In need of therapy…

take a walk in nature.

DSC_2679-Edit-EditSometimes you stumble across a few chords that put you in a reflective place.

David Bowie

I’m reminded on a continual basis that “time” is not a given and that every moment is precious.

I’m reminded that “home” will never look the same for me as it once did.

I’m reminded that the memories of my “past” will be forever changed.

I’m reminded that all of that is okay.

And all this from a river view of geese in the early morning.

Cheap therapy.

And in a moment…

everything changes.

DSC_2238-Edit-3Now Autumn’s fire burns slowly along the woods and day by day the dead leaves fall and melt.

William Allingham

Don’t wish for the season to change.

Don’t stay where you’re not happy.

Don’t wait for a better time.

Don’t forget to say I love you.

Not just a photograph…

but a memory.

DSC_0879-EditPhotography, as a powerful medium of expression and communications, offers an infinite variety of perception, interpretation, and execution.

Ansel Adams

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.

The apex…

of scenting ability.

DSC_0770-3Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Years ago while involved in Search and Rescue I was introduced to tracking by a man named Jim Marshall. He cultivated in me an appreciation for awareness and personal space and the second nature to be always looking for indicators.

Today, one of my greatest joys is to find signs of animals passing through the wilderness and letting my imagination run wild with the back stories.

The discovery pictured above, along with a huge pile of hair laden scat, was heart rate elevating!

I searched for the perfect track to photograph and my mind raced with thoughts.

As a former bloodhound handler and instructor of scent theory, I’m well versed in the abilities of certain animals because of physiological makeup to be scenting machines.

Here I was in close proximity to one of the animals at the apex of this description…the grizzly bear. An animal purported to be able to scent 300 times more than a bloodhound.

This is the beauty of photography. Each time I look at this photograph I will remember the cold, the heightened awareness, the silence, and the joy that we felt when we saw it.

I had hoped to see elusive bear number TEN  of the year but I’m okay with it not being this particular bear.

Was he watching? Very likely.

Was I? Always.

A memory of my father…

in frozen rain.

DSC_5494Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you.

Frank Lloyd Wright

This image just reinforces for me why I love winter so much.

I was awakened by the sound of wet snow sliding off of my metal roof; the snow having turned to rain sometime during the night.

I treat almost every surface as a canvas and on this morning my eyes were drawn to the image of a forest, etched in frozen rain, on the plastic side window of my Wrangler.

It was reminiscent of the trees that my father would carve with a palette knife into his acrylic paintings. Many years after his passing I still use that palette knife to carve into my encaustic paintings of photographic images.

Stay close to nature, it will never fail you.

 

Sometimes it’s the little things…

that make all the difference.

DSC_5017The stronger a man is, the more gentle he can afford to be.

Elbert Hubbard

We look at images for many different reasons but what compels you to go back to a single image over and over again?

On this day with temperatures in the single digits, I wasn’t outside alone photographing my tiny, intimate landscapes. A first for me, I had a willing participant and the captured image that I loved the most from that morning wasn’t one of the tiny frost covered bubbles, a single snowflake, or an elegant forest of hoar-frost.

I keep going back to this one because it speaks to me of quiet strength and confidence. This is a man who is far more comfortable dead-lifting in a gym, teaching self-defense moves, or performing choreographed fight movements; a kung fu style of moving meditation.

Yet he was a willing participant in my morning single digit temperature photo shoot. That willingness showed me a strength that I had to turn my camera towards. It was one of those moments in photography where you think you’ll be shooting one thing but something else happens.

I think photographers tend to be solitary by nature but having someone to share the beauty of the frozen landscape with, in the moment and not just by a later shared image, was a new experience for me.

First tip of the new year…stay fluid and look for moments. Your image of the day isn’t always going to be the one that you planned!

I have a feeling that this year is going to be very interesting.

Sun in the sky…

you know how I feel.

DSC_3902-2It’s a new dawn
It’s a new day
It’s a new life
For me
And I’m feeling good

Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse

That’s the thing about life.

No matter what the day or the week has brought, if you’re waking up to a new dawn, you’re one of the lucky ones.

A friend of mine said that it’s about reframing how you react to the things that happen to you.

As a photographer, it’s the perfect metaphor. The same image can be framed so many different ways and my inner voice always says “there” when I’ve got it just right.

Click…

Finally…

it’s winter again!

DSC_3681There are very few really stark black and white stories.

Jim Lehrer

As the first storm of the season blankets what remains of fall I can feel inspiration seeping from every pore.

I’m a child of winter.

All of my major life events have occurred in the winter months.

The snow swirls and floats outside my window and I’m reminded of those snow globes that contain tiny little worlds encased in permanent blizzards.

I can’t wait to begin another winter series…

 

Winter…

blues.

dsc_2043

The deeper the blue becomes, the more strongly it calls man towards the infinite, awakening in him a desire for the pure and, finally, for the supernatural… The brighter it becomes, the more it loses its sound, until it turns into silent stillness and becomes white.

Wassily Kandinsky

This week I felt the first brush of winter and it sent me rushing outside to attempt the first “frozen” of the season.

All around me I hear mutterings from people mourning the loss of summer but all I can think of is…soon.

This season brings with it a partnership with nature and I can’t wait to see what creations I can capture.

I’m ready…bring it!

Wind scoured snow…

and a hint of sun. Perfect for a winter landscape!

DSC_8639-Edit-2

Twelve significant photographs in any one year is a good crop.

Ansel Adams

I’ve spent quite a bit of time in the last two weeks going through images, updating my website, and having prints made.

If you haven’t done something like that in a while it is really quite interesting.

It can go several ways I suppose. You might look back and think that it’s time to just put the camera on the shelf or start using it as a paper weight OR you might come away feeling energized. Hopefully it will be the latter!

For me it was a two-part process; deciding on prints that I really liked and then seeing how they looked in print. That did not always go in the way that I had expected. There were surprises in both directions. Some required more attention when it came to the edit while others just seemed to lose something on paper. Explore how things look printed on different paper. I tend to favor matte and for images like this one, Somerset Velvet fine art paper made it really special.

I’ve learned a lot more about handling RAW files and feel more comfortable with what needs to happen to them before they are ready to print. I pay a lot more attention to my histogram especially when it comes to shooting things like infrared. There’s no substitute for it especially when you’re out in the bright light and can’t see your screen. If you are not used to using it, bracket some shots and then compare each one to the histogram when you get home. Learn how it needs to look to make the shot that you’re envisioning.

Ultimately though it had the effect of refocusing me. I don’t feel the need to photograph everything but look for those special moments that pop up like today’s image. Moments that won’t ever look quite the same again. I was glad that I had opted to bring my camera and a lens change with me.

Snowboarding through the trees I was aware of the sun occasionally and ever so slightly breaking through the clouds; not staying for long but adding that one special element that I needed for this winter landscape shot.

The snow was windswept. It still clung to the trees from the storm the night before: the direction of the wind was evident. It was much calmer today but the occasional gust sent showers of snowflakes from these trees through the air.

Making a mental note of this spot I looped back around to the chair hoping to be able to get back before conditions changed too much. Racing down on my next run I stopped, mindful of being in a “safe” spot where I could be seen by others should they come downhill following a similar line. Sheltering my camera in my coat I dialed in the settings, removed the lens cap but kept the lens pointed down so that it didn’t get spotted with snow… and I waited.

When the next brief flash of sun came, I took my shot. I think this might become one of my twelve shots for the year and it was the icing on the cake after a good morning of riding.

How’s your crop coming for the year? Does it need watering?