Week 46 (6/16/2014 -6/22/2014): Pier C, Hoboken NJ
Picture taken on 6/16/2014 at 9:05 PM
If you took a step back and evaluated your life, what would you see? One thing that I often notice about myself is that I have a tendency to fall into a routine. I’ll make a decision that sets a precedent, then intentionally, or sometimes unintentionally, follow that precedent. Routines can be good, but sometimes falling into a routine can limit the experiences or results that you get out of life.
Over the past few weeks as I’ve identified some of my different routines, I’ve intentionally set out to shake things up. For example, every morning I pick up a hot coffee on my way to work. To mix things up I started drinking iced coffee in the morning instead of my usual grande dark roast. Another example, usually I go running in the evening, instead I’ve switched things up and have been going in the early AM. These are just a few small examples which might seem trivial, but when you start to add up all the small changes, they make a big difference. As with the saying “change begets change,” so the more routines that I’ve changed, the more I’ve rethought other aspects of my daily routine. As you’ve probably guessed, eventually this change made it’s way into my photography.
After analyzing my photography I noticed my tendency or “routine” was to shoot symmetrical photographs. If my photograph had lines, they typically were level on a x/y axis. The composition of my images was good, but as a whole my photographs were lacking some diversity. The conclusion, rethink my usual composition style by, flipping, tilting, blurring and or anything that would bring a new composition look to my photographs. The result, this week’s picture.
This week marked the first time I opened myself up for some image critiquing prior to posting. Usually I commit to my image and don’t budge after selecting and editing my photograph. As I said earlier, I’ve been mixing things up so after showing my brother-in-law (also Anthony) this week’s picture I reworked my photograph based on his critique. After showing Anthony this week’s original image he pointed out how the railing was distracting and sort of made your eye stop look in confusion rather than continue down the path towards the blurry one world trade. With Anthony’s comments in mind, I re-edited my photograph cutting some of the blurry railing out, while also darkening the rest so it was less distracting. The next twist, literally, was I rotated the axis of my whole image so I no longer had a level shot. The last major re-edit was to bring some subtle color back the image, this also helped the railing distraction by reducing the contrast of white on pure black.
After reworking my photograph I again sent it to Anthony for some critiquing. He was in agreement that my re-edits were a good improvement to the image. Anthony’s only remaining criticism was that the “in focus” portion of my image was a small portion of the railing, which was on the lower part of the image and not really featured in the image. Although I saw the flaw that Anthony pointed out, the location of my focus was a necessary tradeoff to get the image I wanted. While shooting this week’s photo my intention was to blur out the World Trade building enough so it had nice bokeh, but was still recognizable. In order to get the bokeh I wanted, I needed to shoot with a wide aperture (my lenses widest f/2.8), which left me with a small plane of focus. After selecting the appropriate aperture, I flipped my lens to manual focus and slowly twisted the focus ring until I got the right amount of bokeh. Had I shot with a smaller aperture I would have gotten more of the railing in focus, but it would have been harder to get the same amount of bokeh. As I hinted about earlier in the week, this week’s picture was all about the bokeh!