This blog will contain some of the photographs that I leave in Lightroom's cavernous image catalog - the ones that are too unartistic to see the light of flickr. Along with the photos, I'll offer some idea into what goes into the thought processes of a monkey with a camera. I will also post some technical tips and (maybe brief tutorials) for post- processing.
Today's post is relatively short and uncomplicated (note: that is what I thought it would be when I started writing). I do photography for a number of reasons - perhaps the most prominent is the ability to see stuff from different angles. There are two things I want in life: one is clarity of thought, the other is new perspectives. LIfe would be kafkaesque if we could only percieve from one direction - which also seems to be why religion is so convoluted and blind.
I'm tempted to add a bit of math here. When we talk about an angle - a perspective - we need some space. Some coordinate system in which we take different angles around a point. Mathematics and science have their own 'spaces'. (I'll talk about them some other time). Photography, on the other hand, has two.
The first is the actual 3D space. This is the space in which we define a visual perspective - taken from a point or around a point. This is why you see photographers leaning in and out, occasionally contorting into angles that gymnasts would envy. I am tempted to add in time - but I dont think temporal length qualifies as perspective.
The other is color - essentially adjusting color. I'm not a fan of significant post- processing, but I do believe that adding a function mapping a color space into itself is a neat way to relook at a photograph. Mostly though, my maps are onto the linear gradient - ie black and white, although occasionally I fiddle with hue and saturation. The reason I oppose adding a moon into a scene more than adjusting the color is that color perception is nearly arbitrary. Our eyes percieve colors in a particular way - and indeed the color in my head when I see a block of blue maybe different from yours. However, the color depends on the energy of the photon, and you cant really 'remap' that without adding filters. Essentially these operations on the color space correspond to functions on the fourier transform of the image - we're changing the color spectrum of the photograph.
To illustrate the first, I was walking in Central Park, Fremont, when I noticed the following dismal scene below me: (it's just mud and goose excrement, chill out)
My first reaction is "yes! finally!" and I lean down, hold my camera less than an inch off the muddy waters, and click:
That really is the same scene, from a different angle. Of course looking through the viewfinder would've helped, but it would also have resulted in a mud caked beard (which, contrary to popular perception of bearded men, is still undesirable).
Now for an illustration of the second. I think a black and white conversion is best as an example. On a rare snowfall on Mission Peak
, I went for a little walk. Here's what the peak looked like from the west:
Quite unremarkable, so I worked with it a bit in Lightroom, and this is what I get:
Of course I've lost the color information, but doing so only emphasizes the graphic nature of the composition, the bleakness of the landscape, and the falling snow suspended in air.
Maybe I'll upload these two to flickr, now that I think of it.
If anyone wants the LR presets, email me.