Thursday, 27 April 2017

More Than Just A Pile Of Rocks

I crave those rocky places ... whenever I can find a rocky place my senses tingle and imagination runs wild . It's like being a kid again and laying on the ground looking up at the clouds as they roll by , seeing fanciful shapes come and go .

 Okay ... you may have to think outside the box to see what I see ... I'm not a desperate photographer but the more time I spend looking for these shapes I begin to see them everywhere ... there's a bump on the rock in the center of this pile and it looks like a nose and a line running across to form a brow ... the rock sitting at the base creates a chin and completes the ' face ' ... just saying . 

Monday, 2 January 2017

Meditation # 3

This appears to be an annual event since I didn't post much last year but  today is the first day of the rest of the year so it's never too late . The title of the post describes a state of mind , a quiet state of mind and I think that this photo represents that very well . The colors are quite soothing almost monotonic in tone yet lending an important element to the scene . This was captured during a recent trip to Southern California , which is also becoming an annual event as we try to escape the cold weather here in the Pacific Northwest . I had never visited the Salton Sea before and the reading that I have done did not paint a pretty picture but like anyplace else there is always more than one side to the story . So I encountered a hazy day with very low contrast although the sun was bright and created specular hilites if looking in a certain direction ... this view was away from the direct sun

and took advantage of the diffused nature of the light that filtered through the haze toward the end of the day .
I made the best of the situation that I encountered and made what I think is a pretty picture .
Happy New Year !

Friday, 1 January 2016

A Voyage of Discovery

It's not everyday that feels like a new day because sometimes revisiting the past can take me forward...kind of like , ' back to the future ' . In this way I can appreciate what I saw before and use the knowledge to develop my photographic style . Some of the first pictures that I ever made , the images that seem to speak to me with the most understanding today are in a style that persists many decades later . Of course we all recognize our own images but taking the time to review what has been done before will definitely help me recognize that style whenever I look through the viewfinder. So if you are a collector of photographic images don't keep them in a box somewhere instead take them out and look at them from time to time and you may start to recognize a style that is unique to you .

I'm always drawn to the lines in the landscape , something about the abstract nature of a landscape yet there is still a suggestion of the literal landscape . This is a style that I have developed over time ,  a style that I recognize as being unique because I have looked back to the future .

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Every Picture Tells a Story

Why do I take pictures ? This is a valid question to ask yourself . It is a question that I have answered many times and there seems to be a recurring theme to my response . I'm not talking about selling my work , although that is always a pleasant surprise when someone wants to support what I do by giving me money . I'm talking about the non - material benefits I receive .
There is a map of my life and the photos are guideposts that help me to find my way . Whenever I review one of my images I can see the invisible details , the story behind the photo . I am reminded of the weather perhaps or how I slipped and slided down the side of a wet ravine to capture a waterfall image that had been niggling at my conscience each time I walked past the site .

This map is the main reason I shoot photos . Of course another benefit I receive is a deeper appreciation of the physical world . A camera's ability to freeze a moment in time by its very nature allows me a glimpse of my thought process .
We live in such a material world and it is too easy to walk on by without consideration of the natural world . Looking for beauty in everyday things helps me appreciate my surroundings more .

What I was thinking before I pressed the shutter does matter. This mental reflection helps me to understand myself better and where I fit into the physical world .
So , yes it is possible to achieve fame and fortune as a roving photographer but it is important to connect with yourself first and foremost .

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Stop , Look and Listen

In our never ending quest to find the new ,  iconic ,  undiscovered location consider this . As you walk along is there something that catches your eye . Stop and look , be aware of your surroundings and listen to yourself . What was it that I just saw ? Why did I notice something ? This is your new , undiscovered location . Maybe it is a color .                                                                                                                              


This scene was just a flash of color as I hiked along a forest trail . Easy to miss ? Probably , but I was aware that something caught my attention . By taking the time to stop  I noticed what it was . All I had to do now was compose the picture in a way that emphasized my view .

Sometimes it is the way the light illuminates one thing . Whenever my creative eye is blocked and nothing seems to be worth making a picture there is a trick/technique that usually works for me , I look for the light .

Light and shadow , two pieces of a picture . Stop , look and listen and the world takes on a different view .

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

The Golden Hour

The color of the light is the reason the period after sunrise and before sunset is called the Golden Hour . The low angle of the suns rays to the surface of the earth are dispersed by the atmosphere creating a brilliant golden glow .This effect is pleasing to everyone and landscape photographers are no exception . Look at any  website dedicated to landscape photography and notice that many of the images are captured in this type of light .


However , a famous photographer once  said , " the best light for taking photographs is available light " .  This statement is worth considering because as photographers we just want to take pictures . The reality is that we don't walk around and see everything bathed in a golden glow all the time . Sometimes the light is diffuse and lacking direction .

This diffuse light occurs on those days when the sky is overcast and the suns rays appear to be shining through a large white umbrella . Coincidentally this is the best light to photograph waterfalls because the low contrast preserves detail in the water which is so easily lost in bright sunshine .

Other times the light may be reflected off of a colored surface such as the sky and this color will appear in the image . There are many lighting situations that can all be used to advantage . The landscape has so much to offer that may be revealed at anytime . The point is don't wait for the golden hour at the expense of missing other opportunities throughout the day . So much to see and never enough time .                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Beyond the Garden Gate

Beyond the garden gate is really about how far I didn't go to take these pictures. I gave myself an exercise that would force me to stand in one place and take a series of photographs . The idea is not a new one and it is always good practice , something we all do a variation on when we work on a subject...look at it from different angles and changing lens perspective .

The first thing I noticed was how the light was behind the grasses and was creating a beautiful luminous glow.                                                                            

As I started to work with this idea simply changing camera orientation presented a different view .

Choosing a shorter focal length gave me a wider perspective , all without changing my position .

Then I rotated my body 45 degrees and from the same spot took this picture .

Another small rotation revealed this image .


Finally , a rotation in the other direction offered this view . Both of these pictures are the same subject just using a different focal length .
So from this exercise , standing in one spot and using the tools at hand many different pictures were possible.