Tag Archives: passion

Break Down

13 Jan

Did you hear the second guitar riff?  The one buried in the back of the song, beneath the drums, lead guitar, vocals, mandolin, lap steel, banjo, oboe and didgeridoo?  Yes, conversations like this really do happen in my life…the musicians in my life are very passionate about their craft.

Did you feel the horse shift his weight from his front end to the hind legs when you reset the head and sit deeper in the saddle?  Can you feel his muscles relax as you ride through the serpentine?  Did you push him into the circle with the inside leg, while holding with the outside leg and supporting with your seat?  Yes, I have conversations like this with my barn-friends too.

It seems that with most things we are truly passionate about, we become interested in the smallest details, appreciating the little things that others may miss.  In part, I think this is because mastering the details is a step on the road to mastering a craft.  Photography, of course, is no exception.

As we’ve already discussed, one of the things that separate the photographer from the hobbyist is the work a photographer will put into getting an image just right.  “Good enough” is never good enough.  One of the driving forces behind that, I think, is passion.

Often, I find myself appreciating the minute details of other photographer’s work – the decisions they made on depth of field, exposure, etc  are both interesting and educational to me.  I remember watching one of Trey Ratcliff’s videos in which he talked about editing an image down to, in essence, the pixel.  Such intricacy and detail was a striking example of the work a photographer puts into getting an image right.  I have since carried that lesson with me, determined to apply it to my own photos.

This week, I took a drive to Portland, ME and stopped (of course) at the iconic Portland Head Light.  It is a highly photographed lighthouse, with limited options for POV because of safety fences (which of course I respected!).  As I looked through the camera, I kept thinking, “This angle’s been done.”  So, I determined that if I couldn’t come at the lighthouse in a way that was fresh, I would at least make my version – which ended up being a composite of both two exposures and a pano series – accurate to my vision, down to the smallest detail.

Portland Head Light

Portland Head Light

Turns out, that meant three days of editing.  At times, that also meant editing to the pixel.  I must have re-blended the exposure layers 15 times until I have happy with the masking gradients.  In the end, however, I think it was worth it.  It may not be revolutionary, but dang it, it’s solid! =)

Item of the week (because it’s nice to think about being warm!):  http://www.zazzle.com/cozumel_postcard-239914153140274747