CEE’S COMPOSE YOURSELF PHOTO CHALLENGE: LANDSCAPES

CCY PHOTO CHALLENGE: #21 LANDSCAPES and THE DAILY POST: EARTH


I hesitated before I entered this challenge. I don’t remember “the rules” well. I never properly learned them. I never went to photography school or even took a course. I got a camera from a friend, looked at pictures I liked, figured out what I liked, then did my best to emulate them.

MANCHAUG DAM - A PHOTOGRAPH THAT NEEDS NOTHING SPECIAL TO MAKE IT SPECIAL

Alfred Eisenstadt, who I had the very good fortune to actually get to know at the very end of his long life, was a big influence. My first role of film, I literally tried to duplicate his landscapes of Martha’s Vineyard. In a few cases, I succeeded. I learned an enormous amount that way … but not any rules. Just what works. And what doesn’t.

Therefore, I’m not always sure on what rule is being demonstrated by my pictures. I sincerely regret not being good at the terminology. That being said … and I feel better already because confession is so good for the soul …

72-REFRACTION-sunrise Peacham-Monday_010

This probably falls into the rule of thirds. The off-center sun rising over the hill. The chromatic aberration also makes this a more interesting shot than it would otherwise be.

72-canal-042716_045

The strong diagonal is the most important element of this picture. Pictures like this need something to make them “move.” Lacking an object I could work with in the foreground, I settled for the angle of the path along the canal and the geometric forms created by the reflections.

SAGUARO CACTI IN THE SUPERSTITIONS

Mountains are a lot more majestic when there’s something in the foreground to give perspective to the landscape. Actually, most landscapes benefit from something in the foreground. It can be as small as a clump of weeds, or as big as a house. Lacking that, a diagonal or some kind of line … a road, a fence, even power lines. Speaking of which …

SINGING WIRES CONNECT THE WEST

The photograph is about the wires. Some photographers would go very far out of their way to erase them from the photograph. I use wires. They form diagonals in an otherwise flat photograph. In this case, they give perspective to the mountains and sky. They are a strong diagonal — in black and white (this picture didn’t work very well in color) — and also tell a story.

SEAGULLS AT SUNRISE

This sunrise at the harbor in Rockport, Massachusetts, was the first time I consciously included wires as part of the picture. I think they give the photograph definition and movement. The seagulls help too. The color of the house is a reflection of the sunrise …

96-Sunrise-Rockport-NK-3-A

The sunrise reflected red over the house at the dock side of the harbor. This was a spectacular sunrise. I was very lucky because getting up really early to shoot a sunrise doesn’t always yield such amazing results. I’m not sure what rules apply to this picture. Probably more than one. What made the picture work is that I could see that if I waited, the rising sun would intersect with the cloud. Probably the most important part was being there. With a camera.

Between bridge and dock river bend

It isn’t spectacular, but this picture, to me, say “home.” October. Brilliant leaves mirrored by the smooth waters. A strong diagonal from the little dock and some interesting business on the left where the bridge crosses the Blackstone.

MOUNTAINS BEHIND THE IRONWOOD

Using the ironwood tree in the foreground to give perspective to the mountains beyond.

TRUCK ON ROUTE 201 IN MAINE

It wouldn’t be much of a picture if it weren’t for that truck. Ambling it’s lonely way down the road towards the mountains in Maine. Slowly. Drivers in Maine have just two speeds: lunatic fast OR very slow. We were mostly behind the slow ones, but sometimes got passed by the crazy speed demons.

RED MAPLE IN THE MIDDLE OF TOWN

It’s all about the color and the contrast. The house and tree are both focal points, though I think if is a contest, the tree wins. Because it’s red. I shoot a picture or a dozen of this tree every year. It never fails me. Sugar maples are the showgirls of New England’s autumn.

Cee-banner-compose-yourself-challenge2

I participate in WordPress' Weekly Photo Challenge 2016
I participate in WordPress’ Weekly Photo Challenge 2016

39 thoughts on “CEE’S COMPOSE YOURSELF PHOTO CHALLENGE: LANDSCAPES”

      1. I know. I appreciate the instruction, but it takes the joy out of the photography for me to have to dissect the photo. I felt the same way in my film classes.. I didn’t enjoy films as much after I had to look at them in a technical manner. It just seemed like work!

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      2. “Eisy” would love your landscapes. But, then he would tell you about his iconic works and all those famous people and places he knew. He was my kind of guy.

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  1. These photos are lovely, if I’m not being too forward, where are they taken?
    I only ask as I’m landlocked in the centre of England so I wouldn’t be able to easily change style or location like you have with these.

    They are very well taken and artistically shot.
    I may say I’m rather jealous haha

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    1. Thank you. We don’t have a real ocean beach closer than an hour and a bit distant from here, but we have bathing areas along the river and some of the ponds.

      This set of pictures were taken in Ogunquit, Maine — all the ones with the sunrise and birds flying over the sand. The remainder — the boardwalk, Cyclone (roller coaster) and Nathan’s are all at Coney Island in Brooklyn, New York.

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  2. These are very good compositions. Am not sure if I have the time to join in here, I have started quite a few challenges latels. I do not really compose, but this would perhaps draw my attention to doing more composing. I learnt a lot in the Multiply blogging site. We had various groups and the guy that did the photo stuff lived on a boat somewhere in Savanah, and was a professional photographer with his own business. He had a group called monochrome Monday, where we converted to b/w photos and sometimes with a splash of colour. He then extended it to more or less do something with your photo. Many of the people taking part were very good and had photo shop and that was when I bought it for a bargain price and learnt to handle it. That was my main training ground for photography, although I did do a camera course locally once. Now I just have fun and develop what I learnt.

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    1. You probably have more training than I do. I’m really good at landscapes and casual portraits … I’m still working on the rest. I’m not very skilled with Photoshop, but better than I was. Photography is a great hobby. It fills a niche in my artistic something or other. I’ve never taken it as seriously as most photographers I know. I just enjoy it. Like you.

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  3. Rules are for those who acquire the art. Born artists/talented people like you need not go into technical aspects. We love you for your straight from heart photography. Excellent shots.

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      1. You know what? The magic of your posts lingers in the mind for long. My today’s flower post is outcome of that joy I get looking at your picture. Ah those fuchsias hanging in your porch.

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    1. Thank you very very much, Cee. I worked on this one for a while. It wasn’t just the content, which I wanted to be “right.” I also had one of the WordPress spacing glitches buried somewhere in the coding … and I couldn’t get rid of it. I had to keep fixing strange fonts and spaces that popped up 🙂 It’s why there are no captions. For some reason, captions made it worse. WordPress. Sigh.

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    1. July 4, 2012. It was 4:15 in the morning and a zillion mosquitoes wanted me for breakfast. Rockport Harbor, Massachusetts. Garry was sound asleep, but I slipped out to take a few pictures. It was a SPECTACULAR sunrise. Probably the best I’ve ever seen.

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  4. At each picture, I stopped and thought, “That one’s my favorite!” I found something really great in each of these…as always, very nice job!

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