Today’s images are very old. Most are not of the film era but many are early generation digitals. Most began their lives as jpgs. I of course switched to RAW files not long after and a few below are of that ilk.
Drama is good.
Photographers spent a century and a half, running away from dramatic light. Photography was supposed to only be a means to show a clear likeness of any given subject. With simple light. A copy of what we see with our eyes. I know not about you, but I see dramatic light before my eyes all the time. Capturing that likeness is what I often spent my time attempting to accomplish. Not always, but often.
The colors of sunrise or sunset are often beautiful. When in doubt what you might be able to do with it, just shoot the sky.
Riverside reflections of fall trees with directional light. A great way to make use of dramatic light.
In fact, the reflections alone are a picture worth making.
Shadowy light, along with the contrast of cool blue skies and warm red autumn leaves, brings both drama and information about the specific tree in the image.
The low angled light of winter provides drama almost everywhere you look. Shadows can be bad, but they can also be good. With less dimensional, more straightforward light, the winter images below would mean little at all.
I captured the two images below, just across the street from my house, many years ago.
The first image is pretty enough I suppose, but lacks mood.
The second image is less colorful, but far more dramatic. The light here is off to one side, and that creates some shadows and a contrast of light.
There are numerous ways to create any given image.
Deep shadows with mixes of bright afternoon light, make a fairly ordinary shot of a mountain canyon in Colorado, a bit more powerful. Right now I wish I could be there again with that beautiful light.
A foggy sunrise in a nature preserve, made for some powerful images of red beauty, and dark silhouettes.
Don’t forget to shoot horizontally and vertically.
You can silhouette common subjects for more artistic examples of them.
Wading birds and subjects such as sunflowers, make for great subjects during sunrise or sunset. They can be just as beautiful with no detail, as they are with total detail.
Of course, there is always a time to come out of the darkness and into the light. Sandhill Cranes.
As long as we are in the light now, filled with details, let us look in a different way.
Sandhills are beautiful at a distance in the morning sun, but they are just as pretty in mid day light, whilst preening and filling up the picture frame, so to speak.
How about two young Black-tailed Prairie Dogs on the lookout for predators. There are so many stories that can be told.
Male Blue-winged Teal.
Up tight and personal with a male Mallard Duck.
Male eastern Bluebird.
Male Wood Duck. It seems that I am featuring the boys today.
Here’s a lady. Lunch. White-tailed Deer.
Most of you know, that I am not a big fan of making captive pictures of wild animals. Still, it is a great way to get pictures of certain species that you may never photograph anywhere else, and you can practice there as well.
Black & White Colobus Monkey……..I think.
Griffin’s (I think) Vulture.
Even at the zoo, dramatic light exists, and dramatic poses are possible.
In my post previous to this one, I showed how dramatic insect images are possible, even deep in the woodlands, by use of sunshine and shadows. Below we see and artificially created dramatic image of light and shadow. Electronic flash caused a well lit subject, with a black background.
The drama of light exists with subjects such as flowers too.
This “dew dropped” Greek Valerian flower, was photographed wild in a woodland, with just enough light hitting the blossom and missing the background to create what you see below. Yes, there is a touch of contrast added after the fact here, but very little.
Let us finish with some images that are meant for pure enjoyment.
Morgan Falls, Chequamegan N.F., Wisconsin.
A snowy peak in a Colorado Rockies’ spring. This one is in fact an original medium format (6×7) film image.
This is an old Norwegian cabin in Door, County, Wisconsin. Architecture, just light rock formations or mountains, can be photographed, interpreted compositionally if you will, in many, many different ways. Every inch of a subject need not always show in the image.
Let us bring this to a close today’s “photo romp” with an image of one of my favorite subjects, a turtle. I especially love the Eastern Painted Turtle as they have little fear of man, and it is therefore relatively easy to capture them in photos.
I always made my images, and departed quickly.
Use drama when you find it, but use it judiciously.
May God Bless,