I've been somewhat absent on my blog posts, my apologies. Life has a way of speeding past me. Many things have happened over the weeks including someone breaking into my car and taking all of my high end wildlife gear........life must go on.
I have fought with discouragement and some bit of depression as a result of this act......life must go on.
I titled this blog post, WHAT DREAMS A DREAMER for a few reasons. First and foremost my mom through the years has seemed to affix this label to this son of hers lol. Secondly it's probably an accurate statement on her part though I find some uncertainty as to whether I find the title supportive of my desires.
Whatever the case might be I do dream. I dream of capturing the life, the inner personality of my animal subjects. To somehow convey what I believe to be their character, their charm.
I consider myself a photographic artist, a animal environmental portraiturist.
In my early days in photography, beginning in Summer of 1980 I strove to capture people. I had dreams of someday owning a studio and shooting portraits and events. Due to this focus I gained insight into lighting, the quality of light, the direction of light and how to look for the best ways to manage it.
Fortunately for me this early development in my life now allows me to use these same principles in animal and bird photography.
So yes I am a DREAMER. I DREAM of creating uniqueness in my captures. I DREAM of using the same techniques I learned early on to allow me to capture and present my images not solely as photographs but as photographic art.
Not each and every outing is successful. Not each and every click of the shutter is success.
I search for images that best represent my Brand, my name, my vision......What Dreams A Dreamer.
If I were to make a suggestion to those who are reading this right now............be picky! Find out first what images reflect the spirit inside you. It isn't until you find yourself and who you are, and who you want others to see in your work that you begin to define your work
I take thousands of images!!!! Why because I have a dream! I have a brand! I have a style that I believe represents the spirit of who I am.
I don't mind shooting a thousand images to even get just one shot that says.....this is the DREAMER!
Animals and birds don't take instruction. In portraiture I could say tilt your head this way or that. This is why the thousands. Because I know what I'm looking for and yet I can't explain that to and animal or a bird.
I can pray while I click the shutter, Lord please grant me this shot....but I know it's not just a shot I look for but the Dream of the Dreamer.
Red-bellied Woodpecker (Before)
Red-bellied Woodpecker (After)
I analyze each image before I begin the editing process. I make decisions about composition and image orientation early on. Deciding what will strengthen it. What will convey a better message about my subject. I consider this particular study an environmental portrait of my subject. I've limited the amount of dead space and used this orientation adjustment to further isolate my subject. I diminished the strength of the blurred branches in the background. The use of the vertical crop from the original horizontal takes you immediately to the main subject.
Carolina Wren (Before)
Carolina Wren (After)
Not one of my favorite caps of a Carolina Wren but I thought it helpful for my next point. Subject isolation. The use of a long focal length, wide aperture, and close lens to subject distance will always increase the bokeh affect. I tend to look for perches that are free of background distractions. Once again I chose a crop that would isolate the subject best and reduce the amount of dead space. I always stay with traditional proportional crops with the images.
I will usually stick to 8x12 proportional crops and also standard crops such as 8x10, 5x7, etc.
I don't crop any image to a non-standard crop. Doing so means selling a customer and image that they will then have to purchase and custom made frame.