WWI Soldier Grotesque – Smith Hall, Univ. of Washington
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.
The sharp peak is “Beartooth.” It does look like a sharp tooth. I can imagine the size of the bear that would have this peak as a tooth!
As I observe the wonder of nature that surrounds me, I like to let my imagination run loose. Here, I tried to place myself in the footsteps of our Native Americans and the lore that they created to attempt to explain the life around them. I could spend hours just sitting, seeing, and letting my mind explore. When I do so, I tend to drive the people around me a little crazy. Most of my creative work is done when I am by myself.
Mammoth Hot Springs – View from Below
This image was taken with a 900mm equivalent telephoto lens shooting up at the cascading edge of the upper Mammoth Hot Spring Basin. What caught my eye were the lines and patterns of the water and mineral deposits.
This image does not capture the grandeur of the basin edge cascading off the cliff. I went thorough my photos to find an overall image. I did not find one. Big Lesson Learned: Make sure I do not become fixated only with details, I need to capture the overall perspective as well.
Grand Prismatic Springs
Slow flowing water from the springs also left small rivulets. These colorful ones were a sharp contrast to the grey mineral flats in my prior post.
Salt Collecting Rocks at Lapakahi Historical Park
I was walking along a path in a historic Hawaiian Village when I saw this face looking back up at me. I couldn’t resist stopping and capturing an image. See the eyes, nose and mouth.
These small hollowed-out stones were used by the Hawaiians to collect salt. Sea water was poured into hollowed-out stones like these. Sun evaporated the water leaving pa’akai (salt crystals. Salt was used to preserve fish and season food.
Water, Rocks, and Moss
The textures and shapes of this little stream against moss-covered rocks caught my eye. I blurred the flow of the water to capture the soft feeling of this little stream. Color was not important, in fact, it detracted from the feeling I had. Converting to black and white made the image for me.
The textures of the various plants, moss, and rock caught my eye. The hardness of the rock, the softness of the moss, the glossy smoothness of the the blade-type plant coupled with the variegated shades of the three-leafed plant attracted me. I converted to B&W to focus on the various tonalities and textures. Just experimenting …
Colorado Blue Spruce Tip – New Growth
As I was walking around my yard, I was just looking for images to pop into my sight. I have photographed new growth on evergreens more times than I can imagine. However, I have never made an image on new growth taken from a head on perspective. A tip of new growth from a Colorado Blue Spruce just jumped out in front of my eyes. So I looked around more to try to get one that was the most symmetrical. My mind started to think what I could do with this from an abstract point of view. I plan to apply some creative alternatives in a future post.
Like my friend John Barclay (www.johnbarclayphotography.com) emphasizes. Do not force a photograph, let the image come to you. This one did …
Basalt, Yaklma River Canyon
These pieces of basalt (approximately 18 inches in length) caught my as I was exploring road cuts in the Yakima River Canyon. They seemed to be accented by an artists brush. Different patterns and different colors abounded in adjacent rocks. Since the rocks were adjacent and seem to be part of the same basalt flow, why are they so different in surface color and pattern. I need to do a little research on what factors determine the color and patterns.
Tilted Basalt Columns – Yakima River Canyon
This tilted basalt was the result of a plate fold being pushed up from a diagonal force. Throughout the Yakima River Canyon the basalt columns show displacement in various directions. This illustrates that forces were lateral pushing toward each other creating a “fold”.
The basalt shown here is in a “columnar” formation. Basalt formed like this cooled very slowly, creating a soother texture.