Sunday, June 29, 2014

Stepping Over

I purchase my first digital camera in 2010, a Canon 5D11.  My background has always been working with a large format camera and the new smaller digital camera felt more like a toy to me than a real camera. I spent the next year working in the field with my view camera as well as using the new digital equipment.  I had to convince myself that I could made an acceptable image with the digital equipment as I could with my more traditional film cameras.  I have always enjoyed making photographs long after the sun has set using long exposures of several minutes or more.  I feel this is the best time of day to capture the soft glow of the light that is present.  I remember making this image first with my view camera setup and then switching over to the digital camera.  It was no easy task to carry double the equipment with me when going into the field to photograph but I felt the need to do it for myself.  I wasn't ready to abandon my film unless I could capture an image that had the soft glow of light that I was use to in my images.  My Photoshop skills are limited when compared to other photographers I come in contact with.  My approach when processing a digital image is apply to my thought pattern of when I was making a print in the darkroom.  I had a very disciplined approach to my work where I only made one change to the print at a time and then analyze if that was a step in the right direction or not.  If I took a wrong turn I had only one step to backup and start the process over over.  It takes restraint to work like this because we all want to see the final image quickly, but the slow and thoughtful approach will produce more satisfying images in the long run than making a multiple changes all at once.  I made this image in Texas at Mckinney Falls state Park just south of Austin.  It was during a severe drought and the falls were mostly dried up but it was still an enjoyable place to visit. 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Joshua Tree N.P.

We camped in Joshua Tree National Park during the winter a few years back to hike and photograph.  The park consist of nearly 800,000 acres wilderness land to explore. Visiting the park in the winter gives you plenty of opportunities to hike without numerous other hikers around. The days were bright and sunny but the nights were frigid with temperatures dropping into the 20's.  The above pictures were taken at a well know location called jumbo rocks.  I arrived at the location an hour before sunset and waited until the sun was starting to set.  The wind was blowing and my fingers and ears were nearly frost bit from the strong north wind and cold temps.  The last glow of the setting sun gives the rocks a red fiery glow that is spectacular. The top image was taken while the sun was still on the lower rocks while the bottom image was made by slightly changing my camera location and waiting until the sun was off the foreground rocks.  I prefer the bottom image with the soft glow of the foreground and the better geometric shape of the rocks.  If I wasn't half frozen I would have stayed until the sun was completely set and continued to make some long exposures to see I how could further capture and interpret the scene.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Abandon Structure

It seems I can never pass an old abandon structure in my travels.  There is a fascination of knowing what is inside.  I found this old adobe building somewhere around Terlingua Texas.  I often wonder what became of the people who lived there.  At one point in time it was someones hopes and dreams come true.  A new beginning with a sense of security only a home can bring.  Time and people move on, but old buildings remain with the marks of time and the people who lived there.  I made this photo with a Canon 5D11 using HDR exposure to capture the extreme latitude of the lighting in the scene.,_Texas

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Lava Fields

We have recently moved into a new home after being on the road for 3 1/2 years in a motorhome.  The past few months have been full of busy days setting up a house again.  Our belongings sat in climate controlled storage for so long we had forgotten what we owned.  Most of the storage locker was filled with my large format photography prints and negatives.  I always had a worry in the back of my mind about the safety of storing my life's passion in a facility that I had no control over.  I wept the day I finally opened my boxes of fine prints after years of them sitting in the dark.  It was good to see my old friends again.  We became attached to the images we create for numerous reasons.  They connect us to who we are and the person we were.  They reflect the places we have traveled and the people we came in contact with.  They are our hopes, successes, and failures we all deal with in pursuing our dreams.  This is a scanned image of a print I made years ago in Death Valley.  I remember the day and experience as if it was yesterday.  As photographers we live within our images because of the time we have spent with them.  I now have this image hanging above me on the wall.  It is out in the light again, free, as it should be.  I am again surrounded by my friends that make up my life.