Continuing with the theme yesterday of repetition and practice, this is pier I have taken many times. It’s a slightly different perspective simply because each time I come here I look for different compositions, or maybe similar compositions but in different light and conditions. So even though the location is the same, the image is new.
It’s a little like taking pictures of clouds, no two will ever be the same. I go back to the same places for two reasons; one, I like the scenery, and two, I’m practicing the art of capturing perspectives. The scene may be similar but the details are different.
In some respects photography is no different then other pursuits in that it takes repetition and practice, and for the most part that is done in our own backyard. That is how we hone our craft so that when we do travel we’ll have perfected not only the mechanical aspects but also the subtle and infinite variations that go into composition. Not everyone will notice but some will, you being chief among them.
I do photography to satisfy my own longings and passion. So by practicing over and over at home not only am I getting better, I’m enjoying something I like to do. To be sure, I’m not always satisfied with the outcome, but the effort is never lost. Even failed efforts lead to new understandings and help avoid mistakes. We learn by doing and by doing something we love, we are simply adding to a big circle of happiness in our lives. And for me, that’s as good as money in the bank.
This is a study of light and impressions from familiar scene; it’s a public boat dock along the river. Folks sometimes dock their boats here and walk over to the nearby restaurants. In reality it’s not used all that much. More often people come here to sit and watch the water. It’s a regular stop for me when I’m out walking with my dog Mr. Wiggles.
I’ve taken a lot of pictures of this location at various times of the day and night and from different angles. So I guess you could say this is a study of how the scene changes each time. It’s also how I practice, by shooting the same subject slightly differently and then working with it in post. In this case I noticed the lights just as dawn was breaking from the east. It was a quick shot that I hadn’t preplanned.
But later I’ve spent hours working on this. As you know, images out of the camera do not always reflect the mood or scene as we remember it. Our images seem to come out flat and a little boring. So I’ve done a lot of things in an attempt to being back that feeling. I’ve enhanced the lights from the lampposts and I’ve saturated the colors to accentuate the reflections on the water.
So does it work? It’s all completely subjective; I’ve created something partially resembling what I saw yet something completely different. In the end it is what it is, a study of light and impressions from a familiar scene.
My last night in Manhattan I spent exploring Central Park and taking a lot of photos. The park is well lit with street lamps along the paths and people milling about just as they do during the day. This is in a section known as Central Park South, which is bordered by the towers of midtown to form a surreal backdrop.
This is thirty-second exposure and it appears a little brighter than it actually was. As a result I didn’t notice the people to the right until about halfway through the exposure. I think they had the perfect setting for an evening picnic.
I rented a bike so I could cover more ground and even at midnight on a Sunday there were people riding bikes alongside me. Maybe I’m naïve but the park seemed safe. Historically the park has had a bad reputation after dark, but it seems to have shed some of that that over the years. There are lights everywhere and paths filled with people enjoying the setting, not to mention an abundance of security.
If the park didn’t close at one in the morning I could have stayed all night. There are endless compositions for photography. But alas I had a plane to catch in the morning so it was just as well. But now I know that the next time I come back I can plan on getting very little sleep, at least at night.