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Monday, December 22

Mantrap



Whatever imagination I have, I find it all but impossible to apply it to the art of coming up with titles for photographs. Most of the time, my titles are purely descriptive, such as "stairs" or "trees", which help me identify files sitting on my computer desktop. When I do put a bit more thought into it, the end result is usually something too obscure or arty-farty.

So, Mantrap is all I could manage for this pic and, again, it's almost a statement of the obvious as it's the only thing I can think of that it might look like. In reality, it's a fence at the top of the frame shot against the sun with shadows radiating out at the bottom.

If you look hard at the highlight portion at the top of the frame you might begin to see a heart shape emerging and culminating at the horizontal bar further down the frame. Was I conscious of that on some subliminal level when I took the photograph? The heart shape isn't really there in the full frame shot and only appears with the square crop I've made. Is that why I cropped it? Sometimes I wonder about things like that as there must be a reason why one photographer will stop to take a pic and another will just walk on by.

This is a scan of a a TMax 400 negative shot on the Nikon F100 and an 85mm f1.8 Nikkor, stopped well down for depth of field. I took a few shots of this scene at wider apertures as well and quite like the ones with a shallower depth of field. Here's one of those:


No heart shape this time but, instead, the highlight area at the top has now taken on the form of a pair of lips. No, I haven't a clue what any of this means either! Both of these are negative scans that I processed in Lightroom but they're fairly straight with little done to them and it wouldn't be difficult to reproduce them under the enlarger. I'm not quite sure which version I prefer but I felt the top one was a little harder to figure out with fewer clues as to what it was.

If you look at some of my photographs you might see that I like to have lines and the edges of buildings, etc, emerging from or disappearing into a corner of the frame. This pair follow that compositional quirk but I can't really say why I do it other than from a sense of neatness which is no reason at all.

They represent the more graphic style of photography that I'm working on just now but the weather is against me much of the time. It's difficult to get this look without a fairly strong sun in the sky and that's not something I can rely on up here where we're on much the same latitude as Kodiak in Alaska.

However, it's quite a good fit for the misty/gloomy landscapes I like as there's usually some reason to get the camera out almost regardless of the weather.

1 comment :

MartyNL said...

I just wanted to say that I really like the first photo and what a departure it is from the second (and much of the work that you've shown until now). That's not to say it's necessarily better but refreshingly different from a purely non-representational perspective.

I also tend to steer away from giving my photo's titles.