Tools of the trade
Not known for my technical skills or my use of cutting-edge technology, I found some photography challenges in Svalbard. The cold, the instant fog-up when entering the ship cabin (which opened directly onto the always-steamy galley), low light, great distances, ship motion, focusing while wearing mittens (not to mention shooting while wearing mittens), snowfall, rain, bow spray, and wind along with a host of computer program and storage space issues left me reeling with the feeling that many of my photos would be utter failures. There were no second chances; ships keep moving and the sun never really rises.
What I didn’t expect was some of these problems contributing to more interesting photos. The pixilation caused by low light, a zoom lens, and a high ISO creates the illusion of watercolor in some. Others appear as line drawings, pastels, or Suminogashi prints. The photos have more texture and less detail. Sharp edges give way to soft brushstrokes and smudged impressions.
My analytical, sharp-edged mind concedes; maybe the challenges added up to brilliant success in an unexpected form.