I have been influenced by the storytelling illustrations of Norman Rockwell and the way Rembrandt used light. But Claude Monet’s impressionistic paintings are also embedded in my photo DNA.
Sam Abel, longtime National Geographic photographer, often talked about how his father would say, “Bad weather makes good pictures.” He was right.
Out one morning with my camera, hoping the rain would stop so I could do some after-storm landscapes, I saw this surreal scene through my windshield. The drab, muted colors of the rainy, blue-gray day and soft lines caused by shooting through the wet windshield felt like an impressionistic painting from another time in another country. Shot on color film, even the grain helps enhance the watery mood.
I waited and watched until the figure moved—her shape separated, defined against the reflected light on the wet street—and braced the camera on the dash. The slow shutter speed, moody blue-gray morning, shooting through wet glass and the color of the muddy earth all worked in harmony to capture a scene that, once processed, looked the way it felt when I made it.
Capture the Feel of an Impressionistic Scene With a Camera
Painting is more dreamlike and less literal than photography. Make a picture that resembles the style of one of the old masters.
Experiment with extreme exposures or do post-production work in Photoshop. After all, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
To respond to this challenge and share your work, email your best image to firstname.lastname@example.org with a caption and photo credit. We will share the best submissions on our website or social media channels.