Week 25 (1/20/14 – 1/26/2014): Central Park, New York City
Picture taken on 1/26/2014 at 1:29 PM
It’s hard to believe how quickly the bitter winter cold has snuck up on us here in the Northeast. The cold became more of a chilling reality during this week’s return visit to Central Park. If you recall, roughly one month ago I took a trip to CP while the weather was uncharacteristically warm for the beginning of winter, hence the title of that week’s post “Spring into Winter.” Fast forward one month from my last visit and CP is now painted white with snow. Being from the Northeast I’m no stranger to the cold so the temperature was not enough to deter me from enjoying the snow covered park.
This time around I had a couple of friends join me during my visit to the park. If I had to choose the one thing that I enjoy the most about taking pictures with other people, it’s seeing how each person approaches a shot or what they choose to photograph. Oddly enough during this trip we all seemed to unknowingly steal each others photo ideas. The interesting wrinkle was that although we selected similar subjects we all seemed to shoot the pictures differently. This aspect of creative interpretation has been one of my favorite parts about photography. I enjoy having the opportunity to share with people how I see the world. I’m not really the most open person, but in a way photography has given me a means to let people inside my head and thus helped me share a piece of me. What’s been even more gratifying has been all of the great conversations that have sprouted up from some of my photographs. When I decided to take on photography as a hobby I never would have guessed it would yield so much engagement. As I approach the halfway point of this 52 week journey I’m looking forward to seeing where the next 6 months will take me and who it will lead me to meet.
As mentioned in this week’s picture description, to me one of the most enjoyable aspects of photography is sharing the way I see things. The way I translate my “mental image” to reality is done through about fifty percent “in camera” work and fifty percent “post” editing. Everyone has a favorite style in terms composition and editing techniques. If I had to summarize my “in camera” or composition style I’d say that I usually play to symmetry, leading lines, and using reflections to make pictures feel larger. As for my editing style, I tend to use contrast to emphasize the points of the pictures that I want people to focus on and I like to enhance light sources to reflect how I see them. This week’s picture is a prime example of all my preferred styles.
I think that knowing your style is important because it enables you to take pictures quicker and more efficiently. In the beginning of this blog when I ventured out to get a featured picture I would take close to 1000 pictures. Yes 1000 pictures! Now that I’ve gotten a feel for my style I can set up quicker and only fire off about 250 pictures per trip. The way I trimmed the number of pictures down is by knowing that the most important thing “in camera” is to maintain good exposure. Keeping your histogram in range gives you more flexibility during editing and enables you to get the picture to be your style in post. Editing is where you can really tap into your creative side and put a piece of yourself into a picture. Don’t be afraid to get creative with your editing to create an image that is unique and shows people how you see the world.