Picture This!

Although I am aspiring to be a sports journalist who uses words to captivate my audience, I understand a picture can tell the same story.  From family and friends, to teammates in and out of the pool, I have experience capturing memories with a camera.  With that said, I could not wait to begin experimenting with the creative devices of photography.  After a visit to Colorado, I was able to capture photos not only from Laramie but from home.  The hard part was choosing only five to share.

 

"Never Tame a Wild Heart"                         Just south of town a family friends private ranch is home to not only this horse, but several others.  Intrigued, Ellie peers through the fence of her home to welcome visitors.

“Never Tame a Wild Heart” Just south of town a family friends private ranch is home to not only this horse, but several others. Intrigued, Ellie peers through the fence of her home to welcome visitors.

“Never Tame a Wild Heart”–  To capture this powerful photograph of Ellie I used the the rule of thirds.  By placing the main subject on the lines of intersection, my photo has become balanced and more natural for the viewer to interact with.

This forces the attention of the viewer to the horse’s face where the real emotion of the photograph lies.  Here the horse’s fierceness and bold gaze keeps the viewer engaged.

Had Ellie been in the center of the frame with a straight on look it would have made for an awkward shot.  The rule of thirds rather gives context to Ellie’s home with her enclosed fencing and mountains in the distance.

This picture also includes elements of contrast with the white snow beneath the dark brown hooves.  The white patch above her eyes also focuses the viewer on the intensity of the horse’s face.

"Mile High Steam"Former teammate, Connor Hartman completes an early morning outdoor swim just as the sun begins to rise.

“Mile High Steam”
Former teammate, Connor Hartman, completes an early morning outdoor swim just as the sun begins to rise.

“Mile High Steam”–  During my visit I was able to capture a mid February morning workout on my phone.  It illuminates both the winter weather and cloudy sunrise that engulf the swimmer. The use of leading lines directs the flow of the image.

Both the directional lines of the ladder and the flags direct the viewer to the subject: the swimmer.  From there, the lane lines not only serve as leading lines towards the direction of the swimmer, but also frame the athlete.

This image also presents elements of contrast with the bright sunrise to the darkness of the pavement.

snow fence

“Wired”                                                                                    As the sun glares off of the snow covered ground, it brings light to a barbed wire fence that was once used to enclose private property.

“Wired”–  As snow still covers most of the ground in Colorado, I shot this picture to demonstrate contrast.  Without having to use a black and white color feature, the blanket of snow naturally contrasts the black barbed wire of an old and rustic fence.

Although the glare of the sun makes the snow appear much lighter, it helps to focus the viewer on the fence.

The photo also shows a contrast not only in color but texture.  While the light color of the flat snow makes it appear smooth, it makes the barbed-wire look extremely jagged and sharp.  This makes the image far more realistic for the viewer

Furthermore, cropping helps to eliminate background distractions.

fort logan

“Lonely Grieving”                                                                      A man grieves over the grave of a loved one at Fort Logan Cemetery; the resting place for thousands of veterans.

“Lonely Grieving”–  After visiting Fort Logan Cemetery in Denver, Colorado I was lucky enough to capture a photo of a grieving man in untouched snow.  The creative device captured in this photo is symmetry and patterns.

All of the headstones are strategically placed in rows, creating a sense of order for the image.  The evenly spaced graves create a symmetrical pattern across the cemetery.

The organization created from the symmetry and patterns draw the viewer to the subject, focusing on his grieving emotions.  The lack of footprints in the snow also creates a smooth texture which eliminates distractions from the subject.

On a ranch just south of town, locals support the Laramie newspaper

“Supporting the Boomerang”                                                    A Laramie home just outside of town supports their local newspaper with a box for their weekly delivery.

“Supporting the Boomerang–  The device captured in this image is establishing size, where the angle of the photo makes the box appear much larger than it is in reality.  The house in the background gives viewers a perspective of the actual size of the Boomerang box.

Although the viewer understands that a house is larger than a mailbox, establishing size helps to strengthen the focus of the subject.  The overpowering size of the box helps to isolate it from any background distractions.

The viewer also understands that the mailbox is not tall enough to reach the sky, however, this perspective of size makes it far more interesting than if it was captured in its actual size.  The mailbox also incorporates color with the lack of background color involved.

After completing this assignment and analyzing my own photographs, I learned that there is much more to a photograph than just shooting the camera.  By experimenting with these creative devices, I have learned that it sometimes takes multiple elements to turn an ordinary image into something powerful.

What surprised me about this assignment was how difficult it actually was to capture an image in a creative way.  Even though I took a little over a hundred photos, the one thing I would have changed would have been to take more.  While I had several photos of different subjects, I would have had more variety if the same subject were shot in different lights, angles, and environments.  The more you have to chose from the better.

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