Impressionist, Pictorialist, opportunistic or just too late.
Yesterday after a spin around the block, I came upon the site Hoof Beats and Foot Prints and today Emily has posted a few shots and a bit of musing on “Impressionistic” results. When sometimes the wrong settings are the right settings. See Here A Friends Filters
Which is as it turns out fortuitous as today’s Blogging 101 assignment was to write a post on thoughts that linked from yesterday’s visits. As coindicene goes, I’d put this picture of a Black Falcon in flight up on Flickr.
And one of the comments from Peter pointed out that sometimes we do indeed become over emphatic about getting the clinical result. I follow Ming Thein, and he too from time to time explores out beyond the formal result.
My thoughts on gaining an impressionistic feel or a “pictorial” atmosphere is that its just as difficult to get a great artistic alternative, as it is to make the clinical shot.
Sometimes even more difficult as we have balance, subject movement, shutter speed selection, composition, lighting and exposure. It’s why it’s easier to stick it into ‘photoshop’ and mess with the controls there. Or look through the blurry shots destined for the waste bin and rescue one, tart-it up and try and pass it off as really a Strong storytelling impression of the movement and mood.
Or plan for it!
One of the elements I always think make it work is it approximates what we would have seen had we been standing there. The motion. That fleeting glimpse of the bird as it passes.
Further pondering lead to really thinking of two possible opportunities. One is panning with the bird. At least part of the bird should be sharp, and depending on the shutter speed, the backdrop should be streaky to milk smooth.
The other is the bird movement. And again the street smarts would say that part of the subject area should be sharp to highlight for the eye the impression of movement.
Well my Black Falcon doesn’t fall into much of any of that. The ugly truth is that we were simply too late, too late too late.
Had we entered the WTP in our usual way from Paradise Road, we’d have encountered the birds, the harvesting, and the right evening light. I’d have had a bit of a chance to work out the bird’s movements, where they turn with the tractor, where they perch between flights, and would have set up to get the best from that. But, we were too late.
The sun was setting as we drove by. Birds were all over the sky, Black Kites, Whistling Kites and one lone solitary aerial speedster.
“A Black Kite” she called. “Yes,” said I, slamming on the brakes and opening the door and grabbing the camera and trying to find the streaking black dot in the gloom.
Oh, 1/50th at ISO 400. Who am I kidding?
It sped past, dropped onto a branch nearby, and glared at some Black Kites. Slowly I advanced, knowing it was futile. But. I wanted at least one record shot to show that Black Falcon is in WTP over the summer.
So did it make the waste bin? It is just a dolled up average shot. Or does it give an impression of the beauty of this bird of speed.
Over to you.
Another photographer who has struggled and succeeded with the impressionist approach is William Neill check out his work here.
And I’ve included a couple of shots from other days. Welcome Swallow at high speed wingflap.
Brown Falcon a few weeks back, in about the same sort of light “We might have had!!!!”. And about 2 km from where the harvesting was taking place and about an hour earlier so the light was ‘golden’.
Such powerful direct flight.