Photography, art, both:Lagoon Valley Park, Vacaville, CA

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.

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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.

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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.