Weekly Challenge – Delicate

Morning light 3::

Delicacy is one of those words that actually sounds right.  It sounds fragile.

The word even looks right, with the fat D losing it’s substance as the eye moves past the cut of the li and into the openness of the cac, finishing with that downward sweep of the y as if brushing something away.

My primary rule for the DPS weekly challenge is that it must be completed quickly.  I looked up the definition of “delicate” and pondered the absence of delicacy in my immediate surroundings.  Giving up this week was a real possibility.

My usual Saturday morning rounds take me to the local farmer’s market as early as possible to miss the crowds.

The clouds smiled.

Morning light 2I was reminded of Delia Falconer’s The Service Of Clouds.  It is a novel of visual beauty about a photographer of clouds who lived in the Blue Mountains (NSW, Australia) – loosely based on Harry Phillips.   I like the idea that amoungst his hordes of kitsch postcard photographs Harry also created some amazing images that have been attributed to his interest in the symbolic effects of clouds.


There is a delicate balance that exists between the technical and the aesthetic.

Morning light 1


On the technical front, the lesson for me this week was the Picture Style function.  For a couple of years, I wondered why my photos did not have the crispness of those I saw on the internet.  The options in a digital SLR are overwhelming when compared with the very basic methods I used with my glorious old film camera.  Back then, my deliberate choices were limited to the ISO of the film stock, the depth of field, and on which bit of the scene I’d focus manually in order to make best use of the chosen depth of field.  I didn’t even own a flash.

A few months ago, I finally worked out how to set up a crisp user-defined Picture Style.  Today was the first day I deliberately chose to use the preset Standard in order to create a softer image.  There’s just nothing delicate about HD.



More information about Harry Phillips is available here.


If you enjoyed my approach in this post, you might also like:

Slideshow – Dried Boronia  – example of the delicacy and lightness of touch that can be achieved with a short depth of field.

Slideshow – Barriers – a different side of the same locale as this morning’s clouds.

And some personal reflections on Transitions

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