What is the Clock Tower Doing in This Building?

Raymond Library – Yakima Valley College

What in the heck is the Clock Tower doing in the Library?  It doesn’t belong there! That thought flashed through my mind as I was strolling around the YVC campus this past weekend.

This is a good example of seeing the unusual in the usual.  The contrast made the image interesting to me.

Diagonals and Contrast

“Diagonals and Contrast”

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.

Getting Feeling Into an Image

Relief Carving – Glenn Anthon Hall, Yakima Valley College

I first saw this relief carving standing straight back about 50 feet away.  I thought the full mural was interesting, but it looked flat and lacked energy.  What caught my interest was the woman’s eyes.  I walked closer and to the side to get a better perspective.  As I looked into her eyes, the image came alive.  I could feel her sadness.

When my friend saw this perspective, she had a much deeper insightful feeling.  These were her thoughts:  “The edge of the photo features her hand pushing against the wood, like a wall. Her pushing against it is more poignant because she does seem to be pushing against a wall that closes her in. On her face is the look of resignation yet acceptance that she will spend her life picking from the fields, so her children will not have to. It is a story I have heard from the children in families like that so many times.  Sometimes when I think about something that makes me sad, I remember that not feeling sad would mean not feeling at all, and not feeling at all would mean not feeling joy either. When we look at something that pulls at our heartstrings, we are alive and thinking and affected. This is good.”

Pastels Through the Gap

Sunrise – Selah/Yakima Gap

I love the early morning.  I am usually up an hour or two before sunrise at this time of year.  I anxiously await for what each new morning will bring.  Today, my gift was this beautiful pastel painting over the “Gap”.  Looking ninety degrees to the east, the sky was on fire.  It was quite a contrast with the soft pastel color looking south over the Gap.

Since moving back to Selah almost 2 years ago, I have photographed this view hundreds of time.  Each new sunrise or sunset presents a new gift.  It is a wonderful way to start the day.

Memories of a Long Time Ago

Old Northern Pacific Train Station – Yakima, WA

The bright red-orange roof against the blue sky caught my eye as I was walking down Front Street.  The color and shape of the building. looking through a street tree caught my interest.  But ofd memories kept my attention.

When I was just a little boy, I remember my grandfather taking me down to the train station to see Uncle Ben off and to pick him up from his annual winter trip back to Pittsburgh.  I became fascinated with the idea of riding a train across the country.  When I was five, I had my opportunity for such a grand trip.  My grandfather took me back to Pittsburgh to see the “Aunts”!  I remember anxiously sitting in the “grand train station” waiting for the train to stop and pick us up.  It seemed like an eternity, the ceiling was so high, and the room so large.  I could not sit still.  It seems like just yesterday.

My last trip through the station was in the late 70’s. My wife and I decided to take the train from Seattle to Yakima instead of driving.  It was a wonderful trip over the Pass and through the Canyon.  My father and a brother picked us up at the station.  It was still such a great place.

So many wonderful memories.  I am thankful that the old station has been put back in productive use.

Contemplative Photography Lesson

Sunlit Entryway – Yakima, WA

I have been working to develop my process for contemplative photography.  My assignment today was to take a walk with a fresh open mind not looking for any specific thing to photograph.  The practice objective was to just wander and let the world around me catch my eye.  If something caught my eye, I needed to keep my mind open, take my time, and explore specifically what was it that captured my eye, what was important, and what was not.  Only then I could raise my camera and frame the image.

Walking along Front Street, I saw a bright orange flash that stopped me dead in my tracks.  It was in stark contrast with the surrounding area of old stucco and bricks. Shadows from a metal gate added to the contrast.  Soft mottled shadows from a street tree graced its surface.  The vertical bars of the gate framed the brilliant orange.  What a wonderful gift I was given.

A Different Way of Looking

Sandhill Crane Landing Abstract

Last spring I took 3500 images of Sandhill Cranes near Othello, WA in a 3-day period.  After the trip, I quickly went through and picked a couple of my favorites.  Today, I decided to go back and pick out a few more of my best images.  I found this one of a crane landing in a field.  I used an equivalent of a 600mm lens, but still did not get a good close-up.  This image was further enlarged by a factor of 4.  As expected, the resultant image was not very sharp.

So what can you do with a fuzzy image???  Why not try an abstract processing method.  I used Topaz Impression to get this result.

Lesson Learned:  Don’t take so many darn images.  It is a real pain to review 3500 images. (I am still not done.)  I took a break to post this one.

For reference, below is my original image:

Love Triangle

“The Rest of the Story”

Here is the rest of the romantic story from yesterdays post.  The male on the right is the one that is working bringing in the materials for the nest.  The one on the left is the one who is having the fun.  The female in the middle innocently looks on.  Oh well!

An Unhappy Pair

Nesting Blue Herons – Florida

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.

Need a Little Brightness!

Chihuly Museum of Glass, Seattle, WA

It is a dreary winter day today.  I needed a little brightness and whimsey.  I looked to the brilliant display of Chihuly glass at the Seattle Museum of Glass.  To add a little more energy, here is a 9-image vertical pan combined into a single image.  Let your imagination flow!