Monday, November 19, 2012

Photographer's Journal

This photograph won a 3rd Place ribbon at Art with a View, 2012. I call it "Chicago" because it is reflections of buildings and a bridge on the surface of the Chicago River.

Folks at Art with a View who spoke with me about this photo were amazed that I had not created it on a computer, or done a lot to intensify the colors and so forth. In fact, this image did not require much editing at all. I cropped it a little on the left because the darker colors on that side were overpowering the others. I enhanced the contrast slightly. Otherwise, it is SOOC, or "straight out of the camera" in photography parlance.

However, that does not mean it was an "easy" photo to make. Rather, I almost missed it.

I was standing still and sort of gazing at the river for a moment--indeed, waiting on a friend who was photographing the underside of the bridge to my left. Suddenly I noticed the amazing colors and how they appeared to be paint poured on the surface of the water. I raised my camera and shot one frame, then tried moving a step or two to the right to see if a slightly different angle enhanced the effect. IT DID NOT!

Indeed, moving to the right or left just a few inches weakened the image. Moreover, the light was changing as the sun fell. I shot one more frame but it is not as good. And then the moment was gone.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Photographer's Journal

Gulf Fritillary on Brazilian Vervain
Oh, for a 400mm lens! I just couldn't get as close as I wanted to the butterflies today, and I saw a beautiful Great Egret but spooked it trying to get within range. At the same time, had I had a lens that isolated the butterfly in close up, I wonder if I'd have bothered to compose as nicely as I did this shot? Hmmm.....

Today I preached and served communion to the delightful folks of Christ Church in tiny St. Joseph, La. I travel Highway 65 South from I-20 when I go to St. Joseph, and although I didn't have much time today, I couldn't resist stopping to take a few photos on the way home.

Highway 65 travels between the Mississippi River on the east and three nature preserves on the West: Tensas National Wildlife Refuge, Big Lake State Wildlife Management Area, and Buckhorn Wildlife Management Area. I have barely begun to explore all the little side roads that travel toward the river and toward the nature preserves!

To the east toward the river is particularly interesting. In some places, the distance from the highway to the river is 10 - 20 miles, and that space between is a photographer's/hunter's/fisherman's/farmer's dream. It includes flat, fertile fields but is also riddled with levees, bayous, oxbow lakes, and patches of swamp and woods.

I have never wandered too far into it because a) I haven't had time, and b) I wouldn't want to go alone. It would be too easy for me to get lost! But, oh, for a photographer buddy to go with me! Any takers?

Friday, November 2, 2012

Things Unseen

Learning to Die
We do not know where death awaits us:
so let us wait for it everywhere.
To practice death is to practice freedom.
A man who has learned to die has unlearned how to be a slave.

--Michel de Montaigne