Today you're getting a double dose of Project 52 since last week I was playing in that great big park we call Yellowstone.
A tighter aperture was the first challenge and it couldn't have been more perfect for my trip. If I were to use the previous Project 52 theme of using a wide aperture, I would have pictures like a tree with a beautiful blurry background, and it would have told you only that it was a tree with a beautiful blurry background. Instead, I used a narrow aperture making sure that the surrounding elements were visible showing more of what's really going on.
Since we did not take Hermes to the park with us, you'll have to picture him standing on this rock. ;O) The rock, we'll call him Hermes, is my subject and you can see that there is a gorgeous view of the mountains. Including the surrounding elements in your pictures is yet another way to tell a story. This one mostly tells how huge this place is, but it also shows the contrasting elements of Yellowstone - green trees, snowy mountains, winter and spring all in one place.
In this second picture, the trees were my subject. When I zoomed in on the trees and saw the mountains and their shadowing, I started thinking how these trees were a sampling of the thousands of trees on those mountains. I was able to hopefully get that across in my image by composing in such a way that your eye is led from the trees in front, to the dark tree covered mountain, to the lighter mountain just behind that one, and back around until it lands on the tallest mountain peak. If I had used a wide aperture the mountains would not be in focus and the image would be a picture of trees. The mountains make them much more interesting.
Here again, the subject is up front, but there are enough elements in the background to let the viewer see that it's not just a picture of a buffalo . . . they tell the rest of the story so to speak. (This is why we didn't take Hermes into the park. eek! )
When you use a narrow enough aperture, you start to get some fun bonuses. Bursts from bright light for example. Sometimes these bursts can get in the way of what you had in mind for your photo, but other times you can use it to your advantage. They can add a little extra warmth, fun or emotion to your image.
This leads right to the topic of this week's Project 52 . . . abstract photography. With abstract photography, focus is usually the first thing to go. We don't worry so much about focus or, for that matter, even what the subject is. It's all about shape, color, and form.
This next group of images are of Hermes. Well, they're part of his leg anyway. He was sleeping while I snapped away trying to get creative. At first I was looking at things like his eyes, his nose and his ears. I wasn't impressed with what I was "creating." Then I tried to think like a painter (which I'm not ) and I found myself looking for curves. When I panned over Hermes I found a spot where his leg folded up onto his side while he laid curled up sleeping. The resulting images reminded me of waves that I've seen in pictures of surfers in California or Hawaii. Kind of cool actually.
If you'd like to see abstracts that other pet photographers came up with, start with Kim - Charlotte NC dog walker turned pet photographer, See Spot Run Photography. And, as always, I wish you a wonderful weekend!