Haunted House?

Haunted? Probably not. It’s more likely the beginning of settlement on this farm property.
I rarely talk about my shooting process, but here goes. I typically address three questions; sometimes mulling them over and sometimes almost instantly. The questions are 1.) Why does this shot appeal to me?; 2.) Is this the best angle to capture the image?; and 3.) How can I best convey the emotional response this subject raises in me? I have been influenced in these questions by Freeman Patterson (whose work I love!) and Ansel Adams (who still often inspires me, though dead, to consider black-and-white photos).
Here’s how I answered the questions. One. I love the mystical image of the fog, mist, and old wood contrasted with the reflection of the morning sun off of the window. Two. After moving around a bit, I settled on this shot because the light reflected best off of the window, the road draws your eyes to the cabin, and the trees frame the shot. Three. Getting a darker picture with the fog still prominent and the light just starting to break through came as close as I could come to conveying my emotional response.
In processing I preferred the starkness of the black-and-white photo (all I used to shoot), but included the color image for comparison.
Which image connects best with you?

House in Black-and-White

House in Black-and-White


House in Early Morning Color

House in Early Morning Color

Snowscapes

With a mostly sunny day (a rare treat recently) and relatively balmy temperature (11 degrees F), I decided to venture out on the tundra and see what I could find. These shots are all from yesterday.

A Side Road

A Side Road

Tree in Field of Snow

Tree in Field of Snow

Stream

Stream

B & W of Same Stream

B & W of Same Stream

Dog-Friendly Plowing

Dog-Friendly Plowing

Growing Old with Delight

“Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be,” has sadly become trite, warm fuzzy, greeting card mush. The very powerful rest of the Robert Browning stanza from Rabbi Ben Ezra is usually ignored. It reads:

The last of life, for which the first was made:
Our times are in His hand
Who saith “A whole I planned,
Youth shows but half; trust God: see all, nor be afraid!”

Despite dealing with chronic pain (from moderate to severe depending on the day), I have found my latter years to be the best. I am able to celebrate me, be at peace with the world, enjoy life, and not give a d#%# what others think. Those I love have grown more dear. My senses have been heightened to the grandeur of creation. My trust in God is deeper. In short, my dotage is a delight.

What has this to do with my photography? When I first look at my pictures I delete the ones I dislike for technical or composition reasons. I print or publish the ones with which I am satisfied to have my name connected. There are often some pictures in the middle; I don’t hate them, but I am also not quite satisfied with them . . . yet. I often “grow old” with these photos and go back to view them again and again. Some I delete with the passage of time. Others I grow to understand, discover anew and “see all” (or at least what I find meaningful to me).

Here are a few images that I have grown into with a brief explanation of what finally captured my pleasure.

Amish Harvest

Amish Harvest

Amish Harvest captured my delight when I converted it to a black and white image. Thirty years ago I only shot black and white and sometimes I return to that love. I think black and white both honors the simplicity of Amish life and brings a healthy contrast to the picture,

Seed

Seed

This picture also jumped out at me more in the contrast of black and white. The picture was shot at a rather slow shutter speed due to low lighting conditions. Because of that the white extensions from the seed have a glimmering quality that I like.

Curve

Curve

This was a nice, but “not yet” picture until I saw it in black and white. The detail in the concrete wall along a bridge over a pond contrasted with the water and water images in a way I liked.

giraffes

This picture grew on me as I became happier and happier with the composition. What I liked (and appreciated) more and more were the diagonal lines that drew attention to the unseen.

Hope you enjoyed my musings and the photos. I also hope you are growing old well.

Trestle, Ivy Escape, and Light Pole

My friend Pat said all there is to say about the mystical, magical trestle we came upon (http://imissmetoo.me/). I expected to see hobbits at any moment. Her post on fire escapes is worth visiting as well. In addition to two pics from the trestle, I have added an ivy-covered fire escape. The final image is a black-and-white shot taken at the farmers’ market. This is from the morning the sun was playing peekaboo with us. Love to hear your thoughts.

trestle

trestle nuts and bolts

fire escape

from farmers market

Chance

“Chance favors the prepared mind” is a quote attributed to Louis Pasteur. I don’t know if he was a photographer, but his words should ring true to every serious photographer. Read all you can. Practice all you can. And then be ready for whatever “chance” throws you way. Here are a few happenstance photos of mine.

The first one is of trees in my oldest son’s backyard. I was experimenting with a new 35mm lens, saw the trees, and wondered how the lens would work on them. I was thinking black and white all the way, but really not looking for this kind of picture. I like the drama of the image.
trees

The next two were taken during a visit to Cascades Park in Jackson, Mi.The heron was standing right in front of me as I approached the walking path. He (she?) tolerated a couple of shots before taking flight. The other shot was of a duck taking flight. I tried to track the duck and let the background and wings blur.
heron

take offThe final shot for today was taken on a country road. In some ways the picture is smore than a little disturbing, but shooting road signs seems to be a Michigan pastime. Farmers be safe. Viewers post your thoughts.
Bullet holes

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