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Story behind the shot: Flight Path.

Fine art photography, on the other hand, is first and foremost about the artist. It is not about capturing what the camera sees; it is about capturing what the artist sees.”

- Unknown (but I love it).

This is a little series that I have wanted to start for a while but I hadn’t fallen in love with an image enough to make it the first: the first needed to be special. Over the past week or so, my passion for editing has been re-born, I’m not sure if I am developing my style (it only took 6 years) or if I am just over-reacting (quite possibly) but I wanted to document it nonetheless.

If you follow my social media channels you will know that a few months back I began a new Instagram for my fine art photography (@blackandwhitekite ) and although traction on that account has been fairly slow, I am really starting to fall in love with it. I am putting so much effort into it, especially the uniformity - not just throwing a jumbled mess of black and white photos onto it, but uploading similar images together - which is why I always post pictures in threes and late July I posted these three shots of a white backed vulture from Botswana. Something which started out as photography was changed into a fine art shot and this is the story of that transition.


IV, V and VI of "BIRDS IN FLIGHT"

In 2017 I was beyond lucky to be able to spend three months in Botswana, the last week or so that I was there I spent travelling around the bush with Alistair (the absolute legend I was staying with) and Taylor (an unbelievable camera operator) in a new area scouting out possible filming locations. One of the best things about this week is that we were basically the only three people there, we saw one other jeep, but only for about a minute, other than that, it was us and Nature, that’s it. It was incredibly special.

We were driving around the bush one day when we came across a group of dead trees that several vultures and storks had chosen to rest in. I took a picture of an individual white backed vulture sat in a tree and it made for a nice picture, but at the time I think that was it, it was ‘nice’. It was at this time when I saw a white backed vulture take off from where it was sat, and I snapped away getting several shots of it in flight, but again (and it is probably why they sat there unedited for a while) they were just ‘nice’. At the time I was mainly interested in frame filling portraits and I think at the time they didn’t make the cut, but that changed.



At rest

As I started getting into fine art photography, black and white and minimalism, these pictures soon attracted my attention, there was lots of contrast, no bright colours that would be lost in turning it black and white and there were no distractions in the frame, they went from ‘nice’ to perfect. I edited them into my new found style and loved them and this led to my IV, V and VI instalment in my ‘BIRDS IN FLIGHT” series. I loved these shots, but I had always had an idea of making something more from them and this was the start of ‘Flight Path’, and this is where it went from photography to art.

I knew I wanted them all in the same frame, and I initially got this shot…




But soon I realised this wasn’t it. After looking at the shot for a while and asking people for feedback I went back to the drawing board, blasted the exposure of the background to make it completely white, helping the vultures stand out, and added in the vulture in the tree.



From these...


To these...

After changing the order, I finally produced the final image, and I do have to say, I am very proud of it.


Flight Path



I am currently working on giving my website a revamp, with a big focus on fine art. I will keep you posted as to when it is released.

I hope you enjoyed this new style blog, I can't wait for the next instalment.

Thanks for reading,

Sam

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