Saturday, January 29, 2011

Golden Gate Bridge - Getting the Shot

Reflections

Most serious photographers will tell you that a great photograph is the result of time spent deciding on the best composition, which lens to use, what the exposure and DOF should be, etc., etc.  This is true, that most great pictures look effortless, but in reality are the product of skill and art.  

There are, however, many exceptions to this rule.  Just ask a childrens' portrait photographer or a photojournalism photographer.  Sometimes, getting the shot itself takes precedence over composition or settings or art.  I remember an experience from a week long photography workshop I took, taught by National Geographic Photographer Joel Sartore.  (Incidentally, he is fabulous both as a photographer and an instructor, and this was an experience I will never forget!!)  Anyway, he was showing some of his work, and if I remember correctly, it was a photo of an event in a rodeo where the action was fast and furious.  He took an amazing shot which looked like he was almost going to be trampled by the action.  While most of us were admiring this shot, someone in the class raised his hand and commented that the horizon in the background was crooked.  Joel had a great response that I can't remember, but the gist is that sometimes something will make a photo great even if it is not technically perfect or has other flaws, or even if it is a quick candid catching a great moment in time.

I thought of all this when I took this photo.  It was a quick shot through the windshield of our moving car, directly into the sun.  And, yes, I had to do a ton of editing to even get it presentable.  Whether because it is through tinted glass, or into the sun, or through fog, or because I was using a polarizer, or whatever...... I ended up with a weird shade of green/blue and some banding in the sky.  But somehow it works for me! 

20 comments:

Avery said...

This is just fantastically wonderful!!

Don said...

Your Golden Gate Bridge shots are delightful! Each one is so different.
Great work!!

Robin said...

Karen, it definitely works for me too!
Photography is funny. You get taught all these rules and what you can and can't do, and then you get told to go out and break those rules.
I follow the rules, as well as I know them, but when I see a shot I take it! I've taken lots of shots like this one, our of the car windscreen, and some have been pretty good!

Sandra said...

It works for me to, and i what a shot to get from a moving car! i like the sun at the top, the beams dropping down almost like from a UFO, it is erie and wonderful.

Ginny said...

A quick shot from a moving car? You have Got to be kidding!! Even when you're not good, you're GOOD!! You can see that fog literally slipping through those bridge wires!!! Very quietly wending it's way onto the bridge. I can FEEL the silence. WELL done!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sinbad and I on the Loose said...

Hmmm...let me jot that down. Throw on a polarizing filter, shoot through the windshield of a moving car directly into the sun...got it! Boy oh boy, are my photos really going to improve now! Thank you.

Kenneth Larsson said...

Wow! What a beautiful picture with fantastic light!

Greetings! :-)

Stacey Dawn said...

Great points to share... sometimes an image means something because you captured it...not because it's technically perfect! This is beautiful!!

teca said...

Spectacular!

Hugs.

ρομπερτ said...

High art indeed !

Please have a good Sunday.


daily athens

From the Kitchen said...

This takes my breath away!

Best,
Bonnie

Thoughtfully Blended Hearts said...

I think it is a gorgeous shot...who cares if it fits someone else's "criteria"...eye candy is fine for me!!!

janc@mac.com said...

I really like it!!

diane b said...

It looks eerie a bit like the stairway to heaven.

Lisa RedWillow said...

Different and stunning. Lovely work Karen.

WhatKarenSees said...

Sinbad, I can't wait to see the improvements these new techniques will make in your photos!!!

bluekat said...

Dynamic
That's how I describe photos like this. They happen in the moment, and if you wait for all the technical stuff to be perfect, the moment is gone.
Great capture! :)

黄清华 Wong Ching Wah said...

Great shots are sometimes not planned. Planned shots may not be perfect. I just enjoy both ...

SouthernSass said...

I think it is fabulous! I wish I lived closer to you because I would shadow you all of the time! Do have any particular online photography classes that you would recommend?

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

This turned out to be a fantastic shot! I have to learn to focus on details. I seem to be more a "whole picture" type of photographer.