Monday, August 8, 2011


Milwaukee Lakefront Revisited.

A primary reason I wanted to go back to the Milwaukee Lakefront on Saturday, August 6, was to take additional photos of the lakefront itself.  Here are a couple of shots from my earlier visit:

Here are some additional shots from my visit last Saturday:

For this last shot I could see that the powerboat was going to cross in front of the coast guard station and timed the shot so that the boat was entering the scene rather than on its way out.  The boat serves to balance the station. 

For one of the shots I focused on the large rocks lining the shore, with the coast guard station in the background.  

I reduced the aperture to f/22, the smallest available on the lens I was using, to try to keep everything in reasonable focus.  The fact that the coast guard station is just a little out of focus actually helps, I think, the viewer to "see" that the station is at a substantial distance from the rocks.  I also wanted to include the clump of weeds in the lower left to provide perspective on the size of the rocks.  I like this shot because of its unusual perspective and the fact that the rocks fill nearly 2/3s of the image.  For purposes of these shots, I wish it had been a brighter day to provide more contrast between the rocks, the water, and the sky.

Here is another shot of the coast guard station taken through the rigging of the Denis Sullivan, which is docked to the south of Discovery World.

Negative Space.

Several of these shots illustrate the use of "negative space," one of the composition techniques that I have been trying to work on.  I have come to realize that I don't need to fill every shot from edge to edge with content, that open space can help to frame the shot. Basically, negative space consists of the use of a relatively large expanse of a uniform area, which opens up the shot and serves to draw attention to the primary subject of the shot.  Here is another shot from the lakefront that illustrates the use of negative space:

. . . maybe too much negative space, particularly considering the featureless overcast sky that was reflected in the relatively calm water inside the breakwater.  Here is another shot of the same scene that provides a bit more content:

Here are a few more older shots that illustrate the use of negative space:

Negative space doesn't have to be light in color.  It can be black . . . 

This last is a photo that I took at Doctors Park in Fox Point.  The background (negative space) was actually a very small pond area close to the beach that was a medium to dark blue and that I was able to de-saturate and darken much further through post-processing.  A close look at this shot reveals that there is a lady bug sitting on the mostly horizontal length of weed just where the diagonal section is attached.

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