Showing posts with label Abstract. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Abstract. Show all posts

Thursday, March 2, 2023

Mysterious Traveler

True Vision

an abstract photo of a fire police call box in new york city

To be true to your vision, defy description.

Sony a7R IV
Lens:        Sony FE 135mm f/1.8 GM

Wishing you great light and meaningful moments!

Copyright © 2023 Daniel R. South
All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Floral Abstract In Central Park

A Bouquet Of Bokeh

When engineering meets impressionism, or it's good to be shallow? ;-)

an abstract color photography of flowers in central park new york with shallow depth of field

Sony a7R IV
Lens:        Sony FE 135mm f/1.8 GM @ f/1.8

Wishing you great light and meaningful moments!

Copyright © 2020 Daniel R. South
All Rights Reserved

Friday, May 31, 2019

Two Flowers Emerging From A Dream

Focal Abstraction

a photo of Two Flowers Emerging From A Dream abstract Daniel South Photography
Two Flowers Emerging From A Dream

Camera:    Sony a7R III
Lens:        Sony FE 135mm f/1.8 GM

Wishing you great light and meaningful moments!

Copyright 2019 Daniel R. South
All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Three Sisters (2016)

Abstract Color Photography

an abstract color photograph three sisters by daniel south
Three Sisters (2016)

It's all just a dream until you make it come true.

Camera:    Nikon D810
Lens:        Nikon AF-S 35mm f/1.8G ED

Wishing you great light and meaningful moments!

Copyright 2018 Daniel R. South
All Rights Reserved

Sunday, April 16, 2017

The Oculus - New York

An Instant Architectural Classic

Here's another example of the "popular subject" problem. The Oculus has been open for about six month. Tourists and photo enthusiasts flock here in droves, snapping pictures, day in and day out. Is it possible to get a different view than everyone else?

That may be a tall order, but here are some ideas to consider when looking for your own view. 

a photo of the oculus train station in downtown new york black and white
The Oculus - New York

- Eliminate clutter. Shoot over the crowds and isolate details. (I did my best to eliminate people from this shot.)

- If you can't eliminate clutter, embrace it. Show how busy the place is by adding a human element. (Doesn't apply in this example.)

- Focus on shapes, lines, and architectural details. Draw the viewer's eye in to the image. 

- You can use symmetry or asymmetry, but make certain that your choice is a conscious decision. (From where I was standing, symmetry wasn't possible, so I created an asymmetrical composition.)

- Time your visit with a special event or season. (Notice the Christmas decorations in the photo.)

Camera:    Nikon D810
Lens:        Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.8G ED

Wishing you great light and meaningful moments!

Copyright 2017 Daniel R. South
All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, December 14, 2016


Composing An Emotion

I came across this lovely sculpture while walking through the town of Evora in Portugal. I believe that it was located in a small park near a church, but I would be hard pressed to find it again. 

I took this photo several years ago when digital photography was in its infancy and film offered the best resolution. This particular film (I believe that it was Velvia 100) rendered the colors of the darkening sky wonderfully.

a photo of a sculpture from evora portugal of two abstract figures in love
Love - Evora, Portugal

The figures in the sculpture are abstract. Are we looking at a man and a woman? A parent and a child? We're not certain. They could be two playful bears or penguins for all we know. 

What's clear is the quality of the interaction between the two figures. It's an intimate interaction. It's caring, comfortable, tender. To me, the sculpture represents love, love in its purest form, two beings adoring each other in a perfect moment of oneness.

The photograph required some creative decision making. The first decision was to backlight the figures and present them as silhouettes against the colorful sunset. The stones are actually white. - This is really quite an impressive piece of art, and I would encourage you to visit it if you can (and if it's still there)!

The second decision involved the placement of the figures. I decided to place the larger figure at the edge of the frame. It looks as though the smaller figure is approaching the larger figure willingly and joyfully. If I had put the smaller figure against the left edge of the photo, it would have looked as though the larger one was dominating.

I could have put everything smack dab in the middle, but pushing one of the figures toward the edge added more drama, in my opinion. He's up against the wall, and she's moving toward him lovingly.

It took a lot of photos back in my films years. This is one of my favorites.

Camera:    Pentax 67 II (Medium Format Film Camera)

Lens:        Pentax 75mm Shift Lens

Wishing you great light and meaningful moments!

Copyright 2016 Daniel R. South
All Rights Reserved

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Liquidity Factor

Abstract By Design

A sneak peek at an upcoming project based on abstract patterns (and a bunch of math and physics that you probably don't want to think about).

an abstract color photograph liquidity factor
Liquidity Factor

Camera:    Nikon D810
Lens:        Nikon AF-S Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G ED

Wishing you great light and meaningful moments!

Copyright 2016 Daniel R. South
All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Bridegroom Abstract

Creativity in a Flurry of Documentation

September is Wedding Season!

Weddings place a lot of demands on the photographer. Every moment on a wedding day is precious, and if you miss one, it's lost forever.

You have to pay attention and be ready for anything. You need to know your camera inside and out. You need to be able to work fast and make the most of any kind of light.

Artistic shots aren't the priority at a wedding. (Beware the wedding photographer who talks at length about his creative vision.) While you fiddle with some fascinating creative opportunity, you can and will miss unrepeatable situations that the family might want to have documented.

But every now and then we get a few seconds to "play around" with our subjects. 

an abstract wedding photograph of the groom's corsage by daniel south
Bridegroom Abstract

I snapped this heavily cropped image of the groom's corsage while capturing the formal portraits of the wedding party. The shot only took a couple of seconds, and then I got back to the business at hand. 

The image doesn't identify any particular person but rather a role, the dapper gentleman who's just said, "I do!"

Now if you'll excuse me, I don't want to miss anything.

 Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Lens: Canon 24-105 f/4L IS

Wishing you great light and meaningful moments!

Copyright 2014 Daniel R. South
All Rights Reserved

Saturday, November 23, 2013

City In Motion - The Inspiration Behind The Photographs

Reflection and Possibility

Urban photographers like to work with reflections. Modern cities are endowed with a generous supply of glass panes and shiny surfaces.

One evening in the summer, I noticed a black marble wall. I pulled out my camera and experimented with shots of the reflections of passing people and the vehicles.

a photo of the Empire State Building in New York City in Motion
Empire State Building - New York City in Motion

It was an interesting idea, it presented technical challenges. There wasn't much light at that hour, and the dark surface absorbed most of what was available.

Even with a highly sensitive modern digital camera, I was struggling to set a shutter speed that would freeze the motion of my reflected subjects. 

My mind began to search for solutions. I considered trying again with extremely fast lenses and using special noise reduction software.

And then I said to myself, "Stop!"

I realized that I was thinking in a habitual ways. I was solving the same problems in the same way, using the same thinking that I had been using for years. It was time for a break, time to set my automatic responses aside and approach the problem from a new perspective.

a photo of Grand Central Station in New York City showing Motion
Grand Central Station - New York City In Motion

What if I couldn't freeze the motion of passing objects? What if I let them blur on purpose?

Legendary photographer Ernst Haas used motion blur creatively in his images. Search online for a copy of his photograph, La Suerte De Capa, captured in Pamplona, Spain in 1956. It's one of my all-time favorite photographs in part because it defies common practice. Instead of freezing the motion in the frame, Haas enhanced its impact on the final image. 

I began to the see a possibility. I didn't necessarily have to fight to freeze my subjects. If I cold capture motion effective in the frame of a still photograph, I could use it to show the dynamic pace of life in New York City.

Empire State Building: Nikon D800E, PC-E Nikkor 24mm f/3.5

Grand Central: Canon EOD 5D Mark III, TS-E24mm f/3.5L

Wishing you great light and meaningful moments!

Copyright © 2013 Daniel R. South
All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Red Cube And White Tile

The Search for Fresh Perspectives

Red Cube, a familiar New York landmark, was created by sculptor Isamu Noguchi in 1968. Its location just one block from the World Trade Center complex draws a lot of tourist traffic.

Is it possible to capture a unique view of an object that is photographed hundreds, perhaps thousands of times every day? Creativity is a vast universe. Why not give it a try?

After snapping some rather mundane shots of Red Cube, I decided to look for a more interesting perspective. Young men were skate boarding in the area, and I took a few shots with them in the frame, but nothing special materialized. Daylight was beginning to fade, and I hadn't captured a single decent photo.

a photo of the red cube statue in new york with a white tile
Red Cube White Tile - New York

I noticed that one of the plaza tiles was lighter than the rest. Perhaps the original tile had to be replaced by a newer, less weathered slab. When I walked over to the white tile, I noticed that the line adjacent to it (to its right in the photo above) led directly toward the center of the cube.

When I noticed this geometric relationship between the tile and the cube, my creative mind launched into a virtual orgasm. I couldn't wait to take the shot.

A wide-angle lens would make all of the lines in the plaza to converge toward the sculpture, effectively linking cube and tile. I mounted a special tilt-shift lens that would prevent the distortion of vertical lines and keep both the tile and the cube in sharp focus. (This feature isn't available on most lenses).

I leveled the camera on the tripod, focused and metered carefully, spent a few minutes fending off a polite but unhelpful security guard, and captured the shot seen above.

Red Cube and White Tile is one of my favorite images of Lower Manhattan. It took a bit of time to get all of the pieces lined up and in focus, but the final image turned out even better than I had anticipated. The lone white tile and the convergence of lines toward the center add an interesting dimension to an oft photographed object. 

As with all of the photos on this blog, you can view larger, more detailed versions on my website. Please click the link below. You'll find this image in the 28 Days Sharper Portfolio 

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Lens: Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II (tilt and fall movements applied)

Wishing you great light and meaningful moments!

Copyright 2013 Daniel R. South
All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Geometric Skyscrapers

Art And Abstraction In Architecture


How many different ways are there to look at a structure? 

Where can we stand in search of a fresh view of a well-known structure?

How will light interact with architecture, and how does that change with season and time of day?

How can lenses and two-dimensional perspective enhance and stylize the appearance of large, three-dimensional objects?

I visualized photographing this landmark New York skyscraper from its base, but the composition didn't work until I included the building across the street.

The symmetrical convergence of vertical lines draws attention toward the center of the frame. The reflections hint of a delicate interaction between giants.

a photo of geometric skyscrapers in new york city daniel south photography
Geometric Skyscrapers - New York City

To capture this image, I aimed my tripod-mounted camera straight up. I had to compose and focus from below.  Onlookers watched as I crouched and twisted into a series of uncomfortable positions.

Alignment was critical. Horizontal lines had to remain parallel to the edges of the frame, or the buildings would have skewed to one side.  I wanted the convergence to balance well between the building in front (bottom) and behind (top). 

Luckily, it all worked out in the end. The shapes and patterns blend together nicely, the quality of light reveals sharp detail, and the reflections add a special highlight to the composition.

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Lens: Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II (no movements applied)

Wishing you great light and meaningful moments!

Copyright © 2013 Daniel R. South
All Rights Reserved