Breaking a few photographic rules…

6 10 2012

I was inspired by National Geographic photographer Jim Richardson’s essay titled, “Let There Be Light,” where he discusses breaking photographic rules, in this case the one about overexposing highlights in a photograph. In breaking the “read the histogram to correct the blown-out highlights” rule, he captures an image that is ethereal and far more evocative than he would have created had he just followed the rules.

My photo of a gull ready to take flight breaks some other rules that I traditionally follow when photographing. I photographed this bird for several minutes before I got this shot and I considered it a throwaway when I viewed it on my screen. Later, I reconsidered saving it. The image has at least two things that immediately put it into the “not up to par” category: 1) you can’t see much of the bird’s head (just a tiny portion of the top of his head)—so much for focusing on the eyes to make them tack sharp, which is a top rule in bird photography, and 2) the motion isn’t stopped with a higher shutter speed, so the wings are extremely blurry. In the “plus category,” what’s good about this image is the composition (nice, off-center positioning gives it a dynamic that I must admit was not planned at the time), and the anticipation and tension of lift-off with the wings blurred in mid-air next to the tack sharp wood grain in the dock pylon. The gull is grounded yet I’ve serendipitously captured a split second before it will no longer be. It’s graphic with lots of negative space and there is ample contrast.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Steve Thomas, illustrator

17 03 2012

Last month illustrator Steve Thomas e-mailed me to ask permission to use a photograph I shot of a seagull in Bodega Bay, California as an art reference (photo at right). I granted him permission with the only stipulation being that he share his final results with me. He wrote, “Thanks a million. When I saw your photo, I knew it was perfect for what I was planning, which happens to be a fake travel poster to Bodega Bay, inspired by the movie “The Birds” for a Hitchcock tribute show.”

This week he sent me his entry. Do you see Hitchcock’s famous profile in the bird? Pretty cool, huh? The gallery show is a tribute to Hitchcock and he chose to do a travel poster in the location where “The Birds” takes place. He says, “Adding Hitchcock’s profile just helped solidify the connection.” Thanks for sharing it with me, Steve!

Learn more about this very talented artist here and see more of his work here. He even has his posters and t-shirt art available on Zazzle here. I just love his illustration style (and especially love the vintage-look travel posters)!





Gull at Goat Rock Beach, Bodega Bay

6 02 2011

Photographed at Goat Rock Beach by Bodega Bay (Sonoma Coast), California, where the Russian River meets the sea

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Lone gull, lone cloud, lone man

12 12 2009

Seagull on Chincoteague Island, Virginia; lone cloud somewhere in Colorado; and Dad during our road trip—Great Adventure #678—in 1990 (which he writes about in his recent blog posting, “Arizona apples & cheeseburger briefs” here). 35mm slides scanned by ScanCafe.com

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.