Thank you for taking a few minutes out your busy day to stop by and share with me my vision of the natural world. This space on the internet has changed over time since I started blogging back in 2006, but the overarching theme has been my passion for nature. I use digital cameras to help illustrate what I see, but I don't often go into details about the photographic process. This is something I want to start diving into occasionally, and I hope those of you that are interested in photography will find these types of posts engaging. If not, I hope you enjoy the images!
Early this week I had the rare opportunity to have an evening free to explore a few acres in Williams County, Ohio. I meandered through area of grasslands and swamps looking for interesting photographic opportunities. A low cloud deck obscured the sun, resulting in rather washed out, uninteresting evening light. I tiptoed around the edge of a swamp searching for something of interest to photograph. This dead stump, covered with living poison ivy vines, became my subject. An interesting story, but not really a compelling photograph. On my walk I did note a few white-barked quaking aspen, that if the clouds lifted, would make fantastic subjects bathed in the light of the "magic hour".
As I waited for that light, I sat on a large glacial erratic boulder, watching a gray colorless sky. I looked at the rock and felt its ridges and furrows- it had engaging colors and patterns. I was lamenting that Ohio doesn't have any granite bedrock like that at Yosemite, whose shear cliffs the great Ansel Adams made famous. Then something clicked! With the right perspective, I could use this giant boulder as my Ansel Adams Cliff. Since there wasn't much color in the scene, an Adams-esque high contrast black and white would be perfect. What do you think? Did I trick your eye into thinking you were looking at a tree-less mountain?
Finally, the light that I had visualized earlier did come- the sun dropped below the cloud deck, pouring golden light over everything. What I hadn't anticipated was how cool the dead stems of last year's prairie grasses would look against the new spring greenery. I was pretty happy with this image- it was the one I was waiting for, and I almost went inside at this point. The mosquitoes had enough of my blood already.
Galen Rowell, an incredible photographer and mountaineer, loved photographing these types of moments.
So there you have it- an hour long peek into my photographic brain. Although I missed my family dearly, an overnight work trip allowed me to photograph the sunset. If I have to be away, hopefully I can bring home images like these every time I am gone.