Ivy Again

Ivy Again

Funny how things fall apart.

I took a few minutes on Thanksgiving day to try the 105mm Nikon Micro lens on the D800. The camera was still in Monochrome display mode, shooting raw, so I saw Black and White images on the LCD as I reviewed the shots. Immediately, I reacted against the loss of color from the fall palate around the yard, so switched it back to Standard color mode.

Reviewing images in Aperture this morning for the first time, I liked the image that I took just before this one- a pretty similar framing of the ivy on the tree bark. But it was horribly out of focus and blurred. This one was better, but if you look at the EXIF of the image, it was shot handheld at 1/10 of a second. Even with the stabilization build into the 105mm, it’s technically a poor capture.

As I started processing the color image, I was fighting the lack of subject in the photo, what Vincent Versace calls in his books a primary isolate from CJ Elfont’s Isolate Theory. I find myself in this situation way too often and it comes from the lack of mindfulness that I have all too often behind the camera. It starts with an emotional connection to something seen but requires technical expertise to capture the most usable image file to express what was seen. Creating it afterward is nice practice, but in my experience never as successful.

At some point, I bail out. Back in black and white, the image works as a texture study. Having deliberately to work in color, I’ve taken it back to monochrome. There’s a little bit of light and a little bit of structure in it, but not worth much more than a glance for me in this final state. In my darkroom days, this would have gone into the reject box. Now I write about it and show it to dozens on Flickr and here on the blog.