To Live in the Moment

A moment to our cameras is usually measured in fractions of second.  Often the faster the better. 1/500th of second is certainly better than 1/16th of second to capture the moment, correct? Maybe not. The way we experience moments is certainly not that fast. A waterfall is sensed as whole rather than a frozen snapshot. The water is seen as a falling mass rather than a thousand drops as a 1,2500th of second would show; the spray tickles or skin, wet invades our nose, and then there is the roar water mass makes as it collides in upon itself. Further downstream a leaf slowly floats by. How to capture this in a still image is the challenge. Somewhere in the dimension of time and light is the answer.

“Whatever else a photograph may be about, it is always about time.” – Richard Misrach

Shot with a Lee Seven5 filter system on the OM-D E-M5.

Sunset through Grass on the Burton Ranch

I was walking along the Burton Ranch with the sun setting and lighting up the tips of the grass – it was the magical part of the day. I took a few shots at a higher, standing angle that emphasized the grass field top surface but decided to go low to get the grass base and tops. I thought about getting into the middle of the field but I could hear some rustling in there and was afraid I would go in and hear the familiar rattle of a not-very-friendly snake. It has happened before.

These images are made from three images and enfused together into one. I made a conscience decision to nearly silhouette the oak trees in back. The most important part of this image is not the sunset or the grass stalks; it is the oak shadow area. This dark area is what gives the sunset and grass the base to shine. One thing I do not try to do often is have all of the image elements in visual detail with no dark shadows. That is very easy to do when bracketing images and processing via HDR workflows.

“Big whirls have little whirls…”

“Big whirls have little whirls,
That feed on their velocity;
And little whirls have lesser whirls,
And so on to viscosity.”
~ Lewis Fry Richardson

Pedernales Falls State Park – my favorite local hiking spot!

Some days are magical and this was one such day hike. With the recent rain I knew the Pedernales River at Pedernales Falls State Park would be high but just how high I was not not sure. If it was too high I would not be able to hike into this area for this picture. Too low and the falls would not be be flowing enough for a good image. This has been the case for the last few years – never catching the river at good point to get this image. But this day was damn near perfect. I had to jump across a few shallow, thin river flows across rocks to get to this point. If the river was just one foot higher I probably could not have gotten out here to get this shot. If you want waterfall shots in central Texas this is has to be one of the top spots.

Shot with a Lee Seven5 filter system on the OM-D E-M5.

I am a Photographer

Just what the world needs, another photography blog.

I have been down this road before having started and stopped two prior blogs on photography. This is my last attempt — sustain this or never attempt another. So what caused this leap into blogging again? When I was closing my last photography blog I was writing an end piece entitled “I am not a Photographer”. At the time I truly felt that I was just playing at photography. While I had a small, side business at it, generated some revenue, placed images in magazines and web sites and shot some events there was still something at its core missing. I finally figured out what was missing. Connection.

Recently I got around to printing some of my images large. Opening the packaging and revealing those 16×20 and larger prints was amazing. The physicality of those images made them real. And I thought, for the first time, 100% sure, “I am a Photographer”. Some of these prints had a power mysterious and soulful – they had life in them. My life.

I was not happy with all my printed images. I tend to be very critical of my own photographic works. But there are a couple of them that jumped off the paper into my heart. Or maybe they originated somewhere inside me and now resided on paper. There is something special about them. Here is one of them and a good start to this blog. It was a wintry day at Pedernales Falls State Park in Texas and the wind was skimming along the dry, cold bedrock while I laid on the ground to get this shot.  Tripod spread out wide, camera inches from this small pool of water, framing this shot, I heard the earth’s poetry whisper.

Winter is Lonely
Winter is Lonely
winter is lonely
just one, lone stank stained coffee mug
 grounds 'nd a taste of cold bottom brew
 plus the burn of crap whiskey
 ...winter is lonely
the wind makes a different sound in january
 shrill whippings through naked branches
 cooling a granite stone bed
 ...a grey haunting sonnet
pebbles and shells strewn into a chilly message
 "hope is eternal for those who believe"
 and for those who don't?
 ...there is no rhyme
 ......only cold reason
winter is lonely
 a grey haunting sonnet
 that has lost it's rhyme