People on this site take their photography seriously.
Me, I play around. I take my camera to a tidy little pond with a walkway in a nearby metro park, where I capture whatever the season and the light permit. Photographing the plant life there is somewhat like shooting fish in a barrel.
There are things that I forswore, but now I swear I do. I once considered the extent of my cunning to constitute the limits of my accomplishment, and looked askance at any number of the tools that I now unabashedly employ. And the images that I bring back from the pond are increasingly subjected to my ever laxer and self-indulgent propensities. Instead of rolling up my sleeves on location and really getting into the moment, I point and shoot and place my faith in the little Photoshop of horrors. This sort of thing was not supposed to happen – my parents raised me better than to click like that.
But I must admit that the slack I cut for myself can be fun. I might be wanting in light of self-imposed standards of handicraft, but allowing a computer to compensate for my weaknesses has opened up a richer and more fluid relationship between my experiences and my sensibilities.
The other day I was again at the pond. A late afternoon sun was at my back and the lily pads were in various states of tattered elegance.
In the one instance were lily pads that made me think of Pepperell’s paintings. They had lost their crisp ovals to age and had acquired a welter of shapes and colors. I took some shots and later dissolved the arrangements, using the magic wand and stamping, and replacing intervals of water with a kind of visual puree. I must admit that I then put the first image through the watercolor function to get highlights. I feel funny about the final product as I’m not sure if I controlled the process as much as the process controlled me.
I then tried the whole thing again, cropping another section from the original image. I went easy on the contrast and stayed away from the artistic effects. One can identify the subject matter, but I’m more content with the way that things flow together.
The next are two simple compositions. I cropped and removed some small distractions.A lovely thing can happen around the wooden walkway as its shadows dissolve into the somewhat murky water. The plants, too, join in and one can see effects such as this. The composition feels a little awkward to me, but it loses a sense of air if I try cropping the right side to any greater extent .
The next image is more or less a record shot. But I love the relationship of the reflections in the foreground to the shadows beyond.
Thus was a day at the pond.
Please feel free to play with these images and suggest changes. I am particularly interested in your reactions to the first image as it contains a degree of artifice. Is the second image better? Do you see any parallels between the first two and the work of Mr. Pepperell?