In my last post I talked fishing. Fishing and photos. Here I offer another sunrise photograph made on 12 November 2023. A simple left to right pan shot to pull the colors across the frame. And what wonderful dawn colors were pulled that day.
For a few years now I have been near all in on panning my landscape frames. And if anything, its personal appeal only grows with time. I often think of ways to articulate my fondness but stumble with awkward, poorly expressed thoughts. An art critic I am not. That said, I’ll stick to basics.
First is color. By moving the camera during shutter depress lines blur, details merge, and color is most of what remains. It breaks down form into little more than moving color. And this color shines best at sunrise and sunset.
Second is movement. The blurred streaks come from panning the camera left to right, level to the horizon. Motion blur. Simple as that. Through this technique the movement of your hand during the exposure works as the hand of the painter brushed upon their oils. Moving the eye, moving the heart.
Third is line work. Sharp line work. At first blush this statement may read contradictory and absurd, but hear me out. By keeping a level camera plane throughout your pan, flat horizons become a razor’s edge. Sharp and defined. This grounds the viewer, placing visual queues of where and how to look. Amid the blur and soft focus it reveals the scene, which brings me to. . .
Abstraction. Fourth is abstraction. Through color, movement, and sharp line work our blurry puzzle is near completion. Even though the often crucial presence of sharpness and detail is missing, the photographer yet conveys the scene with a full, albeit distilled effect. You know this photograph, despite its blur and motion, you know this a beach glowing in the splendor of dawn.
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