I recently learned that when you see rays like those below in a photo, take it with a grain of salt. There are software filters that provide this by attacking light at the point where it breaks through the clouds or trees etc. I was beginning to wonder. There are some photographers who show these rays or God Beams, (a term that came from Galen Rowell), in half of their images. Those photographers always give themselves away because they do not know when to stop. The pictures below are a natural phenomenon caught with the camera. With my assistance of course.
There is certainly nothing wrong with artificially creating this phenomenon. When the truth about your methods is told to your viewers, what is potentially lost is the desire of those viewers to “have been there” at that special moment. I love that feeling of wishing I could have witnessed it for myself. Of course not all images like those mentioned are created in the editing process. It is a natural occurrence, we just have to wait for those special moments. It is definitely getting easier for me (now that I know) to separate the real from the shots created in the editing process.
There is nothing that lends itself to easy abstracts better than foggy sunrises. While I always do my best to create some straight forward tell-tale images on these misty mornings, I also drift into the abstract. A 300mm telephoto helped compress the fog. Despite the tele lens, this vision was available to me with the naked eye. Naturally created abstracts are very fulfilling.
Do I see verticals naturally with my eyes? I definitely do. I do not however see near enough of them. Remember I come from stock photography. Magazine covers and full-page images are vertical. No I don’t have to tip my head sideways to see vertically. A lifetime of photography makes it easier for me, however as I stated previously, I don’t see as many as I should.
Wind & water. This small slot canyon was photographed at El Morro National Monument in New Mexico many, many years ago. El Morro is a great place with its share of landscape possibilities and a wall full of petroglyphs. Notice this slot is not as smooth and visually stimulating as many are that you see from Antelope Canyon and other prime locales. Also the light, which is entering from the far end, is not illuminating the slot in that beautiful way you see so often in slot canyon photos. I copied this slide a few years ago purposely to use on this blog to illustrate failures.
Then of course winter will be offered up next.
A Matter of Respect
As a photographer, I know that the greatest compliment I ever received was when someone could see the respect I had for my subjects. I think nothing is more important for a photographer of any subject. Shucks, when I was a car racing photographer I respected both the participants and the cars. A perfect race car was as pretty as a sunset (to me) back in those days, and I admired those who drove them, built them, wrenched them and sponsored them. The same has always been true of old buildings. I could feel the life that had passed through their doors. I hoped that at least once in a while when someone looked at my picture, they could feel it too. Still nothing has been quite like nature for me. I want people to like my images because I want those same people to like my subjects. The subjects have a story to tell, and I enjoy helping them to get that story out.
There are certainly more important activities in life than photography. Just the same it has made a difference in the world since it was created. There was the first to photograph the American west, the Civil War, The Great Depression, The Dust Bowl, and maybe even the stray and starving kitten you just found yesterday.
It is easy to be proud of what you do, when you do it for the right reasons.
Have a great day, Wayne