Friday, October 28, 2016

The Popsicle Man

We have made serval trips to Mexico over the years and I have always found interesting subjects to photograph.  One day we were out driving the back roads and came across this man riding his bicycle down an old dusty dirt road that led into a small rural town.  I stopped to talk with him knowing he was interesting character to photograph.  He told me that he rides his bike twenty miles each day selling popsicles in the small farm towns in the area.  He was a carefree guy that enjoyed what he does.  We bought a couple of popsicles and talked for awhile.  As he was preparing to ride on he proudly posed for me with a popsicle in hand.  I am always grateful when I am able to meet and photograph interesting people in my travels. 

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Working in Black and White

     Fruita Flats, Co.

I recently made a trip to Utah and came away with a few new images to work on.  As I review my images in Lightroom, I realize how much I appreciate the days I worked with film and the darkroom process.  Working primarily as a black and white photographer, it requires me to pre visualize, as best as I can, the scene as the finished print while in the field.  When working with Black and White film the process is made easier because the only time I have to deal with color is at the time of exposure.  With the digital process there is a disconnect of what I visualized in the field and what is viewed on my computer screen, because of the RAW image being in color.  It can be a bit more challenging to bring out the initial emotional response I had to the subject in the finished print.  It has been my experience that the film/darkroom process is easier at the start and gets more difficult working towards the finished print. The digital process works in the opposite direction by being more difficult starting with a fuzzy. faded, RAW file that is in color, and then gets easier by utilizing the accurate controls offered by photo software.  For me personally, I try to maintain the thought process I used with Black and White film and apply as much of it as I can to my digital imaging work flow to achive my desired final image.  As photography progresses we will be faced with new equipment and ways we deal with our images.  During these changes we tend to get focused on how we photograph and the equipment we use, rather than the reason why we are inspired to photograph and create. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Bare trees and gray skies

I when I am out traveling in new locations I never know the type of subjects I will come upon.  I usually have a preconceived idea about an area and the expected images I might make there.  I try to keep my travels as spontaneous as possible to have the flexibility to change directions if the weather or other things arise that hinder my chances of doing photography.  Such was the case in my recent trip to Utah.  I was tent camping and had to reroute my trip because of extremely heavy rains and tornados that came through the state.  It made me rethink my plans and adjust my travels to avoid areas of storm damage and flooding.  I ended up not visiting many of the places I had originally planned on, and found myself travel unexpected roads in search of new locations to photograph.  The above image was made in an area that was not in my original travel plans.  Utah is full of spectacular red rock canyons with unusual rock formations that attract many visitors to the state.  It also has many miles of wilderness roads with ranch lands of scenic beauty to explore.   This image was made on a very stormy day with strong winds and rain.  It was a challenge to get out of the vehicle to do much photography in such conditions.  With most all of my field work I use a tripod even when I really don't need to.  It is all part of my many years of using a large format camera that required a tripod to steady the camera.  I made this image with my Sony A7R11 without the use of a tripod.  This camera has a 5 axis built in image stabilization feature that is helpful in situations like this.  I was also able to use the tilt LCD screen on the back to compose my low angle view of this scene.  It is always satisfying to be able to make a few good images on a trip when my original plans don't work out. 

Sunday, October 9, 2016

The road less traveled

From an early age I have had a desire to travel and explore remote areas.  I am drawn by the thought of  "what is up around the next corner".   I always feel that if I turn around now I will miss something really great just around the corner.  When I come upon an intersection I almost always take the road less traveled,  believing there are things to be discovered that may have been passed by.  When I think about the early influences that shaped my desire to travel and explore,  my mind always goes back to a poem that stuck with me as a child.   In grade school I had a gifted teacher that would read books and poems to her class.  Her talented expressions with words took me into the story as if I was the one being talked about.  The one poem she read that has always been with me is one of Robert Frost's, "The Road Not Taken."  Many times have I looked down the road as far as I could see and then taken the one less traveled, and yet breathed a sigh of regret knowing I will never return to travel the other.  In life with the many choices it offers, it always has us choosing the road we will follow.
The above image of an old Post Office was made in remote area of central Utah while traveling on a secondary roadway.
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Indian Petroglyph

I just returned home from a couple of weeks of hiking and tent camping in Utah.  I have been there many times in the past and it is good to have the opportunity to revisit such a wonderful place.  In my hikes I am always on the look out for petroglyphs created by an ancient civilization.  It is easy to walk right by some of them when looking for other subject matter.  There are numerous symbols carved into the rock and many are hard to determine what the meaning could be.  I enjoy being able to rest and reflect at these sites, and imagine these people sitting in the same place years before.  How different their world was for ours.  The things that occupied their minds were basic survival needs of the day.  I try to compare what thoughts we process daily to what their must have been.  There is so much we take for granted in our lives.  We live our lives surrounded by our technology and almost assume that it is a natural part of the human existent.  How well would we exist it it was all taken away and we were forced to live as these people did for thousands of years.