There have been a lot of foggy days around here this spring. Some find it depressing, but I like how it makes the countryside look.
Well here it is, the new year already. I have been blogging for a year now… it has been an interesting experience for me – one that I plan to continue. I want to thank those of you that stop by regularly for a look (google tells me that more than half of my visits are “repeat” visitors), I hope I remain an interesting stop on the internet for you in 2010. I want to give a special thanks for those of you who took the time to leave a comment – you could have anonymously clicked on by, but instead you stopped and took a few moments to let me know what you liked and how my pictures make you feel – thank you so much!
Today’s weather is best described by the song of this post’s title: “The weather outside was frightful…” Howling winds, sideways snow, 15 below zero… yup, we’re in Canada. Perfect photography weather! I dressed in so many layers that I couldn’t get my arms down to my sides and then went out to see what I could find. Of all the shots I took today, the very first one was my favourite:
It’s kind of a boring title, but the results really got me exited. I usually use blur to obscure inconvenient background detail in a photo. I’ll illustrate with some photos I took last week end.
In this photo I have used a blur (and darkening) to obscure the background visible around the sides of the column.
In the next photo, I used a mild blur and allowed it into more of the photo. I used it on the trees in the background and some of the stone pavers on the left side to force the viewer’s eye back to the wall that I want to be the key element in the photo.
Then I got wild. I combined a severe blur with a complex mask that allowed the blur to show over much of the photo. A bit of touch-up to mask to remove the blur from a couple of key details in the photo (the chair, the alley ruts and the clothesline) and I had a whole new feeling in the picture. The mill buildings in the background still loom menacingly over the scene, but now they don’t distract from it.
Yesterday was a really foggy day here in Caledon. We often get days like this in the fall, although they usually come in October. I like the way fog can simplify the background in a photo and add an air of mystery. I started out on a nearby country road…
Just down the road is a golf course with dry-stacked stone walls meandering over the hills. I processed these to try to convey the almost deafening quiet of this place in the thick fog.
Next stop was a cornfield. It reminded me of a Steven King short story I read many years ago… I started to see this place in a darker, creepier context.
Just up the road from the cornfield, a U-pick orchard loomed up out of the fog. With their arthritic branches scratching at the fog above, the apple trees seemed even more ominous than the cornfield.