Motivation is a photography blog that discusses the creative aspects of photography. The posts will include thoughts about images and their interpretation, photographers and their work, technique, workflow, my ongoing projects, and perhaps even the occasional off topic rant.

The Twin Jewels Project

In several prior blog posts, I have talked about the importance of working on a discreet photographic project. I have been continuing to shoot, as I have for several years, in two nearby local parks (hence the name Twin Jewels). I also mentioned that the photographic portion of my New Years resolution was to try to edit down my images from these two locations and end up with 30-40 large prints. Because I tend to be a perfectionist when it comes to printing, and since I have somewhat limited free time, it can take me several weeks to bring an image from RAW format to a final print that I am happy with; one that I think expresses the feeling that I was aiming for.

As the project progresses, I thought that I would post the images that I think can ‘make the cut’, with perhaps a few words about them, how I came to take them, and what I was hoping to express with them. Any comments or feedback as to the success of the images would, of course, be appreciated, and even moreso any comments about the failings of the images or why they miss the mark.

I have used three of the images in earlier posts but will repost these and discuss them from the point of view of the project. The blog entries with these images will be sporadic, and I somehow doubt that the project will be completed within the year, but I am trying. I have 6 or 7 images printed so far.

Copyright Howard Grill

I took this photograph because I was struck by the static “V” shape in the presence of the water’s motion as well as the contrast between the smoothness of the water going over the edge and the tumultuousness of the water once it hit the bottom. I was also drawn to the abstract, almost science fiction-like appearance, of the water involuting into the triangle shape in the center of the image. To me, the photograph seemed to work best as a presentation of abstract shapes and motion, but in its initial state still lacked impact. Here in Western Pennsylvania there are not very many bright blue winter days and thus the water often looks quite drab. Changing the hue and saturation of the water seemed to give the image the impact and emotion it needed, though it is clearly not an accurate representation of how the water looked at the time the image was captured.

This presentation is a crop of the initial photograph (the original can be seen below). In the original, the "V" was off center, but working with the image I felt it was much stronger with the "V" bull's eye in the center. I think this is one of those occasions where the rule was meant to be broken.

Copyright Howard Grill

For comparison, here is the exact same shot, (a few seconds later as I didn't want to erase my stored ACR setings) but with only the default Camera RAW auto settings applied. I show this not to demonstrate how Photoshop can arbitrarily alter an image, but, rather, to allow a comparison between the actual capture and the final expression of what I had in mind.