Assignment # 3 : Make your Composition Univocal…

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Tight to Rule #1, this one could be phrased differently : Make your subject matter clear and one only… As I explained in a previous post, ( here ) Photography is a substractive process in opposite to painting which is an additive process : You start from a white  canvas and, progressively, you’ll add elements to your composition. Achieving a photographic composition consist in subtracting all disturbing pieces in the frame. Then, you will focus viewers attention to one clear subject matter.

Your images will be stronger because straightforward ! In this image, blurring the waves by a long exposure contributes in isolating the wharf since it becomes the only sharp area in the scene.

Assignment # 2 : Let your Emotion Talk…

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On this specific rule, the best way to evaluate your footprint when composing your image is to take benefit of a workshop.  Ask the attendees to make their own image of what they see. Do not impose the subject matter nor the standpoint, let them react to what they perceive. The only common parameters will be the site and the precise moment for the shoot.

Let them apply their own composition, exposure and post-prod… Then compare !  The idea is not to make a ranking among all the photographs but to identify what are the levers you have chosen to operate to emphasize such or such specific aspect of the scene… The sum of them all should be recurrent if you multiply the exercise and should build your own personality :  your style…

This style may be ignored even by yourself… The goal is to listen to your heart and let it shout… Then… getting better will consist in mastering the tools that will transcribe your emotions into images.

Assignment # 1 : Simplify to Reinforce…

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In the coming days, I’ll try to share some key advices that build my credo. Each of them are bricks that build my images. If you attend one of my workshops, You will have to shoot one image illustrating each of these key-rules.  As many,  you will be disappointed  being on sites where you will search for a subject matter, like this beach, where there is nothing except sand and water… ! I’ll ask you to reinterpret this seascape by injecting what makes your vision unique… By selecting a specific aperture, a shutter speed, a framing you will inhabit your photograph and , at the end of the day,  you’ll take your Photography skills to the next level…

Feel free to use the specific form for more info on the workshops here

If you want to contact me directly, here is my email :  philippe.jacquot@jacquot.com

Enjoy !

Back to Real Life…

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Hello Friends,

I have been away for several weeks.  I’m back and very happy to share this new year with you… I’ll try to share my feelings, my insights and my thoughts on Photography with you all, my Friends. Feel free to react, to post your comments. Thank You for your continuous support and enjoy…

Philippe

Tools and Techniques….

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Click on the image to enlarge it…

We have to recognize that, in any given situation, there can be many ways to see the Landscape, and while sifting this information through our minds, we must decide on a plan of action to best portray our impression, its effect on us, the prevalent mood we are experiencing. A single word can sometimes describe what we are seeing, though we may neglect to identify it. Soft, tenacious, isolated, nostalgic, expansive, peaceful, rhythmic, pristine, powerful, diminutive, minimalist, triumphant, joyous, delicate, oneiric and challenged are just a few. Our inner conversation ensues : I recognize these visual qualities, and sensing this theme, mood or impression, will select and emphasize it with my photographic choices in terms of technical process  Shutterspeed, Aperture, Deth of Field , ISO choice etc..

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Beauty comes from Simplicity…

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We, Photographers are striving for Simplification. We always need to further simplify what is in front of the camera in order to achieve clarity. There are, three main aspects of simplification :

1 – Remove unwanted clutter from the frame : This is a fairly straightforward process : running your eye around the edge of the frame, for instance, to make sure that nothing unwanted breaks the frame and leads the viewer’s eye away from the subject. Do not draw a road for the viewer to escape your message.  Contrariwise, design your image to convey viewer’s eye as in a funnel.

2 – Simplify to make the space more clearly understood, simply to avoid the situation of not being able to see the wood for the trees. Never try to capture two messages in one frame. Select the one you want to express and eliminate all the elements that do not participate in this expression.

3 – Simplify to help concentrate the viewer’s attention on the subject. Hans Hofmann, the painter wrote : » The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak ». Frequently, I see  the potential strength of an image diluted because the photographer lacked the courage to get in closer to his or her subject. Do not hesitate to what seems to impoverish your subject matter. This will result in a stronger image . Strip away all extraneous detail, remove any unnecessary embellishments or adornments. Go to the core subject and erase everything else.

Eliminating unwanted elements can be done by moving the camera from its initial position, framing the subject differently, zooming in, and acting on depth of Field or a mix of all of these. After making your image, always consider another point of view. Never think you have the ultimate capture. Reconsidering the way you’ve composed your image is an excellent exercise and a powerful mean to improve one’s Creativity.

« Confidence like Art, never comes from having all the answers, it comes from being open to all the questions« 

Diogenes Laertius.

Lighting and Landscapes…

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In most landscapes, it is the lighting that draws your attention to the subject matter. You will ignore a scene one day, but be arrested by it the next – because of the lighting ! It’s a good exercice to analyze why the lighting affects you so strongly. On a sunny day, pay special attention to the play of light and shadow, especially to parts highlighted by the sun. As far as I’m concerned, I do not really like these very sunny days. Lights too often squashes textures, because shadows are cast vertically and with intensity. On an overcast day, observe carefully the gradual transitions from one area of brightness to another. Feel the textures, touch the stuff with your eyes and select carefully your focus point. Tonal contrasts are always significant, both in landscapes and in photographs of them. They enhance or diminish the natural design  of the landscape, depending on their placement and intensity.

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