A Beautiful Fly
Since starting the photography lessons contained in John Hedgecoe’s Complete Guide to Photography, I’ve noticed strange things happening in my brain. My view of the world around me is changing. I’m seeing things differently. Or maybe I’m starting to really SEE things. For instance, I like beauty. Ugly, not so much. But what is beautiful and what is ugly? Garbage bags on the sidewalk are hardly beautiful. But wait! Look at the way the light falls on the plastic folds. Look at how the various colors appear softer under the white plastic. On the whole, I still think bags of garbage are ugly. But if I zoom in really close and just look at that one particular section right there, then I can see something interesting. Or perhaps I should pull back. Way, way back. Now I see the garbage bag within the context of the whole street. Life is happening right here. The bag sits at the curb of a rather up-scale mens’ clothing shop. Well-dressed people are coming and going. That garbage bag is starting to look more interesting. If this is how my mind works after two lessons, I’m curious what it’ll be like after 70. Now, on to that lesson, shall we?
In Lesson One, I focused on shape, the distinctive outline of an object. When lighting changes a two-dimensional shape into a three-dimensional object, we have form.
These photos are of four metal gazebo decorations, all with the same face shape. The photos were taken on the same day very close in time. The first was illuminated by direct sunlight. The second, from an angle. The third, from the side. The fourth had no direct lighting at all. I find it interesting that each face seems to have a slightly different expression and eyes seem to look in different directions depending on how the faces are lit. I would not have noticed this had I not taken these pictures. All this from only a change in the direction of light.