t get the same angle of his head echoing the curve of the pond. There’s always more to a photo than the main subject. Background matters.

Catch the sun in the right place and it will assist your eye and transform your scene. Also, try looking up instead of always out. It’s amazing the beauty you can find just by raising your chin.


Catch the reflections.

And the tracks left by someone else. 

If you’ll return (and you can know I’ve left a new post by subscribing to your right), you’ll soon find more artistic eye entries: in fine art, in writing, in design, and maybe in social issues.

By the way, all photos online are copyright protected by their creators. If you would like to use my photos, please contact me and let me know where and for what. I don’t mind sharing with permission and credit. I have the better, larger versions if there is a good purpose for the larger versions.


Unknown said...

Loraine--how different the view is from your area and mine. The photos are very good. I enjoyed the piece and appreciate your artistic eye. Celia

Anonymous said...

Good advice for anyone who wants to take better photographs. Thanks for this "refresher" course LK.

And the photos are picture perfect (very "punny" eh?).

LK Hunsaker said...

Celia, yes, and when I get back to your state some day, I'll have my camera on-hand!

TC, I don't think you needed a refresher, as I've seen some of your photography, but thank you. :-)