Backgrounds should compliment and not distract the viewer from the main subject. When they are out of focus they add an element of dimension to the image. These two images of Ibis, at Flaminco Gardens in their Rookery area, cleary demonstrate impressionistic, out-of-focus backgrounds. Not sure if they’re too distracting; but for me they add an element of design not usually found in images of birds. Enjoy or not; let me know please.
Something different for today; I don’t usually steer my attention away from “nature”. But I find this image rich with story possibilities. From the couple in the foreground to the couple in the background (yes, there are two there), to the graffiti. What story comes to mind? I’d love to hear from you. These un-posed, random moments are incredible when so wonderfully self-composed.
The Winged Loosestrife’s (Lythrum alatum) vibrant color stood out on the cliff’s wall across from our descending path to Wild Cat Canyon in Starved Rock State Park. Only later when I was home and reviewing these images did I realize the plant was a resting spot for this winged insect. Such is the joy of photography. My eyes often miss seeing all the subjects in my compositions. Sometimes what I capture is distracting to my desired focus (unwanted elements in the background). This added subject was a wonderful surprise.
My initial thought was that this insect was a dragonfly or damselfly. But those insects have two pairs of wings. I am guessing that this is some variety of Crane Fly (Tipula) instead. The other joy of nature photography is that I am always learning!
I zoomed in to get the original picture (bottom image) and found a new and more interesting composition when I zoomed in still closer (first image).
Shasta Daisy (Leucanthemum x superbum) began its long bloom period a little early this summer in St. Louis. Actually, it began blooming in early June, at the end of springtime. This allowed me to create these images in a garden I passed during a morning walk. Such walks and encounters dispel anxieties and remind me of their triviality. Daisys also remind me of my mother; they were her favorite flowers. So many emotions worked through me during this particular walk; therapeutic reflections of life as I admired these mid-life blooms.
Eastern Daisy Fleabane (Erigeron annuus) shows up voluntarily along paths and roadsides. The flowers are thumbnail sized and bloom in bouquet arrangements tempting passersby to capture their loveliness. Today I brought them home as images saved.
Rules can be broken. Artists, including photographers, know that light objects draw the most attention in a scene. Careful composition makes sure that subjects are either the lightest item in a scene or they are placed inside the lightest area to insure the viewer clearly knows who/what is most important. These two images break that rule; both images have the subject very dark with lighter areas away from the subject.
The effect of placing the subject outside the brightest area forces the viewer to look at the entire image. Eyes will wander through the image and finally rest on the dark subject. These both are complicated scenes, with multiple interest areas to be viewed and enjoyed. Despite these complicated scenes, the primary subject in each image is clearly evident.
The fuzzy seed heads are Goldenrod, whose flowers were a short while ago bright golden yellow. The background is the golden flowers of Jerusalem Artichoke, unintentionally reminding us of the recent blaze that was Goldenrod.
The long lens allowed for a short depth of field making the Goldenrod in focus and the background Jerusalem Artichoke to fade in detail. Despite the strong yellow color in a large portion of the image, the contrast in focus makes it clear to the viewer that the attention belongs to the seed heads in this image.