Who’s Mutty, Why Is He Proud, And Who Cuts His Hair?

Weekly Supply Ship At Fort Bay, Saba, Dutch Caribbean
Weekly Supply Ship At Fort Bay, Saba, Dutch Caribbean

A Short Treatise On My Photographic Approach

My commitment to a new picture each day on the blog until I leave this tiny island in the Caribbean demands a degree of photographic creativity; I’ve rejected a number of pictures that look too much like direct repeats…same color palettes and/or too similar views from a particular location. Saba is five square miles of paradise, but any creative photographer like me still needs to keep an eye out for transforming even the mundane aspects of their surroundings into something new, fresh, or dramatic for a compelling image, and that can happen in a few different ways:

  • Macro or Micro Zooming in much closer than the level of detail the brain normally pays attention too or vice versa, zooming out for a far wider perspective than most photographs.
  • Geometric Perspective Much is written about having a photographic”eye”, and while some talent is undeniable, I still believe certain aspects of pleasing visual geometry can be taught or learned through the glory of digital image trial and error, myself as one example. The trick for me was learning how to flatten the 3D my brain perceives the world with into the 2D world the camera sees, then take a boatload of pictures and figure out why I did or didn’t like a particular image, which in my reptilian simplicity, was figuring out how my brain was reassembling a 2D image back into 3D perspective. A big part of that is geometry within an image frame, and how it leads your eye to construct depth.
  • Digital Post Processing Folks who’ve been reading my blog a long time know my philosophy on images, and opinions of images…you either like a picture or you don’t, you either hold on it and take it in longer than a few seconds, or you move on with a Ho-hum. “Did you Photoshop that?” seems to be a question that implies something about the image is false, or faked, and therefore either too good to be true or not worth looking at. But that’s at odds with images as art, which is that digital post is part of today’s creative imaging process. Leave the f-stop and technical discussions to photographers who feel that’s important stuff. In any case, digital post might be as simple as taking the clutter of colors on a photo competing for eye attention and making it black and white and shades of gray, which gets immediate oohs and ahs. Lots of creative options in the post.
3 Original Images Used For Today's Final HDR Blog Picture
3 Original Images Used For Today’s Final HDR Blog Picture

Today’s photograph takes on a mundane subject–the 60 meter 681 ton supply ship Mutty’s Pride
that arrives in Saba’s Fort Bay harbor weekly with essential food and supplies. I’ve taken a bunch of pictures of the ship over the months, but never had one that rung my bell. This time I took 3 pictures exposure bracketed for the different light…the dark mountains, the clouds, and the brightly colored ship, and combined them to create a High Dynamic Range (HDR) photo that attempts to balance the contrast that our eyes can see, but cameras can’t, then played with exposure and saturation to rebuild the true colors washed out by the intensity of the Caribbean sun. The result takes on an painting quality I like, and I hope you enjoy it as well. I won’t always yak on about process like this, but for the new and learning photogs out there, maybe this will be a helpful post. Cheers!

2 thoughts on “Who’s Mutty, Why Is He Proud, And Who Cuts His Hair?

    1. Not at all. I got lots of offline questions about how I did a particular picture,
      so decided to offer up a quick example; ergo the Mutty’s Pride post.

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