Shot of the Week – vol. 1

A weekly feature that highlights a photo taken during the past week.

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Yoga Tree Admires Winter’s Sunrise

The first ‘Shot of the Week‘ features a subject that is no stranger to followers, as I photograph the Yoga Tree quite often.

During my daily commute this Friday morning, I noticed that the sky had an interesting cloud cover, which might produce a good backdrop for the Yoga Tree, so I went for a little detour.  When I got there, the sky did definitely not disappoint, as the sunlight’s reflection off the underside of some of the clouds provided beautiful structure.

A quick look at the tableau helped me make up my mind on composition and relative positioning of the key elements in this image.  My decision was to play a little bit loose with the rule of thirds, so that the rising sun would end up more as a pleasant surprise rather than a key element. The Yoga Tree will always be a main subject in this image, but with the amount of light in the upper left quadrant, I knew that the eye would go there and cause tension, if allowed to compete with the rising sun.

When examining the radiance of the sunrise, I did realize that it could have been the main subject, all by itself.  However, my love of trees would never allow me to ignore the Yoga Tree; also, I didn’t have a lens with me to frame the right shot of the sunrise, which helps with decision making!

All in all, I am pleased with capturing this moment during the past week, and I am curious to hear your thoughts about this image, as well as what images you may have captured.

P.S. this is the first post in a series that I plan to feature on Sundays this year.  I love to get your feedback on it, as it progresses during the year.

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.

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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.

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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!

The look develops

Struggles with the look and feel of my blog.

For me, a photographer, there’s nothing harder than designing the look and feel of this blog; I don’t know, if it is the perfectionist in me or my inability to make this type of decision.  Whatever it is, it’s a funny thing!

With any kind of camera in my hand, I can make snap decisions (yes, there is a pun there!) and even use a bit of precognition to help determine the look and feel of an image, such as the one here…

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So, for the time being, as this is an assignment in the excellent Blogging101 class that I’m taking through WordPress, I’m using this as a basis for my blog’s look and feel.  There will be further tinkering, as I figure out menus and widgets to add and make it more usable.

Stay tuned!

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.

Checking Out Blogs

The daily task in the WordPress Blogging 101 course that I am taking, was to remind us that blogging is not a one-way street: there should be balance between the blogs you read and the posts you write.  Our assignment was to find 5 new blogs to follow that piqued our interest.

The approach that I took for this task was to do some noodling around with the WordPress Reader, as it became rather obvious that the net that I was casting with my tags was much to wide.  After a little tweaking, I found a tag that I liked that led me to some pretty cool blogs with some inspiring images; I used ‘Abstract Photography’ for the tag to find these blogs:

  • The Brighter Writer – this blog contains interesting manipulation of images to create abstract art and provides stimulating visions to inspire all.
  • Lingua Franca – Omar writes about technology, photography, literature and social issues and complements his writing with images that show his vision of the world.
  • Cooper Creek Park Photography Project – this relatively new blog struck me with some cool perspective in images, such as in this post The Wild Grass; I expect to see a lot more from this blog.
  • The Perpetual Vagabond – this blog has been going strong for a number of years and presents a great view of nature from the eye of this vagabond, such as in this post: Impressions in the Sand.
  • Mundane Profundity – I picked this blog, because I sense that we’re kindred spirits with some great early posts and a significant hiatus.  As the author just kicked off a 2016 project, I look forward to seeing what else appears…

This exploration was a lot of fun and inspiring to keep me going.  From time to time, I will do some additional checking of what comes out of other tags in the Reader…