I tok a photo of a Wheatear the other evening. And it somehow changed a lot in how I approach birdphotos and composition.
It is perhaps the first time where I deliberately composed the photo while shooting rather than only taking it into consideration while editing it in photoshop. I was changing position to get a calm grey background to match the colors of the bird, and using the rocks around me to create a haze effect that would center the interest around the only area in focus: the wheatear and the rock/weed it was sitting on. And I got to thinking: “This is everything I would do in a fantasy painting!” The flat minimalistic background surrounding its head creates a room for the voice of the open beak. It gives it a space to “use” for the singing. The calmness of the background makes the figure stand out stronger. The fuzzy elements in the rock it’s sitting on doesn’t steal away attention but acts more like an anonymous pedestal for the main figure. Nothing in colors or details of elements in the surroundings disturbs the attention of the main figure. The colors and contrast exists ONLY in the bird. The orange rimlight is the perfect temperature difference needed to grab focus and intensify the contrast. It fits so well with the coolness of the plumage.
I think this one photo incorporates 90% of the thoughts that I go through when painting a fantasy figure portrait. But it does it way better than I can do it myself. Being more and more invested in this life of being a wildlife photographer has really changed and opened my eyes towards my own art. The similarities are so many that I constantly feel like they lend each other help. When I am down in the mud with a bird in front of me, I hope for it to move so I get a better background. When painting I find myself sketching as if I was in eye level with an elf having just alarmed her and ruined the experience of seeing her do elfy things.
I have added a bunch of bird photos that I think look like fantasy paintings and that have a strong sense of composition and focal points. And then a bunch of fantasy paintings that I think look like wildlife photos so you can see the resemblance.
Hopefully I am moving into a territory where these 2 worlds meet even more.