Sunlight on the trunks of a beech tree grove pull my eyes into the tunnel created by the overhanging branches. Filtered light through the upper branches provide a gentle glow on the ground. The natural archway beckons me to walk through.
Over the years, I have taken multiple courses and attended many workshops to help me improve my photography skills. I have practiced, practiced, and practiced. I have experimented with many different techniques and processing methods. Many times my images are only examples of different techniques and processes. Many lack feeling or meaning.
This year, my focus will be to purposefully attempt to create the feeling/story that I am experiencing when I click the shutter. I will attempt to use the different techniques and processes that I have learned in the past to achieve the desired end result. I will think hard each time I click the shutter on what I am trying to accomplish. I will continue to play and experiment in order to see what works and what doesn’t for a specific image. I will continue to create sketch images to explore and find interesting ways to portray what is in front of my eyes. The difference will be that I will attempt to do the above in a much more purposeful way than I have previously.
The above image is from a walk I took on a brisk winter day in the Yakima Arboretum. My friend and I had the arboretum almost to ourselves. Walking along the oak alley, I wanted to record an image depicting the strength, shape, character and size of the oak trees. I took images of the grove from a distance. I took images of individual oak trees showing their overall size and shape. I took close ups of the sun shining on the bark and leaves. Then I looked directly above me and saw everything come together into a single image: a strong trunk, the remnant leaves on the lower branches, the delicate branches extending upward to the sky. I snuggled up to the trunk and shot upward with a wide angle lens setting. I was thinking black and white to match the brisk cool temperature of a winter afternoon.
How lucky we are to live in such a great Nation! The current time is extremely challenging and full of discord. But it is not even close to the times our Nation bas persevered in the past. On a recent visit to Washington DC, I walked by this Civil War Memorial sculpture with the Capitol in the background. It stimulated me to think about what our Nation was going through over 150 years ago. So no matter how bad we may think things are now, lets have the strength and confidence that we all will survive together as a united Nation.
Above, a lone sagebrush and sun appear.
The sagebrush peers over the edge watching me.
The sun’s bright fire lights my way.
I have always been fascinated by the unusual geological formations in the eastern Washington/Oregon landscape. A few weeks ago, several college friends and I went exploring around Christmas Valley, Oregon. Our first stop was “Crack in the Ground” (see excerpt from Wikipedia below}. Most of the group scurried along the bottom of the fissure. I, along with a special friend, stopped, gazed around in wonderment, and photographed whatever jumped out at me. By the time the group had walked to the end, walked back to the start, and then walked back to fine us, we had only covered about one half of the distance. My mind and eyes wondered at every turn. I am a wondering explorer, not a hiker.
Crack in the Ground is a volcanic fissure about 2 miles (3.2 km) long with depths measuring nearly 30 feet (9 m) below ground level in Central Oregon, United States. The eruptions from the Four Craters Lava Field were accompanied by a slight sinking of the older rock surface, forming a shallow, graben-like structure about 2 miles (3.2 km) wide and extending to the south into an old lake basin. Crack in the Ground marks the western edge of this small, volcano-tectonic depression. The crack is the result of a tension fracture along a hingeline produced by the draping of Green Mountain lava flows over the edge of upthrown side of the concealed fault zone. The fissure is located at the southwest corner of Four Craters Lava Field in the Deschutes National Forest.
Crack in the Ground is estimated to have been created around 1,000 years ago.
I wasn’t expecting to see Hoar Frost in mid-June. The conditions were just right as we were driving up to Hurricane Ridge, moist fog and cold temperature. As soon as I saw the light mist, the frost covered trees, and the contrasting rock outcroppings, I thought of B&W. Magic happens!
I enjoy photographing botanical subjects. When reviewing my work, many times I quickly pass over an image that at first does not catch my eye as a “select”. I was going through some images that I photographed a year ago in Hawaii. This image just grabbed me. Instead of a leaf, I saw bright lines radiating out, I saw shadows and voids. I saw a triangular shape inserting itself into a void. The green color did not add anything to the image, I thought black and white. The image emerged.