Wednesday, August 28, 2013

How Do You Talk About Your Pictures?

End of Bridge at Sunrise

That's the question I hope a lot of you will respond to with an answer - "How Do You Talk About YOUR Pictures?"

I'm asking, because I find it quite difficult to do. I seem to follow the lead of other Bloggers to talk more about the gear I'm using to take pictures - that's the easy part, because gear, even though it's "not supposed to matter", well, it matters! If it didn't matter, then why are we all so lured into talking about it? My favourite Big Three, Huff, Johnson and Rockwell, whom I read every day, certainly talk about gear a lot, although Mike Johnson somehow finds other things to talk about in very interesting ways. Yet, they all have the fortune of being able to get hold of the newest offerings from camera makers and tickle our "need to know nerve" with their impressions. Me? Well, my only way of procuring cameras is through yard sales, goodwill stores, pawn shops, dumpster diving - you know if you've been following me that I don't brag up the newest camera's latest features, but rather, I really, REALLY brag about how cheap I got some old camera or lens for, and what I'm able to do with it's lack of features.

So then, now that I've settled on using film cameras, and have decided that the Canon Elan-7 is the best camera ever made, bar none, I really don't want to talk about them so much any more. It's become like an addiction, with the thrill of the chase, how few dollars spent, the "thrill of injection" when I get a roll processed and find that at least they all turned out, more or less, and that in fact some of the pictures I'm absolutely delighted with - then I'm on a high. At least it keeps me taking pictures, and looking for pictures to take. It also gives me a reason to keep making prints, although the walls are getting pretty full.

But instead of talking about camera gear, how do I talk about the even more important end result - the photograph? Maybe I don't need to. Maybe WE don't need to. Certainly, if "a picture is worth a thousand words", how can we ever use words to describe a picture? That's what great novelists and poets do - they have the skill to use words which magically form pictures in your mind, which of course is the other way around.

When we're out for a drive, and witness one of God's most magnificent splendours - the magic moment of a sunset - how can we react other than with stunned silence? Occasionally, we'll bring my wife's 99 year old Mom for a drive, and I'm always amazed at how, after all those years of living, she still exclaims, from the back seat, "It's BEAUT-iful!!" I'm not sure that she's ever taken a photograph in her life - somehow she doesn't need to. Instead, she simply takes all the surrounding scenery in her mind, and responds with those two words - "It's BEAUT-iful!!"

So, with the photo at the top of the screen - how can I talk about it? Well, I can tell you where it was taken - there's a street in our town called Bridge St., because it literally is part of a main (now secondary) route that leads to a bridge that used to take you out of town, and on to Nova Scotia. But in 1963, the Trans Canada Highway was built along side this route, dividing Sackville from "Middle Sackville", and the TCH has it's own bridge of sorts, crossing the Basin. This old concrete bridge is no longer used, although the rail-road bridge next to it is still very much in use - more and more for freight and less and less for passengers.

This is one of my favourite spots for photography - I've taken you here many times and from many different angles, and I think at some point through all four seasons. I love the textures of the steel and concrete, I love the sense of decay and abandonment, and I love how the sun reflects off the mud at low tide:

The Edge of Bridge at Sunrise

You can see how the edge of this old bridge is literally the very edge of town!

Finally, I can say that the light of sunrise through the concrete and old steel was absolutely spectacular, and I'm thrilled at how I was there at exactly the right moment to capture it at the peak moment. I love how every detail in the highlight and shadow got captured in the photograph - even the shafts of light hitting the pavement - nothing got washed out, or lost in shadow. And... AND... I'm not going to even mention what camera and lens I used to take these pictures, because it's not supposed to matter.

That wasn't to bad - in fact, I ended up saying a lot more than I expected. It takes some practice for sure. But I hope to talk less about my cameras and more about my pictures from now on. If you all find it boring, at least let me know.

Here are the rest of the shots I took that morning, "At The End of Bridge" --

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