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Author Topic: My journey  (Read 6435 times)

Riaan van Wyk

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My journey
« on: August 23, 2010, 02:44:44 PM »

The title and my garbled thoughts herewith probably sounds self centred. I would like to share though if you would care to listen..

Attached images is from a river not far from my home. This has been my place of refuge and sollitude for almost three years, learning about exposure and all the other things that go along with photography- I also learnt more about myself in the time spent around here while listening to the robins fighting over nesting place at sunset, watching herons and kingfishers on their neverending quest of finding protein and even getting to know the herds of local cattle that use the river for nourishment. And truth be told, I probably wouldn't be here tonight, writing this, if it wasn't for photography and this river- life has a strange way of kicking you in the teeth when you have toothache.   

But I found that I was getting into a rut with my attempts at landscapes. As you can see the images are much of a muchness, not that I regret shooting the same thing as it was for me all part of my journey and learning curve.

It started to feel like work to have to go down to the river and get something worthwhile ( for me) and decided to stop. I reached a saturation level for the type of images I shot I guess. But it was required- I don't "see" landscapes as well as most people, finding a strong composition is very hard work for me and shooting horizontal compositions is the next part in my "upbringing." And that required me to get away from the river and think more about my attempts. I don't shoot nearly as much as I used to although I spend the same amount of time in the field, but I try and think more about my work and not shoot willy nilly anymore. Thank you for listening.
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Mike Louw

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Re: My journey
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2010, 03:08:55 PM »

Hi Riaan. You're making me feel homesick! I like your images; "proper" use of HDR, IMHO. I too am almost physically unable to shoot landscapes in landscape orientation, but I don't feel bad about this as David Ward (http://www.into-the-light.com/) once told me that 90% of his landscapes are in portrait orientation. If he can do this, then so can I!

Eric Myrvaagnes

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Re: My journey
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2010, 04:22:47 PM »

I find the three you posted to be very satisfying. I wouldn't worry about working at horizontal compositions, unless, of course, you want to. You have a good eye for vertical ones.

Curiously, I find about 90% of what I shoot is in horizontal format. Perhaps I should spend some time and effort looking for more vertical ones.

Eric
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-Eric Myrvaagnes

http://myrvaagnes.com  Visit my photo website. New images each season. Also visit my new website: http://ericneedsakidney.org

JohnKoerner

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Re: My journey
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2010, 04:35:24 PM »

I like these alot Riaan;

Where I am in Florida, there is not too much opportunity for Landscape work (no mountains, no rocks), so I am pretty bankrupt in the "landscape photo" department. In fact, so far I have taken only one truly satisfying landscape shot (to me).

Interestingly, my girlfriend almost always takes her shots in portrait mode, as you and Mike do, whereas I almost always take mine in "landscape" mode. I think you have made excellent use of the portrait perspective in your images, Riaan, and you have inspired me to try to take more such shots myself. (Oh, how I sometimes wish I were back in California again so that I could make better use of my super-wide lens on the California beaches ... rather than the comparatively mundane beaches here in Florida!)

Anyway, sorry for the digression, but I really do like your photos.

Jack




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Geoff Wittig

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Re: My journey
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2010, 09:24:28 PM »

John-
Two words: Clyde Butcher.

My brother lives in Florida, and being used to land with a bit more relief/elevation, I despaired at shooting any worthwhile landscapes when I visited him. But Butcher's amazing work got me thinking differently. No mountains, but the water and trees are the landscape. Okay, that and the clouds.

And Riann-
Nice work! Nothing to apologize for, those are lovely photos. For what it's worth, when I'm stuck in a rut, I try something completely different. Like only shooting with a long lens for a week, or only stitched panos. Most of the photos will suck, but some of them show enough promise to lead to new stuff that's worthwhile.
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wolfnowl

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Re: My journey
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2010, 01:47:45 AM »

Two words: Clyde Butcher.

Definitely worth checking out, if you haven't seen his work... http://www.clydebutcher.com/

Mike.
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JohnKoerner

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Re: My journey
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2010, 11:53:14 AM »

Clyde Butcher's work shows what can be done with this flat terrain when a person makes use of his imagination and creativity, so thank you both for the reality check.

I also was given the website of John Moran, whose work is also excellent, and whose style is more akin to my own preferences ...

Great stuff!

Jack




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Riaan van Wyk

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Re: My journey
« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2010, 12:56:04 PM »

Thank you all for listening to my thoughts..
 
I tried to multiquote and the parameters of the little white box wouldn't let me do so.

Mike L: I will send you a PM to enquire about whereabouts you are from in SA.

Eric: Thank you. I am "comfortable" with the vertical compositions yes- but horizontal is what eludes my eye. Maybe it's a personality flaw on my side- I like/ have to tackle and try to master those things that are difficult for me.

Jack: In the "bankruptcy" of terrain lies the challenge perhaps? Making do with what you have?

Geoff: Thank you for the link. I concur with your thoughts on doing something else photographically when things are not as they should be.

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Dick Roadnight

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Re: My journey
« Reply #8 on: August 25, 2010, 01:22:14 PM »

I do like vertical landscapes, but, generally I dislike WA landscapes, and I think all three of these pictures would be improved by cropping off the lower two-thirds.
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Eric Myrvaagnes

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Re: My journey
« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2010, 06:20:34 PM »

I do like vertical landscapes, but, generally I dislike WA landscapes, and I think all three of these pictures would be improved by cropping off the lower two-thirds.
I'll have to disagree. I like the rocks and near-far in these three a lot.

Eric
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-Eric Myrvaagnes

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JohnKoerner

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Re: My journey
« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2010, 10:17:26 AM »

Jack: In the "bankruptcy" of terrain lies the challenge perhaps? Making do with what you have?

So very, very true. Anyone can walk up to a visually-stunning scene and capture something interesting to look at to camera; it takes creativity to turn what appears to be an "ordinary" scene and, through perspective, turn it into something extraordinary.

Thank you again for the reality check. It's time to start trying harder in this regard!




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I'll have to disagree. I like the rocks and near-far in these three a lot.
Eric

+1




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Riaan van Wyk

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Re: My journey
« Reply #11 on: September 05, 2010, 02:43:39 PM »

The last image of "my river"

I thought for some time about my original post here and again thought that it seems self centred to be talking about MY journey in the photography abyss that I find myself in, seeing that it has absolutely nothing to do with anyone but myself. Sharing my thoughts are the batteries for the torch I use to illuminate my way in the darkness though. Please bear with me and thank you again for listening.     
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Ifocus4u

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Re: My journey
« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2010, 10:38:11 AM »

We all have are moments where we have blocks in our desire to keep shooting.  I tend to have spans of time where I can't get out enough to shoot...and then have spans of time to rest (when I used to think I had lost interest).  I believe when these times become more like "work" I am actually taking a break to subconsciously absorb what had been  learned during the last journey out shooting.  I also found that taking on subjects that go beyond the scope of my present knowledge and will challenge me will help keep the spark alive.  These are lovely landscapes and I envy you your location.  I always prefer shots like this to be done in "landscape" shots but in the end its the creator who needs to be happy with the end result.  Well done.
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nigelrudyard

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Re: My journey
« Reply #13 on: September 09, 2010, 09:47:44 AM »

Beautifully composed, Riaan. I particularly like 7371, it's very elemental -- timeless.

Don't apologise about your personal journey. It's obviously your love of the place that has made these images so special -- and photography is about sharing the inner world we create from the outer world with others.

Congratulations -- excellent work.

I don't use vertical format much either, but your work really made me think about that!

Nigel
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Riaan van Wyk

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Re: My journey
« Reply #14 on: October 13, 2010, 03:23:15 PM »

Having recently revised my backup scenario I had a chance look at some of my river images stashed away. This one I remember particulary well as it was done out of spite.

After the second month of judging the weather from 5am and planning a trip down the mountain and being stumped by clouds rolling in at the last minute over mentioned mountain I really thought I was jinxed as to seeing great sunsets. They invariably took place when I was at work, standing outside in the parking lot and marvelling at the colours in the sky.

So I decided to not wait for the "sweet light" and spite whoever ( I now see it was me as I obviously have no control over the weather) and shoot something while the sun was still doing it's tricks and sideshows in the sky. The clouds were just starting to roll in and I had a big smile on my face while packing up the gear. I showed the photography monsters residing in the ( very small) part of the soft and grey drive between my ears that the stick they use to poke me, can be used in self defence too. Again, thank you for listening.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2010, 03:58:32 PM by Riaan van Wyk »
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Ifocus4u

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Re: My journey
« Reply #15 on: October 21, 2010, 11:38:17 AM »

Your patience paid off in spades.  This is stunning!!!  An award winner for sure.  I just love this...and the portrait style works!   ;D
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