After spending the morning photographing the Turkey Creek Tract field trip, I headed back to the festival. The festival was held at the Titusville Fl. Campus of Brevard Community College. This was the nerve center for all festival activity. I spent each afternoon photographing festival activities around the campus.
The festival hosted many classroom presentations. They covered a wide range of subjects including birding, bird species, bats, butterflies, conservation, reptiles, optics, photography, and travel.
The exhibit area was set up in the large gymnasium on campus and spilled out into the hall way areas. This is where attendees register and pick up their festival badges, where the silent auction was held, and where the evening socials were held. This is also the meeting and departure place for many of the field trips. There are a wide range of vendors that set up their booths in the exhibit area. If you’ve never been to the festival, and want to get a taste of it, and live nearby, this is the place to start! You don’t have to be registered or signed up for anything to stop in and take a look. You may find a location for your next travel or find a craft to take home. You may even start birding!
The Raptor Project puts on several raptor shows each day. There is limited seating on the stage for the show, so you need to arrive early and get a $5.00 ticket for the show at the festival registration desk. Between shows you can go onstage and look at the birds and take some photos.
Back in October I was looking at a few of my favorite blogs and most of them had posted spectacular Autumn photos. I was born and raised in Pennsylvania, the Autumn colors were spectacular! It was one of my favorite times of the year, not only for great photography, I just liked the Autumn. I have been living in Florida for 9 years now, so one of the things I have been missing was Autumn. So when I was looking at all of the beautiful Autumn images on the other blogs, I started thinking about Autumn and being in Florida. I have found if you know where and when to look, you will find little hints of Autumn here and there. You will not see the beautiful grandiose, colorful landscapes that you find in the north, but just little splashes of color scattered here and there. If you go looking for Autumn in Florida in October, you’re not going to find it. This year it started a bit early, we had an early cold snap and I think that may have triggered an earlier than normal Autumn. It seemed to get going in mid to late November. I have noticed in past years that it has been getting started in late November to early December and peaking around Christmas. I think because it starts so late and is not the bold statement that occurs in the north, most people overlook it. Also it gets spread out over a longer period of time. I took these photos just in the last week. So if you find yourself in Florida for Christmas, don’t think winter, think Autumn.
I have started a website with Fine Art America. I have only added a few photos at this point just to see how things go, I hope to be adding more soon. So I hope you will stop by and check it out! http://roy-thoman.artistwebsites.com/
Over the past few months I have been taking a portfolio class at the local college. As part of this class I have created this blog to document the progression of my portfolio. The objective of the class was to produce a body of work representing our field of interest. In the beginning I knew that I wanted to do some sort of fine-art, abstract. If you refer to some of my earlier posts, I presented several types of abstract images to the class for discussion. One of the cool things about this class was looking at the work the other students were producing. Most of the other students were as clueless as I was as to what direction to go with our portfolios. It was a huge help to present our work in class and get the opinions of the other students on what direction we should each go, pointing out our strengths and weaknesses. So with the help of the class I decided to use the architectural abstracts as my portfolio subject. So now that we have settled on a subject for our portfolios we need to produce a body of work consisting of 10 images that flow together. The images needed to have lines, color and design that worked well together, even the order in which the images are placed needed to flow. Once again relying on help from the rest of the class each week we presented our work to be critiqued, deciding what images worked and what images didn’t work. The journey was a long and hard one, evaluating what images would make the final 10, I took hundreds of photos along the way, sharing some of the better ones here. It was lots of fun not only working on my portfolio but also helping the other students with their portfolios as well. I can’t help thinking that somewhere out there is an image that I have missed, I will never look at a building the same way again. This has been a great class! So after hours and hours of creating images, many long discussions, adding, subtracting, shuffling and tweaking I present, The Final 10!
My Departure From Reality
A Photographic Journey by Roy Thoman
I started working on my photography certificate at BCC 2 years ago. It’s been a long but rewarding journey. I have learned lots of new things and met a lot of great people along the way. I saved the portfolio class for last, because I have seen some of the amazing work that students have produced in this class, so I was a bit intimidated. My first challenge was to come up with a creative idea for something to photograph. I have always been drawn to abstracts; their use of color, texture, shape and lines has always interested me. To me a photograph is a moment in time. I enjoy capturing that moment in time that maybe nobody else but me has seen or at least maybe didn’t see it the way that I saw it. Looking at the photographs of Edward and Brett Weston, I liked their use of light to show the form of the object they were photographing. I was reading that an abstraction indicates a departure from reality. Pablo Picasso said “You must always start with something. Afterward you can remove all traces of reality.” And so I have started on my journey, my departure from reality. I have always found architecture to be a very interesting subject. Although I have not worked with architecture as a subject in the past, I thought I would give it a go. Architects work very hard to come up with ways to be creative with their designs; sometimes those little creative bits are not so obvious. I have found over the years that light is probably the most important components in creating a good image. When you learn about photography one of the first things you learn or that everyone tells you is that to get the best light for an image you need to use morning or evening light. Between 11am and 3pm you better just go take a nap, because you’re not going to get anything worthwhile. When I started taking photos for this portfolio I soon found out that to get the light and the shadows falling on my subjects the way I wanted them to I was going to need to do my photography between 11am and 3pm. So not only do I need to open my mind creatively I need to open my mind technically as well. The architects have provided me with the structure of the building; it’s up to me to use light creatively to capture my moment in time. Light falling on different parts of the structure creates shadows, light areas and dark areas. These shadows, light areas and dark areas create lines and shapes that only exist at that moment in time. Most of my images ended up being monotone in nature; it is the shadows, light areas and dark areas that have given the image different color tones. Now that I have discovered that moment in time, I need to depart from reality. Taking those shadows, light areas and dark areas I used camera angle and perspective to isolate those areas sometimes creating even more shapes lines and angles, departing from the reality of what was there to begin with. It would be very hard to recreate any of these images again. The moment in time has passed. The light would be different; I would not stand at exactly the same spot, changing my perspective enough that the image would just not be the same. That’s not saying it would not be a good image it would just be a different moment in time, a different departure from reality. I have enjoyed my journey, my departure from reality, it’s been lots of fun and I have learned a lot about myself and my photography. I’m really sorry to see this journey come to an end, it’s been a great two years! But as one journey ends, another journey begins.
I took a trip down to the Brevard Community Collage Campus in Melbourne Fl. the other day. I was able to find several very nice abstracts. I think I may be able to add some of them to my portfolio, I hope anyway. I have been able to find lots of great abstracts, but the type of angular, softer ones that are making it into my portfolio are very hard to find. I have looked at, if not photographed every building between Melbourne and Titusville Florida. I’m running out of buildings. I’m thinking about trying to head north towards Daytona to see what I can find up that way. So anyway here is what I was able to find at the BCC Melbourne Campus. Oh, I need to come up with a name for my portfolio so if anybody has any ideas for a name let me know.
I was in downtown Melbourne Fl. again and found some really cool images. Downtown Melbourne is a great place for photography. Although I got some striking images none of them are going to fit into my portfolio. I’m going to need to get together another portfolio of my favorite images that didn’t make it into my portfolio.
In one of my first posts “Beginning my portfolio” in the architectural abstract group there is an image of a pink south-western style building that I really liked. It was not fitting into my portfolio because of the really blue sky in the top left corner of the image. I have been wanting to re-shoot that building and try to get the sky out of the image. So I headed back to downtown Titusville Fl. to give it another try. I found a few more good images while I was there. Most of them are not going to fit into my portfolio, but I wanted to show them to you anyway. I hope that one of them is going to fit into my portfolio.
We discussed the photos that I shot at the Cocoa Beach Suntrust in class this week. We took one out and added one of the Cocoa Beach photos to the line up. I have also added one that I still think may work. So here is how the portfolio is shaping up so far. I need to end up with 10 photos that work well together.
The search for additions to my portfolio continues. I had an errand that took me to the Cape Canaveral, Cocoa Beach area, so I thought this would be a good opportunity to find some good abstracts to add to my portfolio. I started my search in Cape Canaveral, I was hopeful that some of the hotels or shopping areas would have some great architecture that would work for my portfolio. I have found that the height of the afternoon, although not so great for other types of photography, is a time of day that produces the colors and shadows that I am looking for. This is the time of day when I started my search. The one thing I need is a cloudless sky to give me the great sharp shadows that I am looking for. This was not such a day, The sky is covered with huge slow moving grayish clouds. I am driving and driving, but not seeing anything. I think mostly due to the flat light created by the clouds. I have found from past experience that you can’t give up too soon. Just when you think that you will never find what you’re looking for an opportunity presents itself. This is what happened on this quest. I was driving and looking and driving and looking, just about to give up for the day without a click of the shutter, when I saw my subject. I had made my way all the way through Cape Canaveral and I had almost gone all the way through Cocoa Beach when I saw this really great professional type office space attached to a Suntrust bank. Not only that, as I pulled into the parking lot to check the place out, the clouds thinned and the light got way better, still not optimum, but useable. Wow this is great! So here are the images that I created on my trip to Cocoa Beach.
We all showed our work for this week. Several other students had some really fantastic images! I was jealous. Anyway they were very good. Two of the images that I shot in Melbourne Fl. may work for my portfolio. I really liked some of my other images but, my portfolio is more of a lines and angles type of abstract and these were curvy and rounded, so they although are good images, they don’t fit my portfolio. I knew ahead of time that that would be the case, so it wasn’t a huge shock that they didn’t fit. So after this weeks class here is how my portfolio is starting to look. I’m sure there will be additions and deletions along the way.
I needed to go to Melbourne Fl. the other day, so I took the opportunity to hunt for some cool architectural abstracts to add to my portfolio. I found several that I like a lot. I’m not sure if they will be right for my portfolio though. I will need to get the opinion of the class. I was not there at quite the right time of day. I didn’t have the light and shadows that I have been looking for. The sun kept going behind a cloud. I need a cloudless sky to get the crisp dark shadows that I’m looking for. So here are the photos that I created on my trip to Melbourne. What do you think?
We all looked at the beginnings of our portfolios last night. It was interesting to see what ideas everybody has. A few people have a good solid idea, but others are struggling a bit. It’s pretty early yet so I’m sure ideas will start flowing soon. The week before in class, the general consensus of the class was that I should pursue my architectural abstract group of photos. So for this week we needed to bring in two new photos that we would like to add to our portfolio. I saw one photo that I have been wanting to take for my portfolio at the gym that we belong to. So the other day I took my camera over there and took a few photos. I also found another photo that I was happy with. So here are the two photos that I shared with the class last night. I’m also going add the one photo from my group of architectural abstracts that went along with the two photos that I showed the class last night. So now for next week I will be on the hunt for two more photographs like these 3.
Our assignment for this week is Subject Intent. We need to photograph one subject and use a different intent to make each image.
Assignment: 4 photographs of one subject.
Showing: 1. Depictive Subject Intent. Records the visual nature of something (person, object, place or event)
2. Expressive Subject Intent. A visual metaphor or description of mood, an emotion, etc.
3. Statement – Oriented Intent. The actual subject of an image is a statement, usually through depictive means.
4. Form – Based Subject Intent. Formalism involves elements such as shape, color, texture, line, contrast, etc. Thing abstraction!
Like I mentioned earlier I need some help zeroing in on the type of portfolio that I want to do. I’ve posted some of the photos/ideas that I have floating around in my head. I still don’t know what form of abstract that I want to do yet , but it was helpful to get them all together in one place so I can see my thoughts on the page. I need to do some more shooting and getting more of my thoughts into photos.
There is one more sample portfolio that I would like to show you. I like architectural abstracts, I have not photographed very many of them before, so I thought I would give it a try. We were in downtown Titusville the other day and I saw a few good architectural photos that I wanted to shoot. I have found that to get the shadows falling the way I want them to, I need to shoot between 11am and 2pm, anything that I have ever learned about photography says that you need to put the camera away during that time of day. For the most part that’s true, I don’t normally shoot during that time of day. This is one time where you really need to take the camera off of automatic and shoot manually. Your cameras meter is going to be fooled into over exposing your photos. I have been under exposing these as much as a full stop to get the look that I want.
I really like to photograph old and rusty things. I went out the other day looking for some old and rusty things. I was thinking that maybe I could do a portfolio of old and rusty things.
Another form of abstract that I like to shoot is botanical abstracts. I like when leaves and plants are back lit by the sun. I like the way the sun shines through the leaves. I like the patterns that the shadows make. I like to play around with dramatic lighting. So here are some of the botanical abstracts that I have been shooting.
I also like to do photos of reflections. When ever I’m out taking my camera for a walk, I can never pass up a good reflection. There are several marinas in the area and I find lots of good photos when I go to the marinas. Reflection abstracts are some of the photos that I like to take at marinas.
Staying with the car theme another portfolio that I was considering doing was an old rusty car rather than the nice shinny ones that I would normally do. I would love to get into a junk yard someplace and photograph the old rusty cars. This car wasn’t in a junk yard, it is a car that someone is driving. I call it the heap.
I need to zero in on the type of portfolio that I want to do. I’m pretty sure that I want to do some form of abstract photography for my portfolio, but what type of abstracts do I want to use? This is where I’m going to need some help. Over the past few weeks I have taken a few photos that I want to show you. I have done a sampling of several types of abstracts that I would like to use for my portfolio. So if you could take a look at them and let me know if you like one type over another, or any thoughts you have would be helpful.
The first type of abstract that I want to show you is one that I have been doing since back in the days of film. Remember film? I sort of do. Anyway, I grew up in York Pa. There is an annual hot rod show that I would attend every year. I would burn up several rolls of film on headlights, mirrors, doors and any part of the cars that I would find interesting. So I thought that I would maybe make a portfolio of car abstracts.
Visit one photography portfolio link that has been added to our class Wiki and answer the following. Add this as an entry to your Blog:
- Web Site Address: http://www.ericryananderson.com/#/BOOK%20I/BOOK%20ONE/1/thumbs
- Type of photographic portfolio (Fine Art, Commercial, Portraiture, Sports, Wedding, Etc.): This is a Fine Art Portrait site.
- 5 characteristics of the portfolio you find appealing – Why?
1. Mostly I like the lighting Eric uses most of the time. He uses a very soft natural lighting. I think he does use a lot of natural light.
2. I like that Eric’s subjects look like they are just doing what they would do naturally. They don’t look posed. I’m sure that they are, but then instructed to act natural. He catches
the look and moment that he wants.
3. Eric uses several different effects on some of his images. Some of them look like they were taken in the 60’s or 70’s. Some of them are distressed transfers. Some of them are black
and white. He uses a variety of processes.
4. I like the thumbnail view of photos. This way you can pick and choose the photos that you want to look at, rather than looking through his entire collection. Although,
you will want to look through his entire collection.
5. The overall feel of Eric’s work is FUN! People having fun.
- 2 improvements the designer could make to his/her portfolio or website.
1. For a few of his portraits he uses a diptych format. Two photos of the same person. There are a few of them that work really well, but there are a few that just don’t work.
2. Once you do click on an image to get a large view you are seemingly stuck in that format and need to look at all of the photos in that group. There is a way to get out of it, but it’s hard
to find and took a while for me to figure it out.
- How do you envision your final photography portfolio? I’m not sure I can answer this question yet. I have too many Ideas flying around in my head right now. I have started working on a few of them so I want to see how they pan out and narrow them down.
- What ideas do you have for making your portfolio stand above the rest? I hope to try to find something that is visually appealing, something maybe not so ordinary, but yet not too way out there. I also want to try to use dramatic lighting to make the images stand out.
Photo Sharing Site Review
1. Name of Site: SmugMug
- Appearance of Site: The site is very colorful and professional looking. Lots of professional looking photos on the home page. They have lots of good info about the website right on the home page easy to find. It’s uncluttered and easy to navigate. Everything you want to know about their site is right there on the homepage.
- Uses tags, sets or groups: I’m not sure what you mean by tags, sets or groups. When you browse photos there are several ways to search. You may search by Current Popular photos, location, keywords, categories, or popular photo communities. Clicking on one of these will take you to a page where you may pick from popular photos or galleries. From there you can go to the photographers SmugMug page. Also you ma search for photographers using a search engine.
- Type of upload methods
- mobile phone-yes
- Other: I don’t think that there is anything that you can’t make from you photos. They do it all.
Pros: Very organized and easy to use. You can customize your page to look very professional. It is a very safe site to use. They have many privacy and safety options. This site is used by lots of professionals. You don’t see personal photos birthday parties etc. If you want to see or show birthday parties use Flicker. Customers can easily purchase your photos right from your page. They do all of the work, printing, shipping, billing or pretty much anything that needs done. You can upload unlimited photos. You can use it like an external hard drive. Upload full resolution photos. You don’t need to worry about your photos getting lost, they back them up. With a business account you can set your own prices. Uses right click protection. You may use your own custom host-name. They have a free trial. No ads or spam. Customer service to help you.
Cons: Cost is $40 – $300 per year. Upload unlimited JPG’s for free but larger files such as RAW files have a small fee.
Our second assignment was to create one photographic image, where you have combined words with one of your photographs.Sounds easy enough, just take a photo and add some words to it right! Then Marilyn, our instructor said that she wanted us to make this photo say something about us as a photographer. Well this had me stumped for a while. I wasn’t sure how to make a photo say something about me. Most of my photos say something about what I’m seeing. Now I need to say something about me. So how am I going to do that? I think I was over thinking it, I could not come up with anything for the longest time. Then one day I was walking through the house and out of the corner of my eye I saw something that made a light go off in my head. I wasn’t thinking about the photo I needed to create for class at that point in time. I was just going about my day. We have a small table that has a magazine rack on the side of it. Sitting on this table there is an old photo of my wife and I. The magazine rack had a travel magazine, my wife and I like to travel, and a photography magazine, I of course like photography. So as I was walking by this scene I saw the photo that I wanted to create for my visual art journaling assignment.
This is the photo that I saw as I was walking by. The words I wrote were how this image was making me feel as I was creating it.
So as your struggling hard to come up with an idea, don’t worry too much, you may just relax your mind enough to let it find one for you.