With fall arriving in a little over a month, I thought I’d tell you a story about leaves. No words, just pictures – all taken this morning with my iPhone outside a coffee shop in Riverside, CT
INTRODUCTION/RECAP: I recently read an article called ’13 Creative Exercises…’, yada-yada, by Todd Vorenkamp, yada-yada, link to the article at the bottom, yada-yada, this is my attempt at the third exercise. (See this post for a full explanation)
Exercise 3: Four Corners
The instructions for Exercise 3 were simple: Choose one subject and place it, where it exists, in each corner of the frame for four images.
I can already hear your sighs of relief: whew! Only four images. Sorry, I took about fifteen! Cheer up, though, I’m only going to post eight.
It took me a while to get this one done because I had hard a hard time coming up with a subject to photograph.
My reading of the instructions were that it had to be something that either couldn’t move or, at least, wasn’t going to move while I was shooting it. Okay, fine: I could do another tree or some more mushrooms, but the whole point of my doing these was to move away from that. Then, the other day, I’m walking around town (Greenwich, CT) and spotted Melvin.
Melvin is a statue standing in front of Cavalier Ebanks Galleries (not his real name, I named him after my late father-in-law – both solid men). Always looking at his watch as if waiting for the galleries to open, he is possibly the second version of the statue – I’m pretty sure there was a different one in front of the gallery at it’s original location before it moved three blocks up Greenwich Avenue (I remember him wearing a suit).
I cornered Melvin in the four pictures below.
So, I promised (threatened?) eight pictures. The four exercise shots plus the featured and the introductory images make six, below are two bonus shots.
link to 13 Creative Exercises article on B&H:
Taking a small break from the creativity exercises while I look for a good subject to use in Exercise 3. Meanwhile…
I paused for about fifteen minutes during my morning walk through the Mianus River State park to take pictures of a stump. I know: sounds about as exciting as… well, taking pictures of a stump, but I wanted to share them with you anyway.
This particular stump was interesting to me because, the closer I got to it, the more its top started to resemble one of those ancient villages built on the side of cliffs (my wild imagination pictured something like the dwellings in Mesa Verde).
As I thought about it I realized that, in a way, it was very much like that. Looking abandoned now, there was once quite a bit of life here: small creatures living here and mining this stump for nutrients. Perhaps some are still here, hiding during the day time from the giants walking the earth around them.
This morning I took a few pictures of the sun rising over an area called ‘Swamp Vue.’ To do so, I put my camera on ‘manual’ and took a few shots at different settings finally getting the shot I wanted with the aperture at f/22, the shutter speed at 1/160 sec, and the ISO at 250.
Usually, when I do this, I finish by setting the camera back to ‘auto’ before replacing the lens cap and turning the camera off. Well… I forgot to change the settings. Walking a little farther up the road I came to a bed of Chinese Roses (rosa chinesnis) and took a couple of quick pictures without paying attention to the settings. This is what I got…
When I got home later I was disappointed to say the least. Wondering whether I could rescue the shots, I transferred them to my iPad to go some quick editing with Snapseed – I figured if I could make a halfway decent job of it, I’d try a little harder later on my laptop.
I started by fiddling with the brightness, ambience, highlights and shadows; decreased the grain; then one thing followed by another. The results are passable – definitely worth spending more time on
Monday we had a large snowfall here in southern Connecticut – the largest in five years. By some reports we got 14 inches, by all we got no less than 12. Not a lot by some standards, but certainly more than we’ve become accustomed to here.
Around 3PM, snow still falling heavily, wind gusting to 30 miles per-hour, I got cabin fever, bundled myself up, and went out for a walk – initially just around the property, eventually about six miles around town. Of course, I had my camera and phone for pictures.
Though the selfie above doesn’t show it, except for the occasional wind I was pretty comfortable.
I was happy to see I wasn’t the only person out. There were people enjoying the nearby Bruce Park and I was passed by a woman cross country skiing down Riverside Avenue.
In my editing of these pictures – all on Snapseed after transferring them to my iPad – I tried to give them a winter postcard effect through the combination of a number of different filters, sometimes using the same ones more than once.
I may have mentioned before that, in addition to Snapseed, I use GIMP on my desk- or laptop for editing as well, but I must say I was surprised (and continue to be surprised) by the variety of effects I can get out of playing around with so simple a tool as Snapseed, which I once dismissed as a silly phone app when my daughter first recommended it. But, then again, my daughter, recommended it and she knows what’s what, so I had to give it a try.
I hope you’ll enjoy these efforts as much as I enjoyed both the walk, taking the pictures, and the editing.