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Lillies in soft focus.

By Aldo Panzieri
A photographer needs to keep active in trying different ways to shoot pictures. Most of my pictures are very sharp with radical cropping. It works for me, and all the self proclaimed experts have long ago given up on telling me my photographs don't follow some "rule. I only have one rule and that is that there are no rules.

Two large format legends, Edward Weston, and Ansel Adams took a lot of pictures together, and none of them look like each other. Ansel Adams almost became a concert pianist. He had mastered the long list of disciplines that classical pianist face. During a long creative career, Adams used the same techniques to shoot his pictures o nature. This made him very popular with photographers who wanted structured rules to follow. Edward Weston use Adams intensely complicated "zone system," which to Adams was quite simple in the way brain surgery is simple to a surgeon.

I owned the original set of books Adams published on his path to creativity. The language in these books was so technical that photography engineers at Kodak kept calling Adams to ask for an explanations of what he was saying in his books I was that technical. The series of books was eventually re-released with much simpler language. To thee end of his life Adams kept exactly the techniques he used as a young man.

Weston shot landscapes, but he also short portraits. nudes, and documentary photographs. He even wanted to try thirty five millimeter cameras, if only to annoy the people who kept trying to make his work into a cult.

Try different styles, composition, and everything you can think of surprise yourself. This picture was shot in the nineteen thirties style of soft focus. Not my thing, but I loved the results. And I annoyed a lot of people who make rules. How much more can I ask for?

Tags: Flowers and plants Soft focus

Voters: gwynn56, paulknight, TanyaH and 2 more

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paulknight 8 2 8 New Zealand
12 Mar 2014 9:32AM
The result is beautiful! Great idea! One thing though, I can't help wanting to see the left edge of the flowers which are outside the frame. Whereas there is a bit of spare room on the right side that doesn't seem necessary. Just my humble opinion, no mention of any rule!

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TanyaH Plus
15 1.3k 394 United Kingdom
12 Mar 2014 10:10AM
I completely agree with your description/history lesson/lecture (sorry, bit early in the morning for serious thinking Smile) and love it when people break the 'rules' ... they're only guidelines anyway. I like the fact that in your image the edges of the lilies travel outside the frame into the beyond - it makes the viewer's mind also do the same and think about beginnings and endings. The soft focus style is very dreamlike and lets my eyes travel round the planes and textures of the flowers. In fact, the more I look, the more I see, and the more I like the overall image. (And actually the description is really very interesting - I'm always interested in the thinking (or not, in some cases ...) of why a photographer chooses a particular style/image/ethos to present to the viewer. Need coffee now Grin

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