Atlanta Fine Art Photography Instructor
Lance A. Lewin
The art of “seeing” lies in our ability to slow down, step back and retrace steps. Turning to, and elaborating on the old trope, “Stop and smell the roses”, make a point to be cognizant of your surroundings by slowing down to experience the sensations that infiltrate our space we normally don’t notice in our hurried pace. Experiencing more of the environment by opening all our senses: to see, hear, smell, and taste a wider sampling, stoop low and see what the insects see, or pull back and glee at the grandeur of a majestic landscape. With a stronger awareness of the world around us, the camera then helps expose the hidden nuances blind to our senses, but visible only through the lens in helping to create dynamic compositions.
"The camera is not only an extension of the eye, but of the brain. It can see sharper, farther, nearer, slower, faster than the eye...Instead of using the camera only to reproduce objects, I want to use it to make what is invisible to the eye, visible." — Wynn Bullock
Capturing the environmental nuances that envelop a scene or event into a visual format is central in creating an emotional experience for the viewer. Invariably, changes in the environment – precipitated by weather and the consequential changes in light - impact photographic interpretations. Each unique experience with the surrounding environment is key in all my compositions. Some work is straightforward while other pieces represent interpretations that differ from the (conscious) collaborative efforts of our five senses.
Straight forward interpretations
A lot of my work projects a traditional or straight forward photographic interpretation: this is most evident in my landscape photographs. Capturing the scene as it appears, (See photo 1), without any hint of imaginative or subconscious alter-interpretation. On the other hand, I sometimes use a very wide angle lens to purposely bend the extreme left and right areas in a scene to evoke a sense of grandeur, (See photo 2). Depending upon the composition these effects can vary from subtle to a bit strong, but I try to balance the effect to the particular composition.
“I do not object to retouching, dodging or accentuation as long as they do not interfere with the natural qualities of photographic technique”. Alfred Stieglitz
Imaginative or Subconscious interpretations
Have you ever stood watching a sunrise or sunset at the seashore: the combination of the light, color, wind and smell of the ocean, the mesmerizing sound of the waves begin to provoke an alternative rendering of what actually lay before you? The seascape, (See photo 3), exemplifies an alternative to traditional photographic renderings. Barley a sound except for the small waves rolling smoothly onto shore, and the peach cream-colored canvas softens the motion of the waves while fog restricts our view of the horizon drawing us into this mysterious, dream-like rendering.
The key technique used to create this image: a slow shutter speed. This photograph was captured using a tripod, and timed exposure. The slow shutter speed allowed the fog and more importantly, the waves to exhibit motion. The motion softened the scene a bit more than the actual event, but this final rendering represents the emotional impact Anne and I experienced on location.
Inside my TENBA back pack:
Reluctant at first, I finally retired my beloved Minolta XD-11 film based system from full-time use (to part-time use) and joined the digital revolution. Here's a list of key system components inside my TENBA back pack:
- Canon 5DMark II 22MP Full-Frame DSLR
- Sandisk 16GB Extreme Pro image card (x2)
- Canon F/1.4 50mm
- Canon F/2.8 L II 16-35mm
- Rokkor-X MD F/2.8 24mm
- Rokkor-X MD F/2.8 35mm
- Rokkor-X MD F/1.7 50mm
- Rokkor-X MD F/2.5 100mm
- Sigma F/2.8 Macro 70-200mm
- Canon 580 EX II Flash system
- Gary Fong Diffusers
- Tripod & Head by Manfrotto