Saturday, June 22, 2013

Foreground is Everything

"Who Needs TV?" ~ © Michael Shainblum (click image for EXIF info)
In good Milky Way landscape photography, the right foreground makes the shot. It determines whether the photo is truly memorable, or just another another pretty night sky photo.

A pretty starry night sky is not enough: When I take my workshop attendees on their first attempt to photograph the starry night sky, they are blown away with what they can see on their LCD monitors. However, by the second night they begin to expect much more from their instructor and themselves. Even a beautiful capture of the Milky Way with a simple silhouette of the horizon line is not enough. They soon realize that it is the relationship with the foreground and the sky that really makes the shot. It is what they choose to put in that foreground, where they place it in relation to the sky, and more often than not, how they choose to light that foreground that determines how successful that photo will be in satisfying themselves and their viewers.

Photo of the Week (POTW): Michael Shainblum was able to bring all those elements together in this unique perspective that speaks volumes. Concerning this photo, he said, "Who honestly needs to watch trashy television programs or garbage commercials and advertisements, when right out our doorsteps are some of the most incredible viewing experiences…"

An interview with Michael and a time-lapse video of his home town, San Diego, was recently featured on the Roger Hedgecock Show. He is is currently pursuing a degree at Brooks Insitute of Photography in Santa Barbara. More of Michael Shainblum's photography can be seen on his website.

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