Long time readers may attest that I take a fair number of photos. It’s true. Not all the photos are great – some are taken to capture a bit of light or something interesting or just as an aid to memory. Lately I’ve been taking more photos as reference.
I was thinking about this as I watched a youtube watercolorist show how he auditions and “edits” photos. He prints them out and doesn’t worry about sharpness or perfect lighting. Obviously there was something about the scene that grabbed his eye but it doesn’t mean it is a composition worth painting. He uses a really soft pencil and a white pencil to move trees around, add some shadows, establish where the light is coming from, all the while considering how the eye will move in and around the image. (If you like his video, watch this one next for some amazing cloud wet in wet painting)
When he was done, the view was indeed more interesting to look at and still bore a strong resemblance to the original photo but it wasn’t the same.
All this is a way around to saying these two groups of photos aren’t the best I’ve taken but they were taken to show the scene. The sheep photos have some really dark ones because I wanted to show the clouds. The sunset photos aren’t very crisp because I only had a few minutes before it was too dark to shoot and I didn’t have time to set up a tripod so I was bracing against things. But, I hope the ideas will be useful.