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Our World Is Three Dimensional


The title for this blog may seem too obvious, but for photographers it is something we need to keep in mind when we are composing and post processing our shots. One comment that I have heard used frequently by photography gurus when critiquing the work of others is that the shot looks flat. While this can be a particular problem for landscapes, it can also be true of portraits as well. Like all visual art, humans appreciate more viewing things the way our eye sees them. The artwork of young children is always one dimensional because they are using just lines without any shading, while the works of artists like Rembrandt present us with works that draw us in using perfect light and shading. We can almost feel ourselves in the work itself because it is so life-like. Photographers who want their images to really speak to their viewers are aware of the need to pay attention to light, shadows, midtones, and contrast in addition to camera settings when planning their shots and when they are post processing them. Even the least experienced photographer generally wants their shots to mimic what they are seeing so that when they and others look at them, memories of people and events and places will be as much like they remember them as possible. It is seldom that the perfect three dimensional image is achieved in camera. And when that seems to happen, it may be an illusion and quite by accident, as in the case of today's blog picture. This is one of the images from the ICM shoot a couple of weeks ago. When I was first looking at the shots on the computer I was stumped about this one because of the sense of depth and dimension that it has, and I could not remember what my original ICM subject had been. It wasn't until several hours later when I was walking through my living room and looked more closely at the quilt hanging on the wall that I had the eureka moment that that quilt had been one of things I had photographed. I love this image for a variety of reasons, but what I particularly like about it is that I created something that looks three dimensional from something that, in fact, is actually one dimensional. This is yet another reason why I love this medium. There is always something new to learn and wonderful surprises when in the process, too. I don't think this is limited to photography. I think if we are life-long learners the potential for wonderful surprises is always there. When we stop wanting to learn, that is when our lives will become one dimensional.

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