Thursday, December 3, 2009
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Gardens and Cityscapes
Paris is one gorgeous city. But most of the beauty doesn't come from nature. It is more about the architecture, the buildings and the streets. However as we wandered a bit out of Paris we we able to see the splendor of the gardens of Versailles. That Marie Antoinette was one luck lady because this was a backyard like none other. Here is a little taste of what I saw with my admiring eyes.
Although it was a very cold day the sun was shining through the clouds and casting a dark shadow on the trees. I loved the silhouette of the line of trees just in front of the trees. It almost seemed like the sun was setting even though it was the middle of the day. I wanted to capture the texture of the clouds and the deep blue of the sky with the sun just blaring through.
The sky was a gorgeous shade of bright blue while we were in the gardens. Contrasted with the sharp white of the clouds I found myself looking up quite a bit. Being so, I wanted to capture the sky. I thought i would get a shot of the tops of the trees. Most of the trees were bare and their leaves had fallen off. However, there were a few still waiting to fall. I appreciated the orange colors adding a little bit more light to the shot.
There were paths surrounded by trees all along the garden. Unfortunately, these lines of trees were fenced in. I felt like this distracted from the trueness of nature. So as I poked my head through the fence I saw a gorgeous area of trees. However, every time I tried to get a shot this branch was right in my way. So instead of trying to push it aside I decided to experiment with it. I played with the settings on my camera and eventually I was able to get two different shots. In the one on the left, the background with the vast area of trees is in focus. We see the fall trees with the browns and the crisp yellows of the still living leaves. The picture on the right shows the branch in focus with the background blurry. I wanted to capture the texture of this branch and appreciate it more even though at first I had thought it took away from the scene. Unfortunately since it was a very sunny day the shadows detracted from my idea. But I still enjoyed experimenting and getting different shots of the scene before me.
Further down in the garden were long rows of very tall trees. I enjoyed the way these trees were so intricately placed in row after row of straight lines. Even though each tree was planted in a specific place to form unity, each of these trees has gown in its own shape and form. It is very interesting and beautiful that even though things are placed in such an organized manner they can still grow to be so random and unique. I enjoyed seeing this in the fall. Without all the leaves and the bright blue sky in the background it is easy to see each little branch and stem.
Just by the row of trees in the previous picture was another long row of the same trees. As the trees are much, much taller than i am I see them mostly from the bottom. However, as i angled my camera more towards the sky I was able to capture the tops of trees. With this angle the trees looked magnificently tall reaching far up into the sky. Again, because of the lack of leaves and the contrast with the blue and white we are able to see each little stem of the trees. Even though the trees essentially blend together we are able to see each little stem and its own unique shape.
Fall is my favorite season. I love sweaters, scarves, boots, and gloves. I love the colors, the oranges, the browns, the fading greens and browns and the barely warm crisp feeling of the air. But mostly I love the crunchy leaves, fallen off the tree and crunching under my feet. In the middle of all the gardens is vast green space of grass. And to much pleasure on my part, it was covered in orange crunchy leaves. As I got down close to the grass and leaves I captured this shot. The leaves were my main focus and I appreciate the way they catch the viewers eye right in the front of the shot.
Although I captured many great shots in the gardens of Versailles, I wanted to include one image from the city of Paris. Although, like I said before, the city of Paris is not mainly beautiful because of landscapes, there are still many beautiful pieces of nature poked in all through the city.
This shot was taken just on the edge of the River Seine. I loved the way the sun cast a dark shadow on the tree in the foreground making it stand out from the background. I think the barrenness of this tree is what makes it so beautiful. In retrospect, I wish I would have moved the frame just a bit more to the left so that the tree was situated further in the right side. Even though pieces of asphalt, architecture and other industrial items, I still find this to be a beautiful shot. Maybe just with a touch of ruggedness from the tears of every day Parisian life.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
The countryside of Kent
At the National Gallery, I chose the painting Ulysses Deriding Polyphemus by Joseph Mallord William Turner to view and analyze. This painting was from 1829 done on canvas with oil. The idea of this painting came from Homer’s Odyssey. In that book there is the tale of Ulysses and his troupe who attempt to destruct the one eye giant Polyphemus. This painting depicts that scene.
Monday, September 28, 2009
Fountains Abbey was one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to. As we were entering the site, the sky was overcast and the scenery was dark. I found this lone tree and it attracted my attention. I thought it looked very bare and dry in a place there everything was so green and lush. With the contrast of the clouds in the background it seems almost eerie but with the definition of the full trees in the background, it sort of give the eye a break.
This next shot was also taken at Fountains Abbey. I composed it with the bushes in the foreground and a line of trees in the distance. I liked how the shrubs in front give the shot texture and depth. I also appreciated how each tree has a different shade to it giving it definition from the others around it. The bright green with hints of fall changes give it a beautiful overall color.
As I hiked up to a place called Anne Boleyn’s secret view I wasn’t sure what to expect. When I got there I was pleased. I found the abbey poking out through a mass of green grass and trees. A larger green tree was directly in my view and it gave my photo depth and showed distance. The old ruins of the abbey show in the background giving the pictures that element of a picturesque design. I also thought it was interesting how the stream leads the eye straight to the abbey. Perhaps highlighting the importance of the building. Or ensuring that he viewer realizes it is there, hidden in the emerald.
The view from our hostel in Windermere was a great sight. The uneven stonewalls lining the grassy pastures helped in the picturesque design. I also was drawn to the various textures. I could capture pastures, rolling hills, the lake and a lot of texture all in one shot. I also liked the way the fence in the front of the frame broke up the grass and gave it more depth.
When we took the ferry across the lake I had a gorgeous view. In this shot I wanted to capture the way the shadows cast upon the hills and trees. I also wanted to be able to show the reflections in the water. I thought it was interesting how in the distance you could notice the hills that faded in color the further away you were. This is exactly the concept we learned in our sketching lesson in class.
While in the Lake District, particularly at a town called Ambleside, I decided to experiment a little with my camera to see what sort of shot would look better. I took the same subject and area and angled my camera in two different directions. I got two very different shots. In one shot, I kept the tree close to the bottom of the frame. This makes the shot look short, and somewhat uninteresting as the cloudy sky fills half the frame. The other shot has the tree closer to the top of the frame. This gives the picture a more elongated look and much more interesting to look at.
This next shot was taken in Preston as we were taking our church history tour. We went to a lovely Japanese garden in a park. I came across this great green hill with a small brown bridge tucked right into the middle of it. I wanted to capture the bridge but not make it the center focus of the piece. I positioned the bridge so that it wasn’t in the center and used other browns from the trees and dirt to draw attention away from the varying color.
In another area of the same park we came across the River Ribble. I chose to capture this image because of its significance to the Mormon religion. The first concert baptisms in Britain took place in this river near to where the picture was taken. To me, this river, bridge and landforms mean so much. This is a beginning for the church. The gospel was carried out all over the world after these baptisms, much like the river carries things all over. The bridge also can show the connection between Mormonism in America and Britain at the time. I thought that the bridge just showing behind the trees was a nice view.
I enjoyed taking this next image because of the colors. In Northern England, the grass and trees are so green it almost looks fake. This picture only has a tiny enhancement dealing with the light and is otherwise true to color. I am so impressed with the different shades and hues in the shot. The brown of the shores and the blue water break up the mass of green to give the viewers eye a slight rest.
This last photo was taken at Chatsworth. Please ignore the slight glare in the corner; this was taken though a window. I would have thrown it out but I really appreciate this view. The old bridge give this shot a rugged yet elegant feeling, as it is an old bridge for a large manor. I also liked the trees spaced out through the shot. You can once again see how the fading of colors shows distance.