The morning’s first light,
Forest stripped of snowy bows-
A bird soars above.
The morning’s first light,
Forest stripped of snowy bows-
A bird soars above.
[tôrˈnādō] tornadoa mobile destructive vortex of violently rotating winds
Every decision we make matters. Every decision from the simplest one to the most complex makes a difference. Each stop we made, every shot I took on our drive home, led us to the top of a hill as a tornado began forming. I watched this EF1 tornado form three minutes after the initial tuba disappeared back up into the cloud. It lasted maybe seven minutes until it roped out and disappeared back into the cloud. It destroyed a barn that had existed for over a hundred years. No lives lost, two legged or four.
The destination is never the most important part of our trips. I love that. And as cars sped by us parked by the side of the road I smiled thinking we’d just seen nature put on a show, and I’d captured it from start to finish. Was it a once in a lifetime shot? I don’t know that yet. But I’m glad we took the time to enjoy the moment. Don’t be in a rush. Every moment matters.
I planted my self in the middle of a great many Glasses full of Dew, tied fast about me, upon which the Sun so violently darted his Rays, that the Heat, which attracted them, as it does the thickest Clouds, carried me up so high, that at length I found my self above the middle Region of the Air.
Cyrano de Bergerac
It’s been a great week and today I’m just feeling really content. Good news abounded and nature threw in some beauties as well. This image of crepuscular rays was also an EarthSky “Today’s Image”, always an honor for me and a good reminder of why it’s important to carry your camera with you.
True happiness arises, in the first place, from the enjoyment of one’s self, and in the next, from the friendship and conversation of a few select companions.
These two, it’s rare to find one without the other and if I was the jealous kind I might wonder how that came to be in such a short period of time.
Friendships come in all shapes and sizes. How they start, how easy they are to maintain, and how some die, by-products of neglect or simply by exceeding their best by date. Friendships, like relationships, do seem to have a shelf life, whether we want them to or not.
The ones that I hold the most dear are the ones that can handle a little neglect. Those are the friends that know that space and distance can happen while we deal with our own lives. That periods of time without communication doesn’t mean that they’re not thought about.
I love the photo above. It’s not unique, it happens on most days that I will find these two together. They both get a lot out of it and on the days when I can’t be part of it, I can look at this picture. It never fails to bring a smile to my face.
Light is meaningful only in relation to darkness, and truth presupposes error. It is these mingled opposites which people our life, which make it pungent, intoxicating. We only exist in terms of this conflict, in the zone where black and white clash.
Looking at this image makes me think that there really isn’t much hope for humanity. The simplest concept that the earth could go on without us but that we can’t survive without its natural resources seems to elude a large percentage of the population.
Perhaps those are the same ones that love to dwell in conflict. Where everything is never enough and the concept of accountability is just a word that’s too long to pronounce. The conflict becomes too intoxicating to put down and common sense falls by the wayside.
But I digress…
I”ll likely not be around in 50 years but those tires sure will be.
It’s (almost always) about the water.
just because we say it’s so?
Before the people at large, and for that matter, the artists themselves, understand what photography really means, as I understand that term, it is essential for them to be taught the real meaning of art.
Had some interesting conversations lately about art; what it is and what it is not.
Is it the piece of dryer lint tied with thread and given space at a gallery? Or perhaps it’s the old sheet hung on the wall with a word written on it? Is it assembly line production of paper and glue?
Is it art because it matches your sofa cushions? Is it art because you cut an old RV in half and applied social commentary to it? Does the quality of the material used elevate the work?
The very definition of art, the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination would lead me to believe that there are more components involved than the simple desire to be called an artist.
Recent art exhibits seemed to be accompanied by lengthy bios on the artist and the creative process that resulted in some of the exhibits mentioned above leading me to wonder is it art if it has to be explained to you in advance of the viewing?
For me whatever I’m looking at, my own work or that of others, first and foremost it has to evoke some sort of emotion and secondly the creation of the piece has to have some component of skill and intention involved.
Art or craft…always a hot topic. I’m grateful for artists like Stieglitz who paved the way for photography as an art form.
There was a man with great passion, talent, and intention and I would have loved to shadow him for just one day as he worked.
Who moves you? What motivates you to create and not just replicate?
but a memory.
Photography, as a powerful medium of expression and communications, offers an infinite variety of perception, interpretation, and execution.
Winter landscapes are for me some of the most beautiful to capture.
Like a blueprint of time they contain a wealth of information; information that remains until the next wind blows and covers the tracks, or snow continues to fall burying that day’s history.
I knew immediately when I saw this image that I would render it in black and white.
Ansel Adams used a red filter to darken the sky in one of his photographs of the monolith in Yosemite. He already had in his mind the final image, not as he saw it but how he visualized it being.
Photography is a medium that allows for an immense amount of growth and how we choose to interpret that which lies on the other side of our lens is an intensely personal process.
Knowing this, accepting this, and staying true to this is the difference between a snapshot and a photograph.
A photograph is not only the image that it portrays but the memory that it holds.
When I look at this I am reminded of a very gentle man, a farmer, who several years ago during a challenging time showed me the true depth of his spirit and I hope that when he sees this he will recognize himself in the description and know that he made a difference.
and coming back.
I wish that all of nature’s magnificence, the emotion of the land, the living energy of the place could be photographed.
This week has been a reminder of and an eye-opener to the scars that we bear.
This stand of trees still soars majestically skyward but bore not the brightly colored leaves of autumn, only blackened trunks and open wounds from the Kenow fire that swept through last year.
I find myself listening more and looking beyond the outer shells.
I find myself more willing to speak openly and wonder if that energy is being felt.
I find myself coming back.
The real glory is being knocked to your knees and then coming back. That’s real glory. That’s the essence of it.
On a personal note… I am so proud of this man.
Portraits are not my first love but when there is an amazing story attached, one that inspires and gives you faith in the human spirit, it’s a treat to be behind the lens!
Don’t pass up an opportunity to photograph anything that you connect with even if it’s outside your comfort zone.
Photography is like a moment, an instant. You need a half second to get the photo. So it’s good to capture people when they are themselves.
I’ve had some interesting thoughts on photography lately and not just about subject matter but how everything pulls together to capture that image.
I’ve had some opportunities lately to photograph some more environmentally themed portraits. People photography is not something that I usually gravitate towards but capturing people engaged in something that brings the light from with-in outwards has been extremely satisfying for me.
I find myself enjoying crafting how I want that image to come out and at the same time getting some exposure to new things like the speed bag.
I don’t want to be one of those photographers who can’t carry their own gear and can only shoot from a standing position because my body can’t move, so for me that means continuing to incorporate more, and more varied, physical training into my life.
I have never tried punching a speed bag before and wasn’t sure that I would even be able to do it having been told by my eye doctor that I don’t track objects coming towards me with any degree of accuracy.
What I found though was somewhere along the way, all this daily shooting has bridged that gap and my focus and timing has improved. It only took one session to realize that this is perfect conditioning for a photographer. Not only does it build and tone muscle in your arms but it greatly improves the hand/eye co-ordination so valuable to the photographer. You’ll also see improvements in cardio by doing timed sets of 3-5 minutes followed by a minute break.
If that’s not enough there’s the rhythmic sound of the bag striking the platform…almost as seductive as the click of a shutter.