Gesture: The Essence of a Photograph

Blog©Randy Ziegler

What is that illusive quality that defines an image and gives a photograph its essence? In color photography, most photographers are aware of the importance and influence of light and color in their photograph. However, another constituent is important though less understood . . . gesture. It is a common theme in my workshops. Gesture is what gives a photograph, painting, sculpture, or any work of art its unique expression and characteristic. Gesture can be subtle or obvious, and is not only in people’s mannerism, but also in virtually everything.

Every day we are a witness to the more obvious forms of gesture in people. The way a person walks or how they stand, use their hands when they talk, or a particular sitting position. How people display, signal, and express themselves are all components of gesture. However, gesture is also expressed in the flow and reflectivity of water, peeling paint on a weathered door or building, a tree that is bent over by the wind or after a storm, a dog curled-up taking a siesta, the pattern and shape of clouds in the sky, etc. Gesture is everywhere when we look for it. Think of gesture as a kind of visual fingerprint that gives a photograph its own unique imprint or essence.

On your future photographic wanderings and travel adventures, look for the moments of gesture that will define and express your visual story. It will elevate your images to a higher level that can leave an indelible impression on your viewer. Put your heart into everything you photograph!

 

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Sometimes sitting on your butt pays off!

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The Monarch butterflies at a Texas state park seemed to be everywhere fueling on the flowers for their journey south. I shot the lone Monarch butterfly from a sitting position, which allowed me to add the soft, blue sky as a contrasting color element.  As a result, the yellow flowers and Monarch pop in the photograph.  Captured with a Nikon D850/Nikkor 300mm Phase Fresnel lens @ f4.

Enchanted Italy: Florence, Tuscany Hill Towns & Venice – October 2-13, 2018

Gondolas on canal in Venice

Join me on a unique travel experience to photograph the artistic wonders and culture of Italy. I will take you to favorite locations in Florence, off the beaten path hill towns of Tuscany, and the colorful canals of Venice. There are interesting aspects of Italian life waiting to be explored at every turn. This tour is limited to only 12 participants to allow for a more intimate and rewarding photographic experience. We always welcome tour companions who are not photographers. Whether you are an emerging photographer or seasoned shooter, I will be there every step of the way to encourage, guide, and inspire you to capture artful images in this enchanted region of Italy.

Sign up now, to embark on a memorable Strabo photographic tour adventure! Find more info here: Enchanted Italy

 

The New Nikon D850 . . . Sweet!

Blog RZ

I have been shooting with Nikon’s new 45.7 MP D850 camera for the past month, and I am impressed! Truly a camera for all seasons and styles of photography!  The ergonomics are spot on.  A nice feel in the hand with intuitive placement of buttons and controls.  Of course, I love the tilting monitor.  It makes capturing those low-angled shots a little easier as I age.  The high-resolution sensor allows for creative in-camera cropping possibilities, or in post-production.  Wonderful flexibility!  The improved high ISO delivers nice, clean images up to ISO 6,400!  This opens the ‘shooting in low-light door’ a little wider.  I also see a slight increase in tonal dynamic range over my Nikon D810 cameras (which are the crème of the crop in dynamic range).  In my captures, the D850 is holding even more highlight detail, which is always a good thing.

I captured the image of a staircase with the Nikon D850/Nikon 18-35mm lens (unaltered image, straight out of the camera).  The image is very sharp and holding an amazing amount of detail from the darkest area, to the lightest area of the photograph.

Just a short update (more to follow), on what I think is the most versatile and user-friendly camera Nikon has ever produced, and that I have ever used  Bravo Nikon!

Keep chasing the sweet light!

IT’S A GO FOR CUBA!

Cuba Blog

Update on my Strabo Photo Tour to Cuba on March 9-18, 2018

“Cuba has been fighting their way back from Irma. Those areas severely hit should be back in full force by December 1. Any areas included on our tours are already operational, WITHOUT ANY CHANGES TO THE PROGRAMS. The Cuban people benefit tremendously from US & Canadian Tourism. PHOTOGRAPHERS: We encourage you to travel now before there are further changes made by the many cruise ships and further development.” ~ Strabo Photo Tours

Sign up now to be a part of this once in a lifetime travel adventure! Click on the following link for more info: Cuba Photo Tour

Hot Off The Press . . .

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In Revelatory Moments I will be taking you on a pictorial journey over the years and share my thoughts, insights, and revelations during the moments of photo capture.  This is not a technical photography book, but rather a guidepost for those who want to elevate their seeing.

Preview the book here: REVELATORY MOMENTS

Revelatory Moment . . .

Blog ©Randy Ziegler

This abstract photo happened when I walked by a historic hotel in Clayton, New Mexico. I was captivated by the look of the flowers and clay vase behind the glass window.  As a result, the glass window created a soft, dreamy quality that immediately appealed to me. I clicked a few images with my Nikon D810/Nikkor 70-200mm, and then continued my photographic foray.

Intriguing images are constantly being revealed, but only when we fine-tune our seeing. In the end, to take great images you have to see greatly.  It all comes down to seeing!

Light’s Reflection . . .

Blog 2 ©Randy Ziegler

A building reflection on a small canal in Fort Worth, Texas.  The wind was rippling the water, which created a variety of artistic interpretations.  When that happens, shoot and shoot a lot.  The possibilities are truly endless!

Visit Cuba . . . the time is now!

Street scene with vintage car in Havana, Cuba.

I am leading a photography tour to Cuba on March 9 -18, 2018 where we will discover Cuba’s larger-than life culture, vibrant rhythms and weathered beauty while exploring and photographing the historic attractions.  I collaborate with Strabo Photo Tours, a US tour operator approved to conduct Educational & Cultural People to People programs under the new US policy.  This tour is limited to only 12 participants to allow for a more intimate and rewarding experience.

We will stroll the cobblestone streets of Old Havana and capture the baroque facades, while vintage cars whiz by.  Then journey to the colorful colonial town of Trinidad, experience the contemplative countryside of the Pinar del Rio and Zapata Provinces, including the beautiful southern coastal beach at Playa Larga.  This and more awaits to enlighten your senses, while providing a plethora of dramatic photographic opportunities each day.

Sign up now for this journey of a lifetime, and experience a memorable photographic tour adventure!  For more information on my Strabo Cuba Photo Tour, click the following link:  Cuba Photo Tour