When we first engage wetlands for photography, we often are focused on getting documentary shots, careful and exacting captures, of what we witness. Wetlands scenes can seem dull to many viewers—lots of reeds and water and weeds, all still and sometimes broken. This can be punctuated by wildlife, especially birds. But as we look more closely the stillness soothes the soul and the details begin to reveal the beauty of form and color and purpose. This is where our aesthetic vision begins to work and we move into artistic expression in photography.
The workshop will involve presentation, discussion, and illustration. It will discuss and illustrate a number of fine arts aesthetics, including impressionism and painterly approaches, minimalism and starkness, movement, and other aesthetic directions participants may wish to explore. It will also consider both the practice of framing images in the field with an aesthetic in mind and the practices of post-processing to reach a final image.
We will look through lots of examples of success as well as failure to bring visual life to our discussions.
Russell Tomlin is a nature and fine arts photographer. Tomlin’s fine art images include both landscape work featuring fog and the unexpected beauty of ordinary teasel, tule, and other wetlands flora.