I initially fell in love with photography and writing in high school and carried on the affair well into college when I said, “I like photography and writing... I think I’ll move into film and videography because isn’t that moving photography combined with the written word?” Many years later, after college and several years work in that field, I have moved back into the original two media that I love, and I am excited to share with this group, especially after poring over the last several pages in Kinja Photography and admiring the work presented here as well as the community at large. Thanks for adding me.
Over the last few years, especially the last, I have assembled a modest kit and home studio. As much as I liked working with film, I’ve been enjoying the transition to digital and the workflow that digital provides. In the olden days, I don’t know if I would have had enough rolls of film to capture the following photograph:
But a 64 GB card surely increases the volume and speed with which to capture fleeting images in waning light.
On film, I may have captured one shot, but not several, especially not while messing with the settings to give this simple butterfly an aquatic or fairy-like form.
Sure, the first and last photograph of these four are my favorites because of the form, the angle, the translucence of the creature, and the motion blur, giving it an alien or magic-like quality, but by severely abusing the speed and capacity of a digital SLR, I took a few hundred photographs over a 2-3 hour period. It was this ability that allowed me to really experiment with the settings and the natural lighting, and the somewhat severe backend time to cull through those hundreds of pictures to find these few and simply crop them without any other editing in post.
The old rule of thumb used to be that if you get one good photograph on a role of film, you’re doing something right. Adapting that celluloid phrase to digital, I suppose I’d rewrite the phrase to: “If you capture one or two good photographs in a hundred, you’re doing something right, and if you capture one great photograph in a hundred, you don’t need me telling you this.”
Just to compare a few of the others from that day shoot, first let me say that this is a tiny, quick insect! It is roughly the size of a petal on a wild violet and flies like it’s drunk and intentionally trying to randomly hit things.
Having near-instant live playback after shooting a series I personally finds helps. Here I got to see how tiny the creature was and how to capture its color. I changed tacts to move in on the creature:
The closer I got to the subject physically began to create a blur, even at high shutter speeds with high ISO. This is due to how quickly it moved and how quickly I had to move the camera to capture it.
I decided it would be more interesting to capture its form closer, sacrficing pixel-perfect realism for holding the lines of its form in motion and the colors as it dodged all over place, still getting an incredible amount of information but losing the formality of traditional lines for something more abstract. So, that’s how I ended up with the first four photographs above.
For a final comparison, here are some photographs from when it was still:
Do you notice anything different? Yes, while still, the butterfly appears white or grey. Scientifically, I have no real idea why this is. Even when I ratcheted down the settings to see if it would return its color, it did not affect the coloration:
Digital photography is still a relatively new medium for me (although digital videography is not), so I’m learning with every new shoot. I’ve had to throw a lot of old training mentalities out the window, and I’ve decided to experiment as much as I can.
Currently, I’m working on wildlife where I live (which is technically a temperate rainforest), flora and fauna. I look forward to writing and publishing more photographs here, and I’m glad to have been invited into the community. I am new to kinja, having only really posted a couple of things on the ODeck in the past. I am starting to get the hang of things, and I’m enjoying the community, especially the positive and fostering sides, which appear to be most of it, so yay for you, and, well, yay for us!
(If anyone is interested, I’ll check back through the logs and pull up the tech specs for each shot. I used a Canon 70D with a Sigma 50mm f/1.4 lens and cropped all images but the one.)