Monday, August 26, 2013

Walking Limb

In 1988 we camped in Yosemite for the first time. I drove around the valley on the first day trying to get a feel for the area and search out some good photo sites. I came across this fallen limb late in the day and decided to return in the morning to make a photograph. I arrived early and had to wait quite awhile for the first signs of daylight.  As the sky started to lighten I began setting up my view camera and composing the scene. Being my first morning in the valley I wasn't sure exacting where the sun would rise as I stood patiently waiting for the light to increase.  Much to my surprise the sun broke out over top of the mountain and I realized I wasn't in the best position with a back lit situation. I quickly made the exposure and pulled out my film holder to flip it over to make a second exposure but by the time I got the film in position the sun had washed out the entire scene. This is my only exposure of this limb and it is a difficult negative to print. When viewing the proof sheet it would appear as if this negative is a complete loss for ever making a decent print.  I have learned a lot working with this negative over the years and apply some of the thought process and techniques in my digital work today. This particular image has been my top selling photograph over the years and one of my favorites for what it has taught me in the darkroom and beyond.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Devil's Golf Course

In Death Valley there is a place called the Devil's Golf Course. It is made up of crystallized salt formations left behind by an evaporated lake nearly 2,000 years ago. The area in almost impossible to walk on, and the crystallized salt is very sharp. If you visit this area be certain to wear some good hiking boots if you attempt to walk on this surface. Carrying camera equipment can cause you to lose your balance on the ragged surface and a fall would certainly damage your equipment and scrap you up some. It is best viewed a short distance from the parking area. I chose to make this photograph before the sunrise so the intense sun wouldn't wash out the detail in the salt formations. When I arrived the salt looks like old dirty snow and the overall scene in the early morning light looked very flat without much contrast. I picked a low camera angle to give the feeling of depth and try to make the salt formations loom large in the foreground when compared to the distance mountains. This is not an easy location to make a successful photograph, but it is always fun to take on the challenge of a difficult subject matter.'s_Golf_Course

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Rock Art

Throughout the Southwest there are numerous places that can be explored for Indian petroglyphs. These rock carvings were created by ancient people, and their true purpose and meaning can only be a speculation on our part. Rock Art is found world wide and we have discovered them in several countries in our travels. This group was near Painted Rock, Az. We were camped on BLM land for several days. During our stay in the area we explored the region in search of petroglyph sites and found many in remote locations that required the use of a 4 wheel vehicle to cross the sandy washes to access the sites. We are always very careful not to disrupt or impact the area when photographing around these ancient sites. They have weathered thousands of years of time and it is important to use care on your visit to these historical sites and only take photographs and leave everything the way you found it. I will make future posts of a few petroglyphs showing the many types that can be found, and let you determine  their possible meaning.

Panal at Sears Point

The hunters kill count