Saturday, November 10, 2012

When a miss leads to a new shot

Today I got home with a load of groceries and spotted a beautiful shaft of sunlight on the top of a small Japanese maple with a particularly nice arrangement of leaves. Unfortunately, when I put away the perishables and ran back out with a camera, the sun had already dropped too low for the effect that initially caught my eye.

Rather than give up, I looked around me to see if anything else turned up. At first I was disappointed, but after awhile I found a perspective that was lit to advantage. It even had a bit of foreground/middle-ground/background separation, so it could qualify as a landscape!

Looking upward for more light, I found this:

Next I moved to a different grouping of foliage and played with this avi-morphic leaf. I spot metered the sunlit subject and allowed the background to go very dark.

The next photo is the one that I think I'll be glad I was able to get. Composing with a fixed focal length lens, there were some constraints on what I could get into my field of view. (I was using a 135 mm f/2 specifically for the wide aperture and potential for separation between subject and background.) Of course I could crop out a distraction afterward, but couldn't add to the width of coverage. I liked having the little bit of of a second leaf appearing in the corner, and tried to include just enough of it for clarity, but little enough to leave a kind of sense of mystery. That may sound like an overblown interpretation, but it was the kind of thing that was flitting through my head as I worked.

I did expand my view a bit by lying on my back on the ground. That enabled this composition of lacy lines.

As I finished up and headed inside, this leaf jumped out at me from the ivy, so this time I grabbed it before the light changed.


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