Saturday, March 12, 2011

Another Introduction

Well, hello and welcome.

Following Haley's lead, I suppose now would be a good time to introduce myself: I'm Jen, the second half of SLP, and it's very nice to meet you (and all that rot; get off my lawn; wait, who are you again?).  Like Haley, I have been into photography for several years, and, though it remains an amateur hobby of mine, I always try to learn new things when behind the camera and develop whatever skills I have while genuinely enjoying the hobby.  It will never pay the bills, but that's what soul-sucking corporate jobs are for.  I'll take quality photos when if I go postal.

Since Haley did a lovely job with her introductory post, I'll attempt to mimic her structure--starting with a couple of my favorite photos in two of my areas of focus.  To provide a bit of background, I tend to focus on certain types of photography, though these fluctuate over time.  For example, most of my portfolio consist of travel photography taken while I lived in Europe.  I also have a knack for finding seemingly uninteresting items and giving them their very own artistic (er, hipster) photograph, focusing on intricate detail to make the picture pop.  Other areas include: un-staged portraiture, nature, texture, and under-saturated-look-I'm-so-artistic-and-SAD photography.  I also like to manipulate my photos in, you guessed it, Photoshop.

Forced sarcasm set aside, I present you with two of my favorite photos (there are many others, and, dammit, it's hard to narrow them down).  They are not the best photos I've taken, but there is something about them that draws me to them again and again, either examining what makes them good pictures or critiquing their negative traits.

The Downs - Hassocks, England (March 2010)
This particular photo, taken at The Downs in Hassocks, England, displays many types of photography: travel, un-staged portraiture, black and white, etc.  It was taken on my last day in Hassocks that March when I had visited my relatives for the first time, so the picture also has a sentimental value for me.  However, what makes this photo interesting (to me) is its stark contrast between the women's coats and the cloud-ridden sky; the lines of the rightmost woman's outreaching arm, the fences, and the sloping hills; and the natural poses of the women, huddled together against the chill wind of a bleak, early spring day.  For me, it is an accurate portrayal of one of my favorite places in the world: the tranquil Downs of cozy Hassocks.

The photo is not without its faults, of course.  The overcast day makes it difficult to find a happy medium between over- and under-exposure, and the composition of the piece may not hold everyone's attention.  But, I do believe it's a good example of seizing the moment and making snap (hee, pun intended) judgments based on the opportunity (in this case, shooting a photo of two unaware strangers) at hand.  Haley explained the process very well in the previous post, so please refer to that entry for a better description.

Frozen Buds - Athens, AL (January 2011)
Though this is a very recent photo, I count it among my favorites because 1.) it's a good photo, 2.) I took it with my shiny Canon Rebel T2 DSLR, and 3.) OH MY GOD, IT ACTUALLY SNOWED REAL, MANLY SNOW IN ALABAMA.  I am fond of the absolute clarity of this photo, from the individual crystals of snow to the buds' razor-sharp edges.  The photo's composition was more or less carefully planned out beforehand and through trial and error, and I think it paid off.  The foremost buds are, of course, the most in-focus, but the mid-range and, finally, the blurred branch in the background provide an interesting line throughout the photo.  Though it was an overcast day (I promise I have bright and colorful photos, as you will see in future blog posts), this fact actually was in my favor in this situation, as the grey background contrasts nicely with the brown, dead buds and the crisp, white snow.  It reminds me of exactly how winter is supposed to feel: silent, lonely, and beautiful.

I will say, though, that nature photography is not my strongest suite.  Haley's Redbuds photo is one of the finest examples of nature photography between our two portfolios, and my repertoire in that area does not compare to hers.  However, it is on my list of Things to Improve, and I look forward to further developing my nature shots.

Phew.  There we have it; two of my favorite photos as an introduction to my work.  It's interesting to be blogging again, and I look forward to many more updates and tutorials.  So, welcome to the SLP blog.

...Maybe one day I'll create us a real-life logo and banner.  H-heh.

1 comment:

  1. Aw, you're going to make me blush, Jen! Also, just so we get this out there people, I'm super jealous of Jen's spiffy new DSLR camera. Although, I do love my Sony Cyber-shot, which takes some darn good pictures in the right hands. And, I love your Hassocks photo, Jen. I don't know that I've seen that one before, and its gorgeous in its own way.