Saturday Evening Post #31 Evoking a Response

I had started on a journey for this post, through managing digital photos (digital assets—always important to use the right technical terms, so the masses know they are dealing with a well studied and knowledgable source.), but as it developed into a a bit of a rant, I thought something a little more lighthearted might be a better Evening Post.

Freeman Patterson once said, “A good photograph is one that clearly shows the character of the subject while revealing a little of the photographer’s response to it.”

Hard for us bird photographers sometimes and the bird is usually not the least concerned about allowing us any emotional response at a personal level, so we have to include that in other ways.
The placement in the frame, the isolation or inclusion of the surrounds, the pose of the creature, and the form, shape, tone and texture that we area able to achieve.

“If you think of a photograph in this way, you’ll find your personal direction, as a photographer emerging and becoming clearer”. And I’d add to that both to yourself, and those who view the photos.

“Coming to know yourself through interaction with someone or something is very satisfying.  In the end you get the picture, of both of you.”

Which somehow gets me on the beach with the light changing over a Pied Cormorant. A fairly tolerant bird at best, so its not to hard to work with them. But I’m on the wrong side with the light, the background is bland and the bird stoic if nothing else.

Risking putting the bird to air, I moved until the backdrop was at least neutral, and about the same time, a sliver of light came out, the bird turned and I pressed the shutter.

I often gain as much from just sitting or standing and watching the bird in its own world. Little character traits become obvious—here the foot folded up under the tummy. Other times it is just a matter of waiting until all the elements come together. I may make a photograph, or I may not, but the fact that I can observe, see, apply visual design and appreciate the bird’s life for its own sake, enables me to remain fully relaxed for the moment.

Australian Pied Cormorant, Phalacrocorax varius

8 thoughts on “Saturday Evening Post #31 Evoking a Response

  1. A beautiful pic of the Pied Cormorant David. Similar to yourself it is bird behaviour I love to study which is the target subjects for my photos more than just the bird as we know it adds the interest and the character and nature of the bird to the mix. I likewise just love to watch and absorb the idiosyncrasies of the bird being observed, to learn about it and attempt to capture something peculiar that speaks to me about it in the photo. You photos are always definitively good photography, often catching the expression and special moment of the bird with skill and highlighting the birds essential beauty. Have a wonderful weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good evening AB, thanks for the insight. It is a small thing in someways to just sit with the bird, yet at a grander view of the universe it is so enlightening. No wonder the sages down through the years have drawn such inspiration from their encounters with the natural world.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks David, sometimes the blog just about writes itself, I’m using one of Freeman’s books as the basis for some workshop style personal review at the moment. Need a different viewpoint on things from time to time to keep fresh vision.


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