The World Is The Canvas
There are people who “see” in Photoshop. There are people who “see” in flashes and softboxes. There are people who “see” in window light.
So begins a very thoughtful answer Atlanta-based photographer Zach Arias gives on his Q&A Tumbler to someone that said, basically, that said “Most often, I feel that taking good photos is about being a good retoucher…”
I think both the question posed, and the answer, are true – to some extent. I don’t care how great your canvas is, if you can’t figure out what to put on it, it ain’t going be any good. The same that that a writer could be on the finest paper in all the world. If that thought, that story, that nibble of interestingness isn’t in their head in the first place, there’s no way they will tease it out onto that that piece of papyrus.
To wit, the image above. I pass this scene often. It’s about two miles from my house, maybe, heading into the downtown Allentown (this is small-town downtown – A post office, a library, an ice cream shop, a local hardware store that’s, unfortunately, closed).
Anyway, I see this alot. And the composition of the scene always strikes me as “shootable”. But it doesn’t always work. The grass isn’t high enough. The sky is flat. The colors dull.
Then on Sunday, Mother’s Day, while I was with the kids, it seemed to come together. What made it for me?
The clouds have character. The clouds give it tone and texture to me. It give it interestingness.
So, the canvas was set. I pulled out my paintbrush, my writing instrument – my Canon S100 – to add to that canvas. Of course, I then took it into post-processing, dodged and burned a little bit, and brought it to what I saw in my head.
But I had to “see” it first.
And then I had to be ready for what I saw – had to have my camera with me to start the process.
After doing what I did with the original image, and just because I often go down this road, I had to see what it looked like in B&W:
In the past, I might have done a “Which Photo Do You Prefer….Photo A or Photo B” post. But I know which version you all would pick…. 🙂
The world is the canvas, folks.
Go out and slap some paint on it.
© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2013