I’m discovering that taking photos in black and white brings out amazing textures and shadowing. I went for a short snowshoe hike along the Angora Ridge in South Lake Tahoe. It was midday and the lighting was pretty harsh. I switched my camera to Monochrome and took a few shots of the Crystal Range mountains in the distance.
Taken last weekend using my fisheye lens, Bonsai Rock in Lake Tahoe. I’ve seen many photos of Bonsai Rock, usually the best time is late afternoon and around sunset. For this photo I went out early and scrambled down the hillside to the shore and waited for the sun to crest the mountain side. I had the whole shoreline and beach to myself. Recent rains has raised the lake water levels again. I love the clarity of this lake, the blue tones and the rocks under water.
“Color is descriptive. Black and white is interpretive.” – Elliott Erwit
I remember the first time that I saw an image of the Last light on Horsetail Falls, Yosemite by Galen Rowell. In 1973 he was one of the first photographers to capture this iconic image. My sister and I were on one our road trips along the Eastern Sierras and we stopped in Bishop, CA for the night. We wandered around town and found Mountain Light Gallery and went in. The gallery images were breathtaking and inspiring to me. Galen Rowell described his style of photography as “a continuing pursuit in which the art becomes the adventure, and vice-versa.” I was hooked! Because he was ‘local’, it meant that some of his locations were attainable to me as well. These were adventures that I could pursue and hope to mimic some of his artistry as well. But a funny thing happened along the way in this pursuit of the shot; I found that being “present” in my environment meant so much more than just getting the shot.
‘Yes’ I’m a lemming that travels to Yosemite during February to get the ultimate shot of the Firefall. I park and wait for hours for that ten minute window when the setting sun sets and starts to illuminate Horsetail Falls. I also talk with other photographers and listen to their stories of their ‘first time’ seeing the mountain go from golden yellow to an intense lava red in a stream of glory. My follow photographers and site seers alike commiserate and then become awestruck by this phenomenon. I’ve been disappointed when the weather conditions didn’t cooperate. I’ve scouted different angles and vantage points and was vexed many times. And yet, this is my adventure and I find that each time I enjoy it so much. Maybe, my photo will inspire others to seek out their own adventures. Who knows…
Happy New Year!
Past few months (year) I felt like I lost some of my creativity or maybe more to the point it went into hibernation. I let my daily work life take over and it became mundane. Get up early, go to work, fix this, file that, eat, sleep, look forward to the weekend. BLAHHH! Then this past summer I created a few side projects for myself and I started making time for photography. I re-discovered that my creativity is exactly what I need on a daily basis. And I have to, ‘I get to’ – make time for it; just like I have to make time for lunch or dinner. Sometimes, there’s a plan and sometimes it happens on a whim but I gotta do it. Photography makes me happy, it makes others happy, seriously, just how did I forget how much fun being creative is?
I started reading articles by David duChemin about finding your vision. I’m on week 8, 9? and the articles are inspiring and has me thinking about my craft. He talks about concepts and studying other artists and i’m enthralled with each article. There are points that stick out better than others, like “What do you love enough to spend your short life, or your limited free time, photographing?”. That’s easy, nature, the mountains, the forest, hiking, dogs, flowers, rivers, the Milky Way (stars, not the candy bar), flowing water… oops, maybe it isn’t that easy to narrow your focus afterall.
One suggestion from duChemin is to to take fewer photos or more specific, “…consider making fewer final photographs. I want you to consider demanding more from each final frame and being choosier about what you show to the world.“. I take hundreds of photos, probably closer to a few 1000 within a year. So this year I will be “choosier” with my final product. The first article in the series recommends looking through the last year of my ‘work’ and added some questions to ask myself as I work through this process. “What commonalities do you see in the work? What themes repeat themselves? Which images do you love? Why?” Here are a dozen that I chose for this first post of the new year.
The obvious theme here is nature and California landscapes (if you recognize some of the locations). I honestly have to say that I enjoy all of these shots. So much so that these are featured in my annual calendar. But, for me what made these special was the adventure to get these photos. Some of these adventures were on a whim, some were planned out, google searched potential locations and a few were simple walks along places I’ve been to hundreds of times. I’m gonna work on ‘conveying the adventure’ part, more on that later.
I look forward to 2017 and what it holds in photos, in adventures and reigniting my creativity.My goal, publish something weekly, so 52 weeks of cool imagery that I hope inspires you as much as it did me. Oh and for the following weeks, less writing, it’s really not my forte.
thanks for stopping by!
“April showers bring May flowers”. Showers in the high country mean snow and what better way to take in the views than a hike along the ridge-line.