Look forward, turn and look around, look down, look up … it is amazing what gifts are out there waiting to be received. Light, shadows, shapes, diagonals abound everywhere. It is ours for the seeing. This simple skylight in Glenn Anthon Hall (Yakima Valley College) caught my interest. I just walked around to get the diagonal perspectives and balance I was looking for.
One year ago, I and a couple of great friends were getting ready to go down to Florida to photograph at the Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival. I am not a wildlife photographer, even though I work hard at it when I get a chance. What I enjoy the most is just watching the bird or animal behavior. If a good image comes to me, I will gladly receive it.
We watched this pair of herons at a wetlands reserve between Titusville and Orlando. They had quite an interesting behavior pattern. The female (the one behind) was not a very faithful partner. The male would leave the female to gather more twigs to build the nest. While he was away, another male would fly in and mate with the female. The first male would see the other and rush in with his beak filled with a branch chasing the second male away. He would stay in the nest with ruffled feathers for a while, then go back out and collect more branches. As soon as he left, the other male would fly back in. This occurred over and over while we watched the show.
I may be imagining this, to me it looks like the male in the foreground looks a little pissed off, while the female looks a little bored and disgruntled.
The few days prior to this were beautiful orange and pink sunrises. The previous days in late November had been warm. During the night, the temperature had dropped. I was drinking my morning cup of coffee looking out over my back yard, waiting for another brilliant sunrise. I was surprised as the sun creeped over the horizon exposing this misty view of the valley below. Each morning has its unique beauty.
This WWI soldier grotesque has intrigued me since I first attended the University of Washington in 1968. It is located on Smith Hall in the University of Washington Quadrangle. The figure commemorates WWI complete with the gas mask.
Over the years, I have photographed this grotesque multiple times. For some reason, my images have not turned out: out of focus, too light, too dark, or branches/leaves cluttering the image. During my last visit, I was determined to get an acceptable image. I was lucky that it was an overcast day. The soft light on the soldier was relatively even without deep shadows. I walked around to get a perspective that gave me the most eerie mood.
I was exploring another area of the Heceta Lighthouse Park most of the morning. I had not come up with anything interesting. I felt a little “down” because nothing had “come to me”. Walking back to my car I saw a couple of our workshop participants shooting into the woods. I walked up and saw the beautiful filtered light they had observed. Usually I do not like to “copy” an image/view that another has discovered. But, I could not help myself this time.
Terry, this is your image. It just happened to appear in my camera as well. Thank you!
Part of what intrigues me with Black and White long exposure photography is the ability to really work with tones to create different moods. I shot this image underexposed to present a deep calm mood. In post-processing a dodged the sky slightly around the center sea stack and burned the corners of the frame slightly.
On one of our workshop days we went down to Bandon beach early in the morning. The fog covered many of the sea stacks. Gradually the fog lifted and I was able to get this exposure. My intent was to create a mood of a misty morning filled with gentle soft light, an awakening of the Indian maiden in the sea.
These two trees struggling for life caught my attention while I was doing some long exposure photography. My interest quickly focused on them. I walked around to get the best perspective I could find. I focused on keeping the angle of the trees leaning to the center, maintaining a separation between the small sea stack and the cliff, and eliminating some distracting rocks and dirt on the right edge. I blended two images together to achieve a tonal range between the sky and the cliff. I did a little dodging on the tree trunks and a little burning in the sky to get the contrast I was looking for.
I am getting better at taking my time to look around before becoming engrossed in shooting.
I just finished a workshop on the Oregon Coast with John Barclay and Cole Thompson. I walked away with a new set of tools: Long exposure photography and B&W processing. But what was more important, I reconfirmed why I photograph. I do it for myself. I do not do it for others. If someone happens to like an image I create, I will give it to them as a gift. That satisfies me.
I feel the same way about my website posts. I do it for myself. I record some of my thoughts at the time. If someone is interested in what I do, I share the site with them. I do not expect comments.
The above image was one of the last ones I took before heading back home. I made a side trip to Cape Perpetua and Thor’s Well. I finished taking images on the shore and packed up my gear. Right before I got to the top of the hill, I Iooked up and saw fog coming in. I stopped in my tracks and got my camera back out. This was the first long exposure I took. The wind picked up quickly and the fog started coming in rapidly. Below is my next image. How quickly things change! These images were taken 3 minutes apart, both with 2 minute exposures.