Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Creating an Image.

There are myriad ways to make a photograph (or take a picture!). From the serendipitous to the thought-out-in-advance... and of course the continuum that is in between.

You may see something really groovy happening and happen to have the camera nearby, or you may have an idea--a concept--already in mind. Maybe it's a combination of both.

I went down to the canal with no concept, no real fleshed out idea. Just needed to go out and shoot. I spent about two hours walking around, looking. If something interesting happened--like a heron taking off from a perch--I quickly tried to capture it. (I did! Looks cool, too. Will see it here at a later date.) A couple of bicyclists or joggers headed my way, got them too. Then there was the shot you see (sort of) below. I found myself standing there watching the water rush by, listening to the birds, the wind in the trees... taking it all in.

In one direction I noticed an interesting possibility for a shot. Bringing the camera to my eye, I began looking for just the right composition. Moved a little to the left, then right, then up a little, walked forward.... Without tripping the shutter I kept moving around until it felt just right. When it finally did (sometimes it never does!) I took a shot and examined it on the LCD screen. Looked good there, too... but it needed the human element. I put the camera on the tripod, recomposed the shot and pre-focused to a spot down the towpath a ways. Then I waited. It was still a little early so foot traffic was still light. I decided to set the timer and at least get a self-portrait. Ultimately, people did ride, walk, run by in each direction. Got a few images to choose from and will probably go back for more... maybe bring a model just in case!

In the mean time, here's a double self-portrait.


  1. MK,

    Sorta like a teaser into the essay eh! C&O is such a cool spot, someday I will have to get a print of those "Fighting Herons" on the river bank to hang up around my abode. Even though the setting of the canal is serene, I get a sense of intensity, and action. Perhaps that has something to do with the downpour I experienced, or the 20' foot trees I saw wrapped around themselves, perhaps it is the image of clashing prehistoric birds set against raging river! Hey Mike, at any rate keep up the good work, I think you might have a book in the works here!

    Cheers, Jeremy

  2. Thanks Jeremy! It is an intense place. So much going on. The idea of a book does occasionally cross my mind.