On Vision and Focus


On Vision and Focus

Themes are very prevalent in a photographer’s work, whether intentional or not. My personal approach could be summed up in a number of ways, although I try to go into each situation with perspective. Whether or not that perspective is something I’m either re-visiting or looking to hone depends on a number of parameters. The moments in which I’m most comfortable experimenting are the ones that are most familiar to me and where the experimentation occurs usually falls into any number of challenging parameters.

Last night, I ventured into the oh-so-familiar Verdugo Mountains, partially to explore the theme of nightfall, or city edges and the colors found and also to get away from the computer I’d been sitting at since the early morning. I’ve been defocusing subjects a lot lately, looking to emphasize the distant background, rather than the foreground. As someone who has to constantly update both this website and social media, I make little compositional challenges for myself to keep it interesting and this one has been a lot of fun.

Fortunately for me, I know the Verdugos quite well. Unfortunately for Colin, he was walking into an evening of a few photo moments. I was pleased with this image, almost enough to call it for the night’s photographic endeavors. As always, it got better around each corner, as the sun dipped deeper and the light intensified.

In my mind, I saw my final product, yet it took some experimentation to get to where I felt that photo needed to be, before ultimately landing on the above image.

It’s easy to get drawn into bokeh, sharpness, contrast, and color, which is why I could see why a lot of people would be drawn to the latter image (above.) However, the reason I stopped at this particular overlook was because of the edge between the city – man-made, bright, linear, grid – and the mountains – organic, dark, chaotic. This as a photo alone, is still quite beautiful but as a cycling photographer, figuring out how to layer a bicycle – which could dominate the frame – without making it the subject, was the challenge and ultimately, my end goal for the evening.

Everything else is just context.

For those wondering which kit this was: Leica M10, Summilux‑M 50mm ƒ1.4 ASPH