Archive for May 2012

1 peek: Dewy and numb

Dewy and numb on a cool early autumn morning

P. S. Under "1 peek" I will start to post only images without accompanying text to bore you :-) 
(only a short caption of course).

2012/05/26 by Unknown
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Order is half the battle

Photographs are taken to be looked at - either by yourself or by an audience small or large. Here, I would like to suggest something that can improve the viewing experience for your audience: ORDER.
Order is half the battle (or half the life as the German proverb suggests) of many things related to your photography. Order is half the battle when you try to retrieve a specific photograph from the depths of your hard drive, but more importantly also improves the viewing experience for your audience. Galleries comprised of unique photographs with a unifying theme help the viewer appreciate your vision.
Our brain detects and memorizes ordered patterns and structures. Therefore, a photo gallery makes a greater and more memorable impression if a unifying theme is immediately recognizable. In contrast,  the viewer will be bored and distracted by too many variations of the same. In too broadly defined galleries, the photographs will seem unrelated, random shots of whatever came in front of your lens, while too narrowly defined themes harbor the danger of look-alike compositions that will not be appreciable on their own.
Shadow triangles 1
Light & shadow on a facade in Hong Kong

Sometimes I have difficulties delineating and defining photography themes and to find the happy medium between too narrow and too broad. I try to break up the classical themes such as "landscapes" or "cityscapes" into smaller and more defined themes and to show only a small selection, a kind of portfolio, for each theme in the primary gallery (a maximum of 12 photographs in my galleries). Currently, the publicly listed order on floriansphotos is the following:

I hope you enjoy and wish you a good weekend,


2012/05/20 by Unknown
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Are photographers optimists?

While a painter chooses what to bring to life on her canvas, a photographer composes by excluding what she does not want to be captured. Two different approaches of which neither is better or worse but both represent a subjective choice of a frame or moment. 
This is what I really like about photography!
On one hand, a photograph is a subjectively selected moment or composition that is frozen in time. It does not matter what was before and what happened afterwards and the viewer will never see what was to the left or right. On the other hand, what the photograph shows did exist in the real world.
Photography allows to extract and capture pieces of the world around us and to appreciate these detached from their surrounding and moment of existence. Photographers train themselves to discover beauty (photographs) in the vast see of the ordinary. I wonder if photographers are among the most positive and optimistic human beings :-)

All the best,

Morning light, amaryllis shadow and an open door from the Light & shadow gallery

2012/05/12 by Unknown
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Beware of proselytism!

Many blogs, people and photographers have a mission that they want to spread. Unfortunately, this often involves advise on what other people should like or enjoy, for example in photography. I very strongly and decidedly dislike any such kind of proselytism. Actually, I find the urge to convince others to imitate ones own conduct presumptuous, assuming and arrogant. 
It is very important to separate facts from opinions. For example, I try to teach my children that it makes a big difference whether you say "this soup is bad" or rather "I find this soup bad".
Remember to separate facts from opinions whenever you read a review or listen to advice! Words like "good", "bad", "best", "complicated" or "intuitive" are subjective designations that usually do not relate to facts at all and only depend on the subjective opinion of the author. In my opinion, the crux of the matter is to discover what works for yourself, irrespective of what other people suggest. This applies not only to photography, but to most things in life. Having a clear idea of your own needs frees you from all sorts of manipulations by peers, reviewers and advertisement and I am quite sure that it also reduces compulsive camera buying syndrom (CCBS) and benefits your wallet.
The above explains why I do not like to write about equipment and tools too much and why you should not take any of my opinions as absolute truths. I present things that I like because they work for me and I am arrogant enough to think that my experience may be helpful or enjoyable to somebody somewhere. I do not share my opinions to convince, but to provide food for thought that may help you discover what is pleasing, right, wrong or useful for you.
To finish this digression into the photosophical, I share a simple light and shadow composition that "works" for me. The photograph was taken very close to my home in Zurich Oerlikon - a favorite spot of mine to photograph on a quiet and sunny weekend morning. I hope that for one or the other of you the composition works as well.

All the best,

Light and shadow in Zurich Oerlikon, Switzerland

2012/05/08 by Unknown
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