What is it that makes people like certain photos? How can those of us who take photos allow for different tastes? And should we?
For example, I have shown three different images to three different people and each has preferred a different one. Kind of makes it difficult to know what to put up for a selling exhibition! It is very rare to see that really winning formula, the image that make everyone go wow – the holy grail!
For example, take the photo above that the Shed chose as image of the week. It is a straight shot, taken using an 0.9 ND Grad filter with no post processing. It was taken off the side of the A35 on the way to Dorchester on a beautiful day. I love the photo – the colour, the track through the crop, the clouds and the way in which the wheat seems to move a little as you look at it. Intriguingly, I wouldn’t have chosen it myself as image of the week, as I tend to like the more textural mono shots more at the moment… but as I looked at it again, I noticed that it shared many similar features to my other favourite images – strong lines, high contrast, pattern and symmetry, and relatively minimalist. The contrast and interplay between sky and land / sea is also always important for me – as you can see with the image below, which is also a wheat field, taken not far away from the other, but on first glance a very different animal.
To be honest, I don’t think there is a holy grail, but there are a hell of a lot of great photos out there, many of which I find inspiring, beautiful and fascinating, and often make me green with envy. For the rest of this blog I have looked through the Shed exhibitors for inspiration and to do a bit of admiration, and given a perspective on a few. It always amazes me that even with the very popular locations, such as Durdle door, you will never see the same photo taken by two different people. I have listed a few below,
Robin is a good friend I met in Chile more than 15 years ago, and is someone I look up to in the photography world (he’s also a better cook than me, darn it!). Robin has the knack of producing really stunning landscapes wherever he goes, and has been recognised for this with various awards and commendations. He has only recently joined the Shed and I hope that he helps to build our community with more of his fantastic images. He also has two friendly Herdwick Sheep! I just love the tree in this photo and the very simple composition – nice one.
I love Paula’s approach to art – to me it is full of humour fun and style and is all based on really good observation. I have met Paula through the Shed – she often helps out at the exhibitions – and is a really great person to talk to about my photos. I also love the fact that with her photography she is not afraid to do a mixture of landscape, people, situation and quirky stuff. I chose this photo because of the fabulous colours, expression on the old boy’s face, and particularly the reflection in the car door. Go look Paula up!
Well known for his dramatic nightscapes, I have known Stephen for a while now and am constantly impressed with the sheer quality and technical skill of what he produces – and his ability to get up in the middle of the night! Rather than a Milky Way shot, I have chosen this lovely, but very understated shot taken at the Cobb in Lyme Regis, which is calming, fascinating and simple. Lets have more of these please Stephen (even if they don’t sell as well).
The next few are from artists I don’t know personally, but I have picked out a few wonderful images:
This is a really special shot, everything about it screams ‘I wish I had taken that’, the foreground, the focus, the clouds, the lighting – love it, and will be visiting Whitby Abbey!
Matthew has caught a view that I know well – I walk up it, I run up it, I stare at it – and captured it on film beautifully. Thanks!
I love this photo by Astrid – the composition, the shapes, the texture and the feeling of movement. It also proves to me that you can take a beautiful photo anywhere, anytime if you have the imagination and creativity.
I love Asmita’s work, but this one stands out to me – stunning colours, clean lines, beautiful composition. Fabulous.
Just to show that I am not landscape obsessed, I thought that I would include this beautifully composed photo of a pair of boots. The simplicity is superb – to me this is a classic photo and would grace any wall.
To see more of my work, please go to my Shed Profile or any of the links below.