May 20, 2006

Set yourself an artistic assignment by photographing nature

By Kenneth Hoffman

Repetition is a warm, comfortable feeling that catches the eye and when interrupted, serves as a foil to bring attention to your main subject. When you are out looking for good pictures to take, let you eye roam the field, and to search out patterns that can be used to highlight your main subject of interest. On your left two children climb on the monkey bars, on your right is a wall covered with climbing ivy. A judicious move to the other side of the monkey bars brings the ivy behind the action and a telephoto lens fills your view finder with happy faces against a waterfall of green leaves. Get the picture?

City environments supply the photographer with many choice patterns. A board construction wall, shadow stripes on the sidewalk, ripples in a puddle, or evenly spaced clouds marching across the sky are possible backgrounds for a myriad of subjects. All it takes is a receptive mind, a stick-to-it attitude, and careful cropping in the camera.

Patterns themselves, when juxtaposed interestingly, make good compositions, vying for a place in the modern art world. Some repetitions are recognized only with a macro lens. In nature, petals, leaves, bark and corrugated sand shapes show beautiful designs when viewed at a distance of a few inches. Interrupting features could be insect, a cocoon, an odd pebble or a reflection in a drop of water. If an interesting pattern pops up on your travels, don’t be afraid to record it for a future combination with other images. The digital age is here and you can be part of it. Happy shooting!

I am now preparing for my third art exhibit.