Tuesday, March 16, 2010

sunshine and a revelation

As much as I may like fog, sunshine is a welcome sight as the winter is disappearing. Add in big fluffy clouds to make the sky interesting as well as fun shadows on the ground, and I am a happy camper. That was the scene that I saw Sunday on a bike ride, so after I regained my ability to stand I headed out to capture some fun light. I went back to a familiar place, Pheasant Branch Conservatory, only this time to the top of a hill and this time all the snow was gone.

It’s kinda sad the polarities that I jump between with my photography. The other day I was ready to throw in the towel, but today I had a lot of fun. Little scary actually. At first I was thinking that it is because I tie my “success” on any given day to my overall success as a photographer.  At the same time, I know that not all days are good days with this craft. It was not until I talked with my insightful and understanding wife that I realized that it might be a bit more to it than that. She mentioned that I am excited about some of my photos, like the missionaries in Bangkok for example, because of the story that they tell and what stands behind them. When I am taking photos of things with less obvious stories (trees, grass, snow, leaves) I see less meaning in the photos instead of enjoying them. Maybe that is why I fell like none of those photos are ever meaningful, because they don’t have the same type of story to them as Scott in California. Today I tried an experiment, to just take photos and see them as just that, images of something, not trying to tell a story that will compel me to feel something. Now that said, I do know that nature, landscape and abstract photography can tell a story and make the viewer feel something, but I am not that intelligent…yet. Also, I do not claim to have this all figured out because I bet I will revisit these conflicting emotions soon, but at least I am starting.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

morning fog

It’s starting to warm up here in Madison, which means the snow is melting and sending moisture into the air. The melting snow is great but the fog that it causes is like icing on a cake! I love fog photos, and I was really excited one night to drive home is super dense fog because it meant a possibility for fog photos in the morning. I was a bit disappointed though, it was not at all as thick as I wanted it to be…and this was a real distraction to finding photos to create. I was thinking so much about how it was not working and getting myself all worked up over it. It was almost debilitating. It sucked. But I knew that I just needed to keep going, keep doing, and keep snapping because maybe one would be right.

Now that it is a couple days later I think I like them a little more than that day. The next morning I also went out because the weather report had a fog advisory until noon…it was sunny the entire time. (I wanted to throw in the towel and sell all my gear)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

creating light

Over the last couple weeks I have made two trips to the Pheasant Branch Conservatory, both days trying to make good images about of “blah” days. Steve and I went one day to work on outdoor portraits and I went another day just to get out of the house. I will be honest with you; I am struggling with this “lack of light” winter. I have been trying to make something good from it but haven’t been able to in my mind. These two trips I took my flash, trying to create my own light. I still don’t think that adding my own light to landscape shots is working…but that also might just be because the white light of the strobe interacts to much with the white of the snow.  Only the last 2 images do not use the strobe. I feel like the second to last image works, but I really had to tweak my thinking (away from grand landscape but not fully a detail shot) to get it. The last image just had great light so I had to take it.