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2 years, 11 months ago 3

 

As I was looking over my take for the week, it dawned on me just how much I depend on lines of direction as part of the design of my images.  I teach these principles all the time, but use them without much thought!   Actually that is as it should be, we  should naturally use the devices that work to make and image work, almost without thought, we should sense, when they are working.

 

 

Finally my favorite image from the week, a simple shot of my cross lying in the table next to my lounge chair at the pool, casually shot, but carefully designed in my minds eye.  Below the lines that make up the composition and below, the actual shot.

 

 

 

Effective images are the result of careful design.  God’s plan for our lives is also a very careful, divine, design.  Nothing is an accident after we place our lives in His hands, everything tht happens, happens for a reason.  His reasons may be hard to understand, but they always yield His will, and His will is what we should always be seeking.

 

In Him,

 

the pilgrim

 

*Technical Note on last shot:  Made with a point and shoot camera in close focusing mode.  The image was processed with Nik Color Efex 3.0 Glamour Glow filter and then re-filtered with Topaz Spicey to give it that grit.  Further processing was done with increased, Contrast, saturation and added amounts of Red and Yellow color balance to make the gold in the cross and reflection in the table pop.

2 years, 11 months ago 1

Since we will be doing critiques at the upcoming workshop in Georgia, I  thought it might be fun to critique one of my own shots to give you and idea what happens in a critique!  First of all I shot this mess, so I will critique it just like any other critique!!!  Here goes:

 

“The photographer saw a very beautiful scene and for the most part captured it well.  The exposure is very good, colors are attractive and well saturated, but a lot of things are distracting.  Let’s take a look at them.  Number 1, In the upper left hand corner we have something sticking into the frame, not large enough to identify, it just pulls our attention away from the scene. Number 2, an ugly tree limb not only sticks out into the scene, it also merges with the boat, it just feels messy. Numbers 3 & 4 are more plants sticking into the frame, if they were smaller and less intrusive they might not have been as big a problem, but unfortunately they dominate the right side of the frame and block our view of a pretty scene.  So how could we have handled this better?  One thing would be to step up into the scene to eliminate the stuff on the right (3 & 4)   Next is to always do Border Patrol, look around the borders and make sure nothing is sticking into the frame that is distracting.  The photographer used a polarizer which is good and it worked making the colors richer, and the overall idea for the scene was nice.  The horizon was around the upper third line and that is good too.  This is a great example of nice effort that fell short, because of just too much clutter!!!  It’s a shame too, because this is a great scene!

 

So that’s how we do it.  Can’t wait to see a lot of the work people bring to the event!  The reason critiques are so valuable is that we all make the same fifteen or twenty mistakes, the more we recognize them and learn what to do,  the less we will make those common mistakes.  Never be afraid to hear a critique it will only make you a stronger photographer!

 

the pilgrim

 

Tomorrow I will try to shoot his again and post it here hopefully, I will do a better job!

 

Update:  Stuck my head out this morning to see about remaking the shot and noticed the white fishing boat had left during the night!  When the light is better I will make another attempt,  but this is a valuable lesson, you can’t always count on shooting the same scene later, things change!!!!

The image was made at 4:07 p.m. yesterday, so I will wait for that light and see what is possible, the fishing boat may even be back???? 

 

O.K. better but still not perfect!

 

 

2 years, 11 months ago 5

 

Opening lyrics from the song, Somebody Else, from the movie Crazy Heart

I used to be somebody but now I am somebody else

I used to be somebody but now I am somebody else

Who’m might be tomorrow is anybody’s guess…… 

 

I used to be somebody else too.  I used to be  a lot of somebody else’s.  I couldn’t decide who I was.  Over the last several years I’ve discovered who I am, and I love not guessing anymore!  I used to want to be somebody special, then I found out I was, because Jesus died for me!  I wanted to be loved, then I discovered I was loved by my God, my family, and a few friends.  I wanted to be admired, I got over it.  I wanted to be recognized, then I discovered I would rather not be noticed at all.  I wanted to be famous, and then discovered that was the last thing I wanted!  I wanted to be considered a gifted photographer, then I discovered I’d rather just have fun being a photographer, there’s enough gifted photographers anyway!

 

What happened?  Well in a word, I started to grow up, I got a life, and a good one!  The changes have been coming on for a long time, but the most change has been in the last two years, since I started posting in the Pilgrim’s Chronicles.  I get emails from people that share how much, what is posted here, means to them, and I appreciate those nice words of encouragement, but the person being ministered to the most,  is me.  God has used this time each day to speak to my heart about His and my relationship.   He teaches me, encourages me, corrects me, informs me, loves me, accepts me, shows me His love, forgiveness, and grace!  I know that what He shares here is touching people’s lives, but it starts with His touching my life.  This is my daily, deep, connection with Him, a time for me to listen, and to be obedient, to first learn, then share.

 

I also used to be a different photographer.  I was way, way, to concerned about how others saw me, and my work.  I was a slave to convention.  I did things in certain ways because it had led to success for others.  Two photographers helped me change my way of seeing, and photographing; Jim Begley and Tony Sweet.  They both saw the world through different glasses than mine.  At first I was afraid to look through those glasses, they were so different from the ones I had worn all my life, but once I slipped them on, I started to enjoy what I was seeing, and then, I embraced it.  I lost the fear of what others would think!  I started to learn to feel what I was seeing, and trust that I was creating something that pleased me, only me, not intended to please anyone else, just to be personally satisfying!  Do I want others to like my work?   Sure, but that is not the first goal, anymore.

 

I’ve taken a few of the images I’ve shot this week, straight images, very little processing, and now I will share some new ways of seeing the same scene. You are not under any pressure to like any of these, I like them, and that’s the only expectation I have.  If you do like them, great, but it’s o.k. if you don’t!  I will love you and forgive you!  In your own work, feel the freedom to be yourself, it’s o.k., all the rest of us are somebody else anyway……..

 

 

All image processing done with the following programs, Topaz Adjust 4 & 5, Nik Color Efex Filters Pro 3 & 4, Nik Silver Efex Pro 2.  No HDR used. I was shooting with point and shoot compact cameras!

This is Friday’s post, will be away for the day with my bride on St. John.

 

O.K. with being me, and loving Christ,

 

the pilgrim

2 years, 11 months ago 2

 

Yes, I do love to eat!  St. Thomas is my favorite Island for food, such a great variety, from the elegant, to the good old, down home food of my native Kentucky, it’s all a gastronomic pleasure!  So this is the deal, Sherelene loves the beach and the sun, and I can live with it for about a week a year, and so we spend our Marriott points to visit a resort we couldn’t otherwise afford! This year is our third trip back to St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands. We’ve done Maui in Hawaii, The Grand Caymans, Jamaica, St. Kitts, Aruba, St. Lucia, Puerto Rico, Belize, and we’ve loved them all, but for me, the far eastern coast of St. Thomas, Red Hook, is my favorite.  One of the reasons is the extremely friendly staff of the Ritz.  The other is the food!!!  I’ve finally learned enough restaurants to know where to get what ever we are in a mood for. Above, from upper left to right; Filtet Mignon at Pesce Italian restaurant, fresh pineapples in the local market, the steak and ribs selection at The Old Stone Farmhouse restaurant across the Island.  Seafood selection for this evening at the same Old Stone Farmhouse, below Zucchini bread (wonderful!), Breakfast potatoes, and Chicken Sausage at the Blue Water at the Ritz, and finally in the lower left corner one of my favorites, filet mignon meatballs and marinara sauce at Peceses, great over spaghetti!

 

 

Probably one of the main  reasons I keep coming back to St. Thomas is Molly Malone’s my favorite Irish Pub eatery, in the world.  Great people serve you, great people own Molly’s, the food is fantastic, and the atmosphere is the real deal.  You meet such interesting folks, both tourists and locals and the entire experience is authentic.  My favorite dish is the grilled cheese and turkey sandwich, a staple for my breakfast, Sherelene loves the French toast!  Tonight I will have their famous Meatloaf!  I’ve had a special place in my heart for the Irish ever since my first cousin Ned Beatty played a role in the great film “Rudy”.  Molly’s is like going home after along trip!

 

 

And then the kind folks at the Ritz help us celebrate our Anniversary, with special treats like this!

 

Late entry, Molly Malone’s fabulous Meatloaf, some of the best I’ve ever had!!!

 

 

 

Food For the Soul:

 

Last night Sherelene and I shared some food for the soul, we watched the film 7 Days in Utopia together.  Piled up in the bed with stack of pillows we watched the film on my laptop cuddled up together.  The film is about a young, up and coming,  golfer who has a major melt down at the end of a tournament he is about to win.  He storms off in a huff and ends up in a little Texas town of Utopia, where a kind rancher, played by Robert Duvall, helps him find his game, and much more.  I will share clips from this extraordinary film at the next workshop in Ga.  Needless to say it is a powerful film of redemption!   For some time I have been traveling with a half dozen film clips on my iPad.  When on the plane, or waiting in a airport terminal I put on my headphones and watch these clips over and over.  They serve as a constant reminder to me of what I believe in (my convictions), what I live for (my purpose), and how I am to conduct myself, (my behavior).  They are my food for spiritual thought.  We must all constantly remind ourselves that while we are in this world,  we are not of this world, Jesus has set us apart, as His.  While we are to witness to the world with our words and our actions, and the sharing of His love, we are to always know we are only visitors here, our place is with Him for eternity.  Our mission is to encourage others to join us there…..

 

So fill your tummy today, with good food, and your heart and soul, with the food of the spirit, the Word of God.  May His greatest blessings be with you and yours today, tomorrow, and forever…….

 

the pilgrim

 

*Photo Note;  All images point and shoot cameras.