All who wander…

While lost, something new is found

Westboro_State_Farm_14E2305_6_7_8_9_tonemapped
Exit

Urban exploration aka urbex has become immensely popular over the past decade to the point that it is mainstream photography.  When increases in processor power made HDR processing available to every photographer, dilapidated buildings could be made to look interesting in completely new ways.

Of course, I have been guilty of a little exploration myself, as I love wandering through old, abandoned sites and checking for some unique vista that speaks to me.  When moving through a building, I let my mind wander and lose itself within the possibilities of transformation through fantasy.

Part of my process relies on visualization of the alternate spin that I can put on the image, so that viewers can feel themselves transported into an alternate reality.  Allowing my imagination to roam free across the landscape of my mind is an enjoyable, stimulating aspect of photography, which is very much enabled by HDR processing, about which I will write more in a future post.

The site of this image was the farm for a state hospital; the structure has been razed since I captured this image.  On the day that I captured this image, the outside light was extremely bright and harsh, giving enough light to get the great definition in the floor and walls.

We’re looking past the animal stalls toward an open door, a possible exit from the dark, stark area, where we find ourselves.  Is it a safe exit, or will it lead into a dimensional trap/

Just for one day

Perseverance is in order as we move forward each day

Persistence-Tree_14E6659_8_5_6_7-tumblr
Persistence

It’s time to start bringing the mood up again from yesterday’s level of somber.

After a day of reflection, I decided to learn to play ‘Heroes’ on guitar; as always, playing guitar was a great way to unwind, and, while I may still be a novice, each imperfect rendition of a song feels like an accomplishment.

Learning to play the guitar is all about persistence, learning a bit at a time and slowly improving until even you, the student, can no longer deny that you have learned something.  It is about building up calluses, muscle memory, dexterity, strength and will power.  One item that you will not see in that list is something that is sizable part of my day job in high-tech: stress!  

For me, stress doesn’t come from unrealistically short timetables, or work load, but, rather, it comes from the inflexibility within organizations to recognize that new technology requires well-conceived, novel approaches that are founded in the laws of physics.  Challenge is great and welcome; rusty, stumbling blocks should be removed.

Today’s image is one that I captured just over five years ago, not far from my home.

My approach tends to be to allow myself to be guided by a sense of connection to the universe and its every component that surrounds me by staying in the moment; combining this sense with a healthy dose of observation helps me find things of interest.  Walking into the field, the first thing that caught my attention were the lines that presented themselves: horizontals, verticals and the slight diagonals in the sky.

Add the color palette with the warm tones of autumn and the cooler sky tones, and I felt drawn set up for a shot that has had me coming back to it over the years.

The tree’s exemplary stance against the elements brought the concept of ‘Persistence’ to mind, which I felt would be an appropriate title for this image.

Monday’s Somber Mood

Random thoughts about David Bowie

Morning Mood over Wachusett Reservoir
Morning Mood over Wachusett Reservoir

This is one of those days that no words can adequately describe what just happened; a man, who I never met, passed away this weekend, and left a gap…

David Bowie reached many people around the world not just through his music, but, more importantly, through his plethora of personas.  Whether you liked the music of Ziggy Stardust or preferred the sounds of the Thin White Duke, does not define his legacy.   The doors he opened for a generation to be in touch with their weirdness, that is a key piece of his legacy.  He took the blinders off our eyes and allowed us to see how cool being different from everyone else can be: yes, he let all of us know that it’s cool to be yourself, no matter who that is.

Today, I listened to ‘Blackstar’, described as his parting gift to all of us.  It struck me how this album is both dark and strangely uplifting.

The image at the top of this post reflects my mood rather well; fare thee well, David!

Scene of the Crime

A chance encounter in a parking lot

I like to put a little humor in my photography and I always keep an eye out for something unusual that might make an interesting subject that fits that bill.  Staying in the moment and not being too serious helps with this.

Such was the confluence of events this Thursday morning.  I had just received my caffeine-fix from my local Starbucks dealer and walked back to my truck.  Next to my truck, I found this crime scene; a clear case of hit and run with two victims, whose contents had been spilled across the pavement.

20160107-Scene-of-the-Crime2016-01-07 08.34.32-1
Scene of the Crime

A lovely couple of Diet Coke cans had been violently crushed and left without a second thought right here, just moments before I arrived on the scene.  I was too late to catch a glimpse of the perpetrator, so this crime will likely end up in the cold case file…

The Yoga Tree

A tree for all seasons tells a tale

A couple of years ago, I chanced upon this amazing tree that throws this amazing pose, as if she is reaching up to the sky in a perfectly balanced asana.  The Yoga Tree, as she became known, projects a serenity, grace and indomitable spirit that many of us strive toward.

At this point, I have several thousand images of this amazing tree ranging through the seasons with a wondrous variety of skies and light conditions.  My favorites among them will become part of a coffee table book that I plan to put together during 2016.

p52-20131105-IMG_2630
The Wise Tree

In this image during the Autumn season, she stands with supreme grace and wisdom, backed by the morning light and a cloud-cover that speaks of a day full of hope and beauty.

A twist to this tale is that the Yoga Tree sits at the edge of a farm, where they have been dumping significant amounts of waste soil in the field behind her.  This may mean that her lifespan could be shortened, so I visit her regularly to capture her every mood.

Creating a bit of magic

Technology and mood combine into photography

The combination of technology and photography have allowed for some rather interesting advances in what we can capture and the ease, with which images can be created.  As a result, we have created a generation of ‘mad snappers’, who, at times, appear to be more intent on photographing or recording an event than experiencing it.

As a photographic dinosaur, I tend to be somewhat careful in my shooting, as if there is still film involved.  Mind you, that doesn’t mean that I won’t make use of the immediate feedback that the LCD panel provides on the back of my camera; it’s nice to get some fast feedback on image composition and to use the histogram for exposure details.  However, I tend not to photograph everything that I see.

Standing against the approaching weather, Nubble Light provides a beacon of hope and safety.

Nubble Light on Cape Neddick, Maine, is one of the subjects that I had avoided photographing for a long time; I have seen so many photographs of this lighthouse, many of which are very good, that I found it hard to imagine that I could do something to contribute to the Nubble Light oeuvre.  Maybe it’s a little pretentious, but I like for my images to have an impact and emotion to them.

Until this fine June afternoon, when my mother and sister were visiting from the Netherlands.  Something clicked in my mind, when I saw the interplay of sea, clouds and light, which urged me to take several series of varying exposures from this lower angle.

About six weeks later, when my mood was dark enough, I created this image from those exposures, infused with sufficient drama and dark emotion to make me happy with the end product.

Hopefully, you find something that strikes a chord in you within this image!

What lies at our feet

The Pond

BY AMY LOWELL

Cold, wet leaves
Floating on moss-coloured water
And the croaking of frogs—
Cracked bell-notes in the twilight.
—-
During those moments when we look for the grand landscape to capture, it may lie at our feet.
During those moments when we look for the grand landscape to capture, it may lie at our feet.

—-

Photography is a funny thing: All too often, we wander around with our fancy cameras with this preconceived notion of what great landscape we are going to capture, only to come up wanting.

This image was captured at such a time during a photo trip to Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge.

Our group was looking for the  perfect spot to do some sunset photography; most were looking for landscape features that would complement the light of the sun, as it descended toward the horizon.

As I trailed the group, I took a moment to look at the pond in front of me.  A bit of experimentation with the composition of what I saw resulted in ‘Pondscape’.

Oh, and that sunset never panned out for us.