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Archive for June 18th, 2011

It is not often I pack my camera with a composition already in my mind for a photograph. No photographer can compare his skill of photo composition with that of Life’s natural ability to compose a perfect image. Whether I am shooting sand dunes on Sullivan’s Island or farmers markets in the fall, Life has a way of giving me all the composition I need.

But recently, the left half of my brain Рfor once in its feeble existence Рtook over and developed a specific composition  for a photo I had yet to take (complete with logical, laid out colors and lines, a distinct goal to be met). It was a door weighing down the right side of my [future] image, with 2 windows balancing the middle and left portions of the photo. The building was made of brick and foliage shaped the border, thus creating a short depth of field while adding a living element that a viewer would want to smell. The sidewalk was cobble-stoned and the shutters black. The shutters had to pop. And because I do not digitally alter color (only enhance) in my photos, I knew this would be an adventure. So my search for doors in downtown Charleston began.

Charleston door

downtown charleston sc

door in downtown charleston

When I jumped in my car to head downtown, I actually thought this was going to be an easy project.

I was so wrong.

historic door

Rainbow Row Charleston SCThen I got sidetracked. Exterior spiral staircase on Rainbow Row

Battery Park in Charleston SC

Abstract photo of gate

And without warning, I found the door my imagination had designed.

downtown Charleston door

A glaring problem could not go unnoticed, however.  Blue shutters instead of black. I quit my search after taking this photo, discouraged that my composition did not exist, at least not in downtown Charleston like I hoped it would be.

It was when I sat down to edit the days shots that I saw what I had not seen during my search. The blue shutters DID pop from the image. They also blended seamlessly with the building’s green and red tones, a relationship of color I had not considered when building my original vision. It gave way to what would have been unpleasantly harsh contrasts had they been black.

Life, again, outdid my own creativity. All at once I was reminded that I am not in control – that what I was so determined to make my image would never belong to me. I simply have the opportunity to document the beauty and share it with others.

Profound.

Humbling.

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