I had a recent conversation with a friend over the subject of composition, and how specifically do I compose my images. It is not exactly a soup question, not easily quantified or simplified into bullet points, and is a subject that leads very quickly down a deep rabbit hole. Without going into a lengthy diatribe I think this image may quickly point to what I look for in an image. Simply stated it I look for the light first and then I compose - or better yet, shape - the image around it. This simple structure takes on a different meaning in the way the side-light and shadows create the depth and dimension. Working quickly off the tripod I created a series of “sketch” images to determine the position of the other elements, from the road, to the clouds, and even where the darks and lights would go to create the figure-ground separation of tones.
This mornings dawn brought with it a lingering fog and the fresh air that only comes from an overnight rain. It has been some time since I have ventured out to perceive the world through the lenses of my camera. Too long really, and while work and other commitments are the culprit, I can confess that the imposed break has been good.
This is another in my continuing series of personal explorations in the subtle landscapes of my hometown. There are times when I tend to lose my way relative to my photographic work. It is somewhat inevitable as I tend to look at a lot of images, and in doing so, succumb to the flotsam and jetsam of viewing so many photographs. Just how many beautiful sunsets over misty mountains can one take. It is my fault of course because I only have myself to blame. No one is making me look at all these images and all I have to do is stop, put down the phone, and shut down my use of Instagram.
This image is from a series of photographs I am working on that embraces the subtle landscape of my hometown area. At anytime when I suspect that fog is in the forecast I will be out looking to make images that the quiet moments of a rural landscape. Fog brings lower contrast to the light as well as subtle layers that add dimension and form. This is one of my favorite locations to explore this kind of atmospheric condition. Here at the Poffenberger Farm, at Antietam National Battlefield, the grasses have grown tall around the old barn and along the gravel lane to the main house.
Recently a photographer friend of mine was lamenting about their lack of desire to make images and a general loss of creativity. Creative block, such as what my friend is immersed in, is indeed a real and crippling challenge for artists. Many of us who write, paint, and photograph face it from time to time. I read an article that said there are seven kinds of creative blocks ranging from mental blocks, to emotional, monetary, habits, and so on. I cannot say for sure where the the creative block comes from but I suspect it generates within an emotional or mental state. Creativity can be an intensive process and becoming trapped by your thinking can force you into making assumptions that are limiting to the creative process.