For this edition, I dispensed with the knife, and went in for a toned effect, using the BW filter in Topaz’s collection
Dead Flowers. Week One
This is week one.
It’s been years since I returned to trying my life at still life.
I dried out these roses, and shot them using a table lamp. I used a 60 mm macro lens.
For those who are interested in the steps that I took to edit this picture, I am attaching the screen shot below
When composing a photograph, I have often heard it say – isolate and simplify.
I spoke of simplicity the last time that I wrote about “The Magic Frame”. Let’s go into isolation. What they do not mean, when they speak of isolation, is that you go to a desert, or a lonely mountain and start shooting. That is a viable option for those who want to go off and become hermits. It is also a good option if the intent is to shoot isolated and lonely places.
What they mean, is that you need to isolate the central element, or elements, in a photograph and concentrate on them.
In my earlier days, my photos used to be a jumble of elements put together in a rather awkward fashion. I think it also reflected the state of my mind, where I wanted to have everything. I wanted it all – mystical insight, science, nature, literature, money, the hermit life, power, sex, no sex (because girls those days all wanted marriage). Life was a jumble and possibly this reflected in my photographs.
Over time, as I have learned, sadly, to make a few choices, I learned to say ‘nay’.
I would say that the same approach applies to composition. What do you want to focus on? A single element, or more?
If you want to include more than one element, then how do they balance out and interact with each other? Do they exist in a state of dynamic tension, or do they exist in harmonious balance?
How do you use empty space?
In the photograph above (badly edited, I know), I essentially focused on one element – the fisherman. The wide spaces of the water and the sky balanced each other, in my view, and helped to create a sense of wildness and emptiness.
There is one central element in this picture.
Simplicity goes with isolation when making a photograph.
I am me, but I am water. For those who like to be scientific, or believe that they are, I am composed of two atoms of hydrogen, and one of oxygen. My different molecules are held together by somewhat weak bonds, and I flow.
Despite the rather humble nature of my structure, I am versatile as some of you may well know. If not, you may well wonder, and ask
For one, I have the ability to dissolve many things, many substances. Some people have gone so far as to call me a universal solvent. There I am, showing off again. However, I must demur. While indeed, I possess the ability to dissolve much, I cannot dissolve anything. There are also limits to how much I can dissolve. Yet, this ability of mine does allow me to be used in all sorts of chemical processes in laboratories, in factories and in human, plant and other animal bodies. In my very humble opinion, because I have this property, I facilitate many vital processes.
Indeed, I would even say that my presence is necessary for many of these processes to take place. Look at what happens when a plant is deprived of water, or you are thirsty. Look at what happens when the soil dries up.
Would you not agree that I am a carrier? I help carry substances from one place to another. Brilliant, is it not? Of course, sometimes this has unfortunate side effects, like erosion. But then, I also allow people to ride my surfaces, using a boat. I facilitate transportation and trade.
You consume me to survive. When your digestive processes are complete, you need me to carry the waste out of your body, else it would remain inside, and we know what harm that can cause.
I flow, and it is by my side that many a mystic has sat by my side, watched the river flow, and attained enlightenment. Why, I was even mentioned by Hesse in his book, “Siddhartha”. At the end, Siddhartha attains enlightenment by the side of the river. For those of you have read Hemingway’s “The Old Man And The Sea”, the old man finds himself while fishing in the seas.
The fish live in my body, and this is good.
What happens when I stagnate? Mosquitoes breed, metals rust and sometimes, disease spreads. Keep me clean, I say.
What happens when I flow too fast? I erode cliffs, river beds move, and tsunamis take place. I can be gentle, yet when roused to anger, my fury can be deep indeed. Respect me I say, and I shall respect you.
I am all over the place. I cover the earth’s surface to a large extent. I am in the soil. I am in the air. I am in your body.
We are part of each other, one becoming the other. When you die, and become ash or dust, the rain soaks your remains and returns you to the earth.
Why do you then forsake me, I ask? Why do you pollute me, and treat me with scant respect? Why do some of you waste me, while others die of thirst?
We are one, you and I.
Respect me, and I shall respect you.
Forsake me, and I shall forsake you.
Find your true self in me, and I shall find my true self in you.
Knifing The Kiwi
It’s been some time since I did still life, and that too with a macro lens. Fun, it is
I shot this one especially for the “K” challenge that Leanne set, and with B&W in mind.
The door is locked, and the shoes are outside.
Look deeply, closely at the door, and ask yourself a question. What is the story of the people who lived here? Was there a happy family? Ever?
It looks like there was a family. Did they have children? Were they happy? Did the woman leave the man? Did he, then, in despair, walk away and leave his shoes outside the house as a reminder that, once upon a time, he was happy?
Or, did he leave the woman, and did she leave the house unable to bear the loneliness and the weight of the memories? Did she then leave his shoes outside as a sign of his perfidy?
Could it well be that there was no real drama at all, and that he simply left his shoes outside, because he did not want to carry the dirt of the streets into the house? If this is the case, then why is the door locked?
It is worth thinking about such questions.
What does a locked door, with shoes outside represent? What tales lie untold behind those doors, and in those shoes?
A poor family who once lived there, shared laughter, sex, jokes, fights, emotions. Poverty did not prohibit them from feeling joy, or experiencing emotion. One day, all this dried up. All that was left, was a pair of shoes and a locked door.
What tales lie hidden behind the locked door, and in that pair of shoes?
Wouldn’t you like to know?
For the next challenge, I have nominated a young lady who goes by the moniker “Mithai Mumblezz”