Thursday, November 09, 2006

Tom Gallione ~ Flaming Grasses

The fields of Indian grass at Pennypack Ecological Trust are set ablaze as the sun sets on Huntingdon Valley.

I have looked at this image numerous times and have waivered on my opinion of it, even when I was making the photograph I wasn't sure what was drawing me to it. The native aspect ratio is 35mm and it wasn't until I cropped it square that everything came together for me. I realize now that I am beginning to see more squarely, so to speak. Not sure if it is the Hobson effect or what...

Short of taping my mirror, anyone know of a way to convert a 35mm to see squarely in the field? I would prefer the square format to be part of the image making process in the field rather than an afterthought. Hopefully someday camera manufacturers will make the square format an in-camera option.


Anonymous mary dennis said...

This is an amazing photograph Tom and absolutely perfect as a square. I love that mysterious zone in the upper left corner where things get a little soft and blurry. I await an apparition to appear in those trees! And the fire is pointing in that direction...

I am stuck (quite willingly) in a square mode these days too. I find that it suits the way I see and think pretty naturally and that there's a sense of ease and harmony in placing elements within it. I did have the LCD screen masked on my point and shoot for awhile to help with composing, but lately it's become pretty natural for me and I don't really need it anymore. I think a nice little digital Hasselblad would be pretty that didn't cost near $20,000 with a digital back on it!! Your idea of having a built in option for square format sounds intriguing indeed. Easy enough to do with digital I would imagine. Can't think of a thing that you could do with your 35mm film camera though. Is it possible to put a piece of that protective film (for PDA's and such) on the mirror? I colored a piece of that with black marker then put it on my LCD screen.

11/09/2006 10:23:00 PM  
Blogger gravitas et nugalis said...

Hey Tom

Nice photograph - I find that I can really get lost in the murky stand of trees in the background. The Flaming Grasses themselves are quite sensuous and I want to run my hands through them, smell them and listen to them rustle in the breeze.

11/10/2006 12:58:00 AM  
Anonymous Jim Jirka said...

I agree on the fact that the square format perfectly frames this subject matter.

11/10/2006 03:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Tom Gallione said...

Thanks for your thoughts, folks.

Mary: Yes, a nice, little Hassy sounds wonderful, without the hefty price tag.

Your protective film idea reminded me that I had a long defunct PDA sitting in a drawer. I found it, painted the screen protector and am in the process of fitting it to the focusing screen. It seems like it will work...we'll see. Thanks for the idea.

11/13/2006 12:56:00 AM  
Anonymous Michelle Parent said...

This is just lovely! The square format is perfect for this! I love that mysterious background the golden grass is pointing to.

11/13/2006 04:19:00 PM  
Blogger auspicious said...

Rather than do something to the mirror (with all the risk that that entails), does your camera have an interchangeable focus screen. Many SLRs do. If so you could just blank out the unwanted frame directly on the screen.

Failing that, if you can screw diopter lenses onto the viewfinder, you might be able to put a mask on one of those and just screw it on.

Square format Bronicas are cheap these days. As are TLRs from the less glamourous makers

11/17/2006 09:12:00 PM  

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