New lives can produce new perspectives. So when we moved for the umpteenth time this past May, I took the time to start snapping photos. I don't own a fancy camera, though it has been on my Christmas wish list for years. I mean years. Granted, they are not cheap so I'm not likely to get one this Christmas either. But I can wish. What I have at hand—what most of the modern world has at hand—is a handy-dandy mobile phone. A year ago, I was forced to upgrade my mobile phone and I stuck with the Samsung brand. I bought a Samsung Galaxy s7. I really didn't see why I had to upgrade, but the new phone did "do" what I wanted. So, the new environment this year prompted my desire to capture new moments in a world alien to me. Mostly, because we broke down near Tucumcari, NM and I was left with a few hours of downtime. These first photos, as you can see, were point-and-shoot-let-the-camera-do-all-the-work shots. I was pleased that Samsung had put in the effort to help us lay-people take decent pics without the need for training and expertise of amazing photographers.
Here are some raw photos (not RAW, but raw. More on that in a future post. One thing at a time). Why did I choose some of these photos to share? For me, what I appreciate in others’ photos is composition and story—more than the perfect shot or manipulation--and that is what I want from mine. Some of mine have decent, in my opinion, composition, but what’s more, they relate a story. Some of these I later experimented on and there will be posts covering what I have learned, or think I've learned, and what I am still learning.
What do we see now: Early Photo Gallery (see below)
Photo 1: I feel tells a story. My husband and son are using all their might to remove a car part and we are obviously in a truck stop (the semis are parked behind and the yellow parking lines are longer than normal). Yup, the picture says it: we are having car trouble while traveling. Bright sunlight, shadows, diagonal composition.
Photos 2 and 3: We make choices in life, even when broken down at a truck stop. Hallertau chooses to stand in the sun: I don't need not stinkin' shade; and Maverick chooses to chill out out of the sun's direct light. Hallertau is bathed in bright sunlight, diagonal composition, and not particularly well balanced. Maverick is stuck in shadow and hardly visible, with bright sunlight adding to the contrast.
Photo 4: Hallertau is relieved, in his oblivious doggy style, that the truck stop has a small dog "park" for exercise and new smells. His actions tell a story, bright sunlight, but colorful interest. Balanced composition.
Photos 5-7: Yes, eventually, despite the valiant efforts of the men, we all ended up in the Mustang. Yes, that's right. Two grown dogs and three grown humans in a Mustang GT for the last leg of the trip. Up close and personal, not particularly well balanced, light is fairly acceptable. Photo glare, but good coloring, acceptable balance. Light throws everything off, and not well balanced.
Photos 8 and 9: Having safely arrived, the "old man" (aged rottweiler) and the youngest human relax together and Hallertau gets his own bed. Ha! Orange. Really orange. Composition is off, lacks real engaging interest. Composition is good, light is ok, though still orange.
Photos 10 and 11: Technically these belong between photo 7 and photo 8, but I wanted to make an observation about them. I was in the driver's seat and we were stopped at a stoplight. I took a moment to capture Maverick asleep between the seats (could NOT have been comfortable, but he made do). I am not holding the camera anywhere near my face/eyes. I have the cell phone in my lap. I took the first shot, several more, and then finally the shot I love. You can see the difference: firstly, the blur is absent in the final shot and, with the new angle, the picture is balanced. Better composition. Later on I manipulate this "Aged Rottweiler Navigation System" and I love it more. (Will see that one in a future post.)
Darcien Balog (that's me) started as an amateur-amateur at everything in life. She started making renaissance clothing 20+ years ago and by 2013 had reached a skilled professional status. And so it has been with almost everything in her life, from schooling her children at home to crafting for resale to writing novels.