I've been thinking a lot lately about kinesics and how this can apply to landscape imagery or more generally to all two dimensional artwork in an effort to make my work more dynamic and less static.
Sometimes I know I'm onto something while I'm shooting, I just don't know what exactly that is or how it will play out. This particular shot has vexed me for some time now and most assuredly falls into that category. I was playing around with a Lee Big Stopper at Cape Flattery to push out shutter speed times in the middle of the day. At the end of the trail are various overlook points to the ocean below and I was watching the upswell movement effects on the seaweed, generally pretty happy being mentally immersed in the visual study of the landscape. I love this type of shooting where there are no grand designs going in, allowing for experimentation and letting serendipity happen.
I had thought this series of shots were more or less a bust from a photographic perspective. The highlights were especially hard to manage over shutter speeds anywhere from three to thirty seconds and the sense of movement with the seaweed's undulations wasn't conveying what I wanted it to as it was either too fixed or too blurry. Revisiting it today, I decided to crop out the seaweed and make it more focused on just the water movement. The transition for me was instantaneous and all of a sudden the sense of tension I wanted appeared. It's a common thread throughout all my work, that sense of tension. I've stood with tripod legs entwined shooting the same scene with friends and when I look at the images side by side that is the adjective I always circle back to to describe the difference between them. I tend to get this tension from the way I process contrast. Lightening the shades in the black tones of an image eliminates the eye's ability to rest in those areas while moving around it. It creates a slight sense of forcefulness and energy. It's very male. In this piece, it balances out well with the more calming blue tonality. It should be stated that this is not something I consciously try to do but is just my personal observation of my own style after carefully reviewing my work for over a decade.
Until next time,
Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless - like water. Now you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup, you put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle, you put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.