I follow many terrific photographers and learn from their blog posts. Reality hit when I read a tutorial by Leanne Cole, Australia. I met Leanne in person last year when she was in the States and visiting in Saratoga. I thoroughly enjoyed the day of shooting with her. Back to her blog post on inserting a sketch into a picture. I’m not going into the details of how she did it, but what emotional reality it stirred up for me.

I followed along with the tutorial until she came to the point of putting a shadow under a thumb. I would never had thought to put a shadow under the thumb. She explained it was necessary because of the lighting of the over all picture. Lighting? I would have never thought of that.

A former member of my All About Photography Toastmasters Club said that the way to become a better photographer is to study the famous painting masters. At the time I thought that he was just into art more than me. Now, I understand.

Photography as I do it, is just photography. I choose to shoot a scene I like, compose it, shoot it and do minimal editing. I edit until I like the picture, having no prior knowledge of art. I work on highlights, shadows, etc. However, a photographer who is an artist understands and can do a great deal more.

As a recent example, I posted a picture I shot at Lagoon Valley Park in Vacaville asking which was better the color or black and white.

Although most of the votes were for color, I was drawn to the black and white.

dsc_8435_tonemapped

Three respondents in favor of the black and white, suggested I lighten the bridge to draw the eye into the image. What? A great photo buddy, Karen, changed it for me and I could see what they meant. So I re-edited the image and lightened the bridge.

dsc_8435-3

Are you more drawn into the image? I learned that a dark foreground stops the eye and a lighter foreground draws you in.

Art is not natural for me. I’m sure I can learn some things, but I’ll never be an artist. And, I’m okay with that. I love the photography I do. I’ll just keep learning from the terrific photographers I follow. It’s just another turn in my photographic journey.

I’ll post the rest of the images from Lagoon Valley Park in my next post.

2 thoughts on “Photography, art, both:Lagoon Valley Park, Vacaville, CA

  1. I did not see your previous post on Lagoon Park, but my preference would be on the color photograph with the caveat of processing the image to make the red bridge pop – essentially a color version of lighting up the bridge in B&W. When composing and processing photographs, I try (and sometime struggle) to reduce the number of important elements. Elements can be items you want as focal points, light and shadows, or natural paths. Otherwise, there is too much to see and the entire image becomes cluttered.

  2. Thank you Steven. I hadn’t posted before on Lagoon Park. I don’t know what made me try the picture in Black and White, but when I did, I really liked the trees and their shadows. It gave me a very different feel. I can take the red bridge, in the color version, and make it pop more. I do appreciate all the help readers give me. Thanks.

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