Thursday, June 16, 2011

When Photography is a Challenge

© Stuart Pearl 2011 - "While Healing" - Click on Image to Enlarge

Last winter an illness prevented me from doing my usual cold weather photography projects. That is all behind me now and things are back to normal. But at the time it forced me to modify my approach to capturing interesting viewpoints.

I often hike on challenging terrain to get my urban and rural landscape images. Bad weather can easily complicate a photo shoot. And that type of photography was not practical for me this past winter. However I still wanted to pursue my craft. I just had to come up with a less demanding approach to creating unique images. This caused me to look at the world in a different way.

Photos above: Galleria Courtyard, downtown Cleveland over a two month period.

I began studying subjects that were much closer at hand. How could I represent everyday scenes in a more unique way that would set them apart from mundane snapshots?

Most of my time was spent indoors during this period. Windows were my primary view on the world and the zoom lens was my tool for reaching into it. I begain to closely study the shifts in weather and subtle changes in lighting as winter progressed. I chose views that I saw all the time and began carefully planning when they would receive the most interesting light. The weather was always a factor and I spent weeks simply studying these views.

During the day I have a south facing window that looks down E. 9th St. all the way to the steel mills in the Flats. Winter can add its magic touch to this view. The early morning light and very low temperatures will often create dramatic effects with steam vents and smoke stacks.

Looking South on E 9th St. at 8:00 A.M. on Feb. 4.

A similar view shot at 2:25 P.M. on Feb. 14.

E. 9th St. at the Galleria

Federal Building Plaza

On cloudy days the flat and uniform lighting can focus your attention on textures and geometry found in the urban snowscape. Solitary walkers on E. 9th move about these patterns.

The "Grandma Tree" seen from my Front Door

This last image was captured from the comfort of my front hallway. We'd had a sleet storm earlier that day. None of the natural early morning or late afternoon light I prefer was present. But I was intrigued by the illumination of our landscape floods. They provided a wonderful pattern of reflection that contrasted against the night backdrop. I simpy mounted my camera on a tripod, opened the door and took about three dozen shots before I settled on the final exposure and composition.


Ruth said...

Very nice, Stu, as usual.....Ruth

jtmccros said...

That is a perfect example of turning a problem into an opportunity. Very interesting pictures and also an inspirational story