Which brought us here (a continuation)

A post or two ago, I mentioned running into similar compositions and subject matter. A fellow photog and blogger turned me onto what she called “taxonomies.” I replied, “What? I flunked sciences, hence the MFA in English.” She then elaborated on how to relate the term to photography, about how to gather related forms, even if tangential, for a collection. As I mulled this over, I spent some time today reviewing old and new photographs looking for patterns or connections. What I noticed was something I can only contribute to the sub-conscious or “tendencies” for a less psycho-babble term. I noticed that even in my older, quality lacking photos that there are elements, parts, angles, colors, etc., that I continue to repeat in works today. On one hand, it feels a little alarming, a little negative as in the need to break through. On the other hand, it feels like discovery, a discovery of innate style and should be pursued.

With this on my mind, I came across the above photograph taken about a week ago. I started processing the photograph going with a calmer, desaturated toning and it felt strangely familiar. I then flipped through some archived photos when I came across this one, published here nearly a year ago. In short, three years apart and 1,000 miles between geography, the photographs are strikingly similar in effect. (Side note: yes, that is a camera strap around her neck! To boot, she was in the process of framing up what was in front of her 🙂 )

When photographing kids, I like catching their gazes and concentrations which usually end up aimed 180 degrees from you. I also will argue that it is a more realistic candid. As a parent, you are usually behind just trying keep up. I see the backs of my kids quite often and I mean it in a positive manner (ask me again when they are teenagers). It’s positive for me because I get to stand back and watch them engage in the yawning spread of world before them.

At this juncture, I usually discuss processing steps. It’s been something I’ve always done here without a real reason. “Shop-talk” can get a bit lengthy and a bit boring. Going forward, I’m going to abbreviate the process part. I’d rather focus on experiences and ideas at large on photography. But, by all means, if there is something you would like more illumination on post-process wise, feel free to ask. I would be more than happy to share in replies or ala email.

So for processing, this was mainly done in Lightroom with an emphasis on desaturating select colors. In PS, I adjusted the exposure and masked to brighten the center and darken the edges.

7 thoughts on “Which brought us here (a continuation)

  1. I hear what you’re saying. When I started this blog in January, I felt I didn’t have a particular style to my photography, but my wife said she can always recognize one of my images – she says it’s just got my touch. I’m still not sure I see it in my own, but I see it in your images. There are common threads in the subjects you choose, the compositions you select and the processing after the fact. I also found the idea of my photos looking like my photos to be a bit disturbing at first. But as you say, also reassuring. Like finding your voice.

  2. Having not long finished work, I’m dozing slightly as I’m checking my e-mails and blog updates this morning. Outside the sun is trying to squeeze through gaps in the tree as the leaves are being moved by the breeze and leaving a rippling effect on my eyelids.
    This is a very comfortable and relaxing photo to fall asleep into 🙂
    Thanks for sharing it.

  3. Love this shot, the subtle saturation looks amazing and the composition is great. I know exactly what you mean, I started my blog with random pictures of anything, but more and more I seem to subconsciously gravitate towards certain subjects, processing techniques, compositions etc. It’s a fun and totally natural process.

  4. Beautiful composition. Quite true that we gravitate to certain subjects and styles even as we master a technique or pick up a new one. In linguistics they identify dialect of a group of speakers who share the same language., but each individual in the group has their own idiolect. That is why they can run a vocabulary and word pattern search to identify commonality in an individual writer’s style. Visual artists-photographers have visual idioms and patterns.

    1. That’s a good comparison. There are definitely linguistic patterns. When I taught freshman writing it was always the first plagiarist tip off.

  5. Sorry for the second comment, but did anyone else see letters in the reflection in the water ? To the left of the girl’s head it looks to me like ” I C U R ” – ” I see you are…….” What is the rest of the message ?

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