Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Quiet Morning

I was out camping and kayaking this past week and discovered an new lake with lots of interesting cypress trees.  It is in a remote area of the state and surrounded by cattle ranches.  It was great to locate an area that was not over populated and not ruined by over development.  It had rained hard during the night and I had doubts about getting up before dawn and heading out in my kayak.  I was glad that I didn't give in to the comfort of my warm bed and made it out in the damp early morning fog to photograph.  So many times we miss opportunities in lives because we over think things or reflect on past failures to convince ourselves that it is not just worth the effort.  I have had countless struggles at times with going through all the effort it requires to access a location to photograph and coming away with nothing to show for it.  I know it is all part of the process, but when I have streaks of bad luck with exhausted energy in the pursuit of photography it can influence my attitude toward future efforts.  I know it is not suppose to be easy and that the good images are sometimes hard to come by.  That is why when I achieve a successful image it is very rewarding. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Tree of Life

I was out in my kayak to photograph a beautiful sunset the other day.  All the conditions were perfect and I made a very nice image of the cypress tree with a colorful sky behind it. When I went to develop the image my thoughts were that it was just another pretty sunset picture.  I chose to process the image as I how I felt about the subject and prefer the ethereal effect this image produces. As a photographer you get to choose the look and feel of your images.  With this photo it was an image that was created from within. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

La Pena de Bernal

In the center of Mexico is one of the worlds largest monoliths.  It is a solid rock that is nearly 1500' tall.  This area of Mexico is full of interesting locations to hike and photograph.  We climbed to the top of this rock on a perfect winters day when the temperatures were just right for such and adventure.  The little town of Bernal is a great destination for those that want to make trips up into the mountains to the north.  We spent a few days exploring around in the mountains and found some wonderful waterfalls and mountain streams to photograph.  Mexico has a lot of wilderness to explore and in our seven months of traveling the back roads we only saw a small portion of what the country has to offer.  Mexico has a reputation of violence and danger for travelers. We travel with a few set rules and have only been met with friendly people and great food. We never travel at night and we stay away from the border area where much of the problem exist. Our hopes are that we can go back again and do some more exploring around this fascinating country.

Monday, August 27, 2018

There comes a time

I have enjoyed photography for most of my life.  It started in high school and still continues now as I transition into old age.  It was the camera that took me to places I never would have gone on my own.  If found myself surrounded with beautiful landscapes and interesting people along the way.  My many years spent in the darkroom was the most satisfying.  It was a quiet creative space where I was solely fixed on the process of making a fine print.  The hours there were rewarding and I miss the darkroom time and that special space that was in my life then.  As we transition through the various stages of our lives we can always get a glimpse of the road up ahead of us by seeing the patterns in the lives of others around.  We experience bench marks in life such as graduations, marriage, work, and retirement. As we begin to near old age it is more difficult to gage the changes coming up ahead us. It has always been a bit of mystery to me why I have such a desire to constancy create.  I find that I am not completely satisfied when not in the pursuit of something new and interesting.  It is a restless desire that rarely takes the time to reflect on the accomplishments gained over time.  The clock ticks louder now and I am aware that ambition and desire fades with age.  As I move into this stage of my life I will pursue my passion with the intensity as before but with some of the limitations age brings.  I made this image recently on a hot Florida afternoon.  The sun and the heat are brutal during the summer months but the clouds and the sky are the best at that time of year.  I stayed out in my kayak for a number of hours to find this group of trees that inspired me.  As I returned to my truck I was dehydrated and sore from the hours spent in my small boat, but the experience of being out there on the water pursuing my dream was well worth it. 

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Bannack, Montana

We were in Montana a week ago and come across an old mining ghost town in our travels.  We were headed west up into the mountains to camp for the night when we ran into a very strong thunderstorm.  We changed our plans and looked for a safer place in the valley to camp for the night. I found a state park that was in the area and took a detour in that direction.  I was bewildered by the location of this park being out in the middle of basically nowhere, and wondering what sort of natural attraction could be there.  After a few miles of a dirt road we found the campground and it was empty and had our choice of sites to setup camp.  After getting our gear around we decided to look over the area to see what might be of interest to photograph towards evening.  Much to our surprise we discovered the reason for the location of this state park.  This is the location of the old mining town of Bannack.  The state took over the town a number of years ago and has left everything intact just as the miners left it years before.  I was overwhelmed with delight because I am always in search of these kind of places in my travels.  I was surprised to find that all of the building are accessible and you can walk in each one and see the original setting of each home and business.  I have visited many old mining towns and this one was the most preserved and authentic old town I have ever been in.  I made many fine photographs during our short visit.  I made this image of the old schoolhouse towards evening as another thunderstorm was approaching.  We saw many wonderful areas during our trip but this old town was a highlight for me. 

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Yellowstone N.P.

I was in Yellowstone National Park a few days ago.  It was a cold and rainy time spent there but the light was great for photography.  I found a few areas away from the crowds that frequent Yellowstone and made some interesting images.  I saw this small geyser a few times erupting from a distance and I was never in position to be there when it did.  I started timing when it went off and found it was nearly every hour in between eruptions.  It was late in the day when I went to this location to setup my camera and tripod and wait for the geyser to erupt.  The setting sun was breaking through a small opening in the clouds giving a nice side lighting to the scene.  I made this image to check my focus and exposure settings just as the eruption started.  As the geyser erupted I heard a voice speak from behind me and as I turn to see who it was I bumped my tripod knocking my camera out of focus and missed the capturing the spectacular event.  I was a little disappointed at the time in my misfortunes but satisfied that I made this exposure just moments before. 

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Solitary Tree

What creates a sense of belonging and purpose in a life?  It is a combination of faith, family, and function.  If we have faith in God, mankind, and ourselves we can see the good when ugliness is all around us.  Family is the deep roots that bind us together and gives us our identity.  Function is what we do to provide and contribute that gives us our purpose in life.  We all move through different stages in life and after have experiencing them I can now reflect on them.  When we are young we are surrounded by family and friends which forms our roots.  The working years define us by our dedication and self discipline to stay the course to be a provider and contribute to society.  Faith comes when the storm clouds appear in our lives or that of someone else.  As we transition through life some of these things diminish or disappear.  Family passes on or moves away which is all normal, but requires an adjustment.  After the working years purpose and function becomes more difficult to define and obtain.  Faith increases as time passes because there comes a point in life where investing in this life has less return than it once did.  I know this may appear to be ramblings of obscure personal thoughts, but these are things that I learn from what I photograph.  This image I made two days ago represents some of the feelings I have expressed.  This solitary cypress tree rooted in a vast area of water is in its natural environment.  Its branches provide nesting for osprey and fulfills an important purpose.  The deep roots anchor the tree during extreme winds of hurricanes.   The tree produces seeds that fall in the water and drift away to establish new trees in another location.  The cycle of life is all around us in nature if we look for it.     Ps. 127 1-5