Nov 4, 2013

New Hallway Photos

  Cool Hotdog - 2 by Jay Scott on 500px.com
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I'm ashamed to say that the frame in our hallway with the five spaces for portrait oriented photos had become quite outdated. The photos of Kiwi contained within were still cute but they all included the use of selective colour, which is the reason I was ashamed they were still there. The days of using Photoshop to remove all colours except for one is long gone and when I see that thankfully short-lived cliché being used today I cringe just a little and immediately, on a subconscious level, assume an amateur status of the photographer who made the photo.

Kiwi enjoying a run with Uncle Riley at Riverside Park in Swift Current.

That's one of the problems of the fast pace of the digital age. Everything moves so fast that what was once cool and neat becomes outdated faster than fashion and clothing. Instagram filters, making clean, crisp, vibrant digital photos look like they were made 30 years ago, adding film grain or any of the other currently trendy post processing techniques will likely run their course in short order. This is not to say that they aren't worth using and a lot of people really like those looks, but I do not. I like my images to be as timeless as possible. The value in creating images that have those techniques applied to them is just as high as creating the images I am trying to create. I just know that my personality will not allow me to blur something sharp, wash something out, or desaturate something below what is seen by our eyes. It's no secret that I often increase the saturation in an attempt to brighten the world around us through my photos.

I realize that the following photo does have an imitation of selective colour but it is not a cheap Photoshop trick. The nuances of the red light warming up the white backdrop along with the cool light hitting Kiwi's back and playing into the folds of the blanket make for the natural look that you subconsciously see when you look at a real photo as opposed to a Photoshop mimicking. However, one technique that I use often that I am fully aware is cliché and will be outdated before too long, is the use of extreme cool and extreme warm light as in the very first and very last photo of this post. Video games, movie posters, music album covers, all currently use these colour extremes and get away with it, as I get away with ridiculous bright neon colours when I'm photographing Kiwi. But I do realize how quickly they will become old. One of my favorite photos I made of food used very subtle differences in the colour of the light and I should try to remember that as I work to develop my style.

  Kiwi - Canada Day by Jay Scott on 500px.com
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Often the look of the photos I make is a bit dramatic, and that is mostly in my choice of lighting, but trust me when I say that our dog is seldom as intense as she appears in a lot of the photos I make of her. I have one more in mind that might be tricky to execute but I'm going to make it happen one of these days. It will be a slightly long exposure of her laying with her head between her front paws, like a Pound Puppy, with her little tail wiggling. The long exposure will allow her little stub to be a cute little blur as she lays there watching while I talk to her trying to get her just interested enough to wag her tail but not so interested that her head pops up from between her paws. Ironically, I often find it easier to direct a dog, who only understands a tiny fraction of the words I say to her, than a person. I guess it's all about relationship and knowing your subject.

  Kiwi - One Light by Jay Scott on 500px.com
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The frame in our hallway now has five fresh new photos that will likely keep us smiling as we walk by for at least a few years. In the meantime I will be constantly making new shots of our little Poochy who will be turning six in one short month. By the time we are ready to replace the photos I'm sure I will have five new satisfactory shots to fill the frame with.

  Kiwi - July 2013 by Jay Scott on 500px.com
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This final photo did not make the cut. We decided to opt for the close-up portrait you see at the very top of the post but, despite every recommendation to show only your best work, I wanted to share this final and sixth photo with you.

  Cool Hotdog by Jay Scott on 500px.com

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