To continue the POSITIVES 'N NEGATIVES series, Jimmy Alverson (@jimmyalverson), a Brooklyn-based photographer shared with me two photos of New York.
Can you tell me a little bit about the story behind this photo? Where were you and what were you doing?
“This photo was taken during a brisk winter sunset from Brooklyn overlooking the navy yard and into midtown Manhattan.”
Why do you like this photo?
“I really enjoyed the details in all the layers of the picture from foreground to middle ground to background. Plus the crazy painting-like texture to the sky.”
The texture in this photo is really something else. Do you have any tips for photographing the sky? What is the secret to capturing the painting-like texture?
“I would not consider myself an expert, but I feel like the sky is best when there’s a smooth, soft gradient (towards sunrise/sunset) or there’s some wonderful, wispy clouds to contrast against the deep blue sky. For this shot in particular, I think I’ll chalk it up to good luck.”
In general, do you prefer shooting portraits or landscapes?
“This is a great question! I’ve always had an affinity for landscapes (both urban and natural), but I’m looking to start to focus more on portraiture in the future to expand my horizons.”
What were you going for when you took this photo?
“I was attempting to get a deep shot down an NYC street filled with all sorts of brick buildings.
...And what went wrong?
“I chose an aperture that was way too shallow to get all the details and depth I was aiming for in this picture.”
If you were given the chance to retake this shot, what would you do differently?
“I think a shot like this would work had there been a subject in the foreground to take the focus of the picture. A portrait or a product perhaps. Next time, I’d shot this at an f/11 or f/16.”
Do you think there is merit in self-analyzing the photos you think you messed up? Is this something you naturally do on your own as part of your photographic process?
“It is absolutely a worthwhile process to analyze each shot, since there’s always something to learn, even from your best, but especially from your worst. I think the continued self-reflection and analysis of my work is a necessary component to growing as a photographer and an artist.”
Is there anything you still find pleasing about this photo?
“I still always love the tones you get from Fuji pro 400h.”
Do you have any advice for film beginners, especially when it comes to these “disappointing” photos?
“Buck up, because they sure don’t stop. Just kidding. Really, you should:
To see more of Jimmy’s work, check him out on instagram @jimmyalverson
Author: Dana Gingras