Monday, December 31, 2012

Photographer's Journal

Once again, a botanical I can't identify. I intend to remedy that through my new relationship with the ULM Biology Department and documenting the Charles Allen Biological Station near Copenhagen. I've long had a secret life as a wannabee biologist!

This photograph has garnered quite a bit of favorable reaction from other photographers on Google+. Back lighting can be a challenge to work with. On top of that, vines are quite unruly, so isolating a few leaves in a pleasing composition is also challenging.

This image required a bit of what we photographers call "post processing." The image actually contains four leaves--if you look carefully. Four of anything rarely makes as good a composition as three, and in this case, the fourth leaf was truly unruly. It insisted on pointing straight at the camera, rather than turning its back and allowing the light to pass through.

So, I darkened it in my digital darkroom. You can still see it in the upper right corner of the image, but it is hardly noticeable, and that makes a huge difference visually. To put it in artistic terms, I neutralized a non-supporting actor in the story I was trying to tell.

I think my favorite thing about this image is the little rust spots and yellowing edges that show these to be old, winter leaves rather than spring leaves. I identify!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Photographer's Journal

This is third in a series of photographs from my first day spent hiking ULM's Charles Allen Biological Station near Copenhagen, La., and looking for ways light interacts with the environment to satisfy an assignment for my online photography mentorship.

Again, I'm not sure what plant is featured here. Perhaps one of the goldenrods? I know we have a lot of it in northern Louisiana, and that by late December it has turned into this lovely seed head that sometimes catches the sunlight just so, separating it from the background. It almost looks dusted with snow!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Photographer's Journal


In my online photography mentoring program, our current assignment is to "play with light." Two days ago, I made my first trip to ULM's Charles Allen Biological Station south of Columbia in/near the Copenhagen Hills. I went focused on looking for the many ways "available light," in this case the sun, interacts with a diverse natural environment.

This photos illustrates how light will outline an opaque object, like these dried seed pods. It helps, of course, when the opaque object has a halo of fine hairs to be set on fire by the sun! I especially enjoy how the sun also makes visible the cobwebs that I almost never see with the naked eye.

Can anyone identify these seed pods?

Friday, December 28, 2012

Photographer's Journal

The Way Is through Light & Shadow (Always)
What could be more fun for a photographer than playing with light? Playing with it in a wonderful new place!

I'm currently enrolled in an online photography mentoring program, and this week's assignment is to "play with light." 

Near the end of the fall semester, I was contacted by a graduate student in ULM's biology department about helping map and document their field biology lab. This “lab” is approximately 90 acres of natural beauty along the Ouachita River, right next to the Copenhagen Hills Nature Conservancy land. It includes low lands, ridges, bluffs overlooking the river, and a great diversity of plant and animal life.

So I made my first trek to my new playground yesterday. I spent almost 5 hours exploring, but truly have only scratched the surface of what it has to offer. And having this delicious assignment to “play with light,” I focused on photographing how light plays with nature in a place like this.