Sunday 28 October 2012

Recognising Your Eye

This is my last post from Finding Your Eye: Starting the Journey.

After looking through the photographs I have taken over the last 2-3 months I put those that caught my eye into one folder to create an Inspiration File.   You can see mine on Flickr.  After looking at them for a while I decided I would make copies in black & white to see if that helped me look at the photographs in a different way.

The photographs I chose were all from different walks we've taken during the last 2 or 3 months plus some from a wool museum I visited.

As I walk along I take photos somewhat haphazardly.  Some record the place where we are walking and some are things that catch my eye.  Roger is very patient as I keep stopping to take photographs.   His idea of walking is to walk for a while (maybe an hour) and then have a sit down, and then continue.  However I don't like having a sit down as I'm always concerned I might never get going again!  Especially towards the end of a long walk when I'm wondering whether it's possible for Roger to get the car to where I am.  Usually not!

So, after that little detour!  As I said I randomly chose the images that caught my eye and put them into a folder. For each photograph I jotted down words that described the image and found that there was a regular pattern.

The main themes I identified were:
  • closeups
  • monotone (as in the sameness of colour or tone)
  • pattern, line, texture
  • light

I have always taken photographs of flowers and buildings really closeup.  I love to take the bigger picture and then focus on the detail.

This was my best closeup to date but was a sheer fluke because the sun was shining and I couldn't tell whether I had caught the insect or not!

I love the contrast of colour and the sharpness of the foreground with the blur in the background.

Monotone is described as the sameness in colour or in tone.    In these next three photographs there is also pattern, line and texture.

When I looked at them both as black and white images I was interested to find that the photographs did not appeal to me as much. It's the little hints of colour in each photograph that gives interest.

The minor accent of green adds to the texture and pattern.  I also like the juxtaposition of nature (the moss) and the mechanical.  It's a shame I didn't spend more time taking more closeups at the time of the rust on the upright.

Pattern, line and texture
This photograph of a loom is a prime example of pattern and line.  I like the contrast between the softness of the wool and the hardness of the machinery.

Turning the image around for me doesn't just produce a different view but changes the focus of the image.

Light is always important in photography but in this photograph I love how there are highlights on the berries.  This is another of those fluke photos because you never know how long a butterfly is going to settle.  Usually by the time I've got the focus right they've flown away.  I love that the wings are still obvious despite the similarity of colour to the background.

And lastly the photograph that I feels sums up my style (despite the people!)
  • The colour - monotone but duck egg blue and sand (Dulux actually calls it Puddle!)
  • The lines, pattern and texture
  • The composition
  • The light on the waves

Have a look at the header of my blog.  What do you see?  Duck egg blue and sand, pattern, line and texture.  I think Shimelle was spot on with her design.

I'm really looking forward to starting the next stage of my journey of recognition with Kat starting on November 4th.


  1. What a great exercise! It seems like you've gotten a lot out of the class. Looking forward to seeing where it takes you next.

  2. IT is a great exercise to do isn't it? I really must rebuild my inspiration file as I found it a really useful tool.

  3. Super exercise and what great photos. My favourites are the two with the insects

  4. These are all stunning! As I scrolled down, I kept saying to myself "Oh, that's lovely", "that's also gorgeous" ... and I do love the colours and textures in your last one too.

  5. I think you have described your style well. I love your detailed images, I almost feel I can touch the texture.

  6. You really capture the environment in your work, whether that's natural or man-made. I love the texture industrial in your photos.

  7. These are wonderful images and your analysis revealed so much, Bernice. I love the insect on the leaves but also am impressed at how much you express in your other photos using a monotone palette.

  8. Fantastic exploration of your style Bernice! You definitely pulled a lot out of this exercise. There are two things you did that I especially like... converting the images to B&W to see what else you might see without the "distraction" of color, and the rotation of the loom image. Amazing what a difference that makes! Great approach on this exercise and lovely photographs. I can tell you are finding your eye!


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