Another visit

Even while feeling pretty miserable for most of the past week I did notice that slowly I was starting to come around.  I watched the weather forecasts daily if not more frequently and noticed that changing weather was on the menu for Friday into Saturday for the Oregon Coast.  Sometimes that can mean that the dull thick cloudy sky that laid in all week continues but sometimes it can mean dissipating clouds making for a nice sunset.  Such was the case last night – a beautiful evening on the beach at Bandon, OR.

I went to Bandon last year about this same time so this felt like a good time to go plus I got to visit with friends Steve and Susan Dimock and hear all about their  recent trip to Ecuador – Susan has posted some great entries on her blog – especially one from the Galapagos Islands – such interesting animals and great photographs.  http://www.susandimock.com/blog/

Was hoping that either Steven or Susan could join me in an evening shoot on the beach but Steve was busy with motel chores and Susan seemed to be coming down with this crud that is making the rounds.  Hope it passed her by.

I got to the beach a bit early and just wandered around looking for what I hoped would be interesting compositions.  Found the one below and the shadow line pointed me to a Black and White composition.

As the sunset time came on I found a place to set up and wait for what the light had to offer.  Was quickly joined by 3 other photographers but we call seemed to coexist for the evening.  As you can see from the image below I thought for a bit that I was going to lose the light as the sun sank into that cloud mass but I held my ground and crossed my fingers.

I waited about 20 minutes all the while convinced that the light would show up in that strand of red light on the horizon.  Yes!!

I kept shooting and moved a bit but the evening was so great I was just transfixed.  The shot below is just about the last of the images and as you can see I moved around a bit to be sure I had the Wizards Hat full in the frame.  Hiked back to the car, drove to town and found dinner and a beer at the Bandon Brewing Company.

The next morning I went over to the banks of the Coquille River – the prediction was for fog and I was hoping to photograph the lighthouse in the fog but it did not materialize.  Instead I concentrated of a row of rocks just out in the flow.  A nice morning view and a friend on the rocks.

Misty_rocks

Be sure to click on the images for a larger view and I welcome your comments.  It was a great trip – renewed both my spirit and my health.  Hardly a sniffle or a cough today.

 

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Looking at Buildings

After a couple of weeks fencing with a cold, sore throat and just general malaise I finally went to Urgent Care yesterday and was given a prescription for antibiotics.  I vowed to wait a bit before taking them knowing that they can do some damage to the good bacteria in our bodies but today I knew when I was beat.  Filled the prescription and am hoping for a full recovery in the next few days – that is, before I head over to Bandon on Friday.

I did manage to remember to throw the camera into the car when I went over to the pharmacy and decided to just take a short drive through town.  A friend and her husband recently spent the night at the Inn at the 5th hotel here in town.   She sent me a snapshot of an image I had sold via Kristen a number of years ago and it prompted me to go out and look for other ‘architectural abstracts’ in the buildings around town.   I came across the following image and after a bit of straightening, some cropping and conversion to B&W I got an image that I just really like.  The reflection is in the windows of the Federal Courthouse.

Click for a larger view and as always omments are always welcome.

Another gift

Yesterday I put a post up on FB about morning light that I was fortunate enough to capture out at the West Eugene Wetlands.  Beautiful still morning with soft pastel light.  I found another image, looking west instead of toward the sunrise, and was very happy with an image that showed the reflection of the mountains and sky in the lake.

Additionally I gave myself the Christmas gift of a presentation of The Nutcracker by the Eugene Ballet Company.  I love that ballet and it was nice to see a good crowd.  Wonderful music and dancing and a great Christmas present – my thanks to all the folks that put it on. https://eugeneballet.org  Hope you can make your way to a seat next Christmas.

Have a wonderful holiday.

Winter roaming

“Perhaps what moves us most in Winter is some reminiscence of far-off summer …. What beauty in the running brooks! What life!”

Henry David Thoreau

I found that quote the other night while reading “In Wildness is the Preservation of the World”.  I think Thoreau got it wrong – at least wrong for me. I personally find great joy in all of the seasons although I have to admit that summer is my least favorite. I think I was able to find some of that joy and winter beauty on Fall Creek near Lowell on Monday – low water levels due to the recent cold snap and little or no rain so the beauty of tumbling water was everywhere I walked.

After hiking up the Fall Creek trail for a while and finding nothing real interesting I went back to the car and then walked upstream on the opposite bank and found this small tributary coming into the main channel.  I had tried unsuccessfully to photograph this small stream last year so I gave it another go from a different perspective and certainly at a much lower flow.  Tried to capture it set in the little grotto it feeds.

Lastly I went back up on the road bridge and found an upstream and downstream image of the main creek – the low flows really help to define the stream and I think add a lot to help bring out the stark, yet beautiful nature of winter in the Cascades.

Looking Downstream

Looking Upstream

If you click on any of the images you can get a larger view on your monitor.

Skagit Valley flocks

Spent a few days with family in Mount Vernon, WA north of Seattle – such a treat for me to get to visit and see everyone before all go separate ways over and right after Christmas – some to the east Coast, some to Leavenworth and some skiing in Bend – the group I will join.  While the ladies and the boys went to see a production of The Nutcracker at the local college my brother-in-law and I made a trip to the farm fields in the Skagit River valley.  This time of year there are huge flocks of white geese, Snow and I think Ross’s, and additionally there are scattered gatherings of swans but no where near the same number.  Such beautiful birds.

We made a circuitous route on the farm roads stopping along fields that looked interesting and held birds.  The first stop was to photograph a group of swans in the midst of very noisy conversation.  Goose talk done with a lot of wing flapping – perhaps modeling Congress.

While I was looking at and photographing the birds on the ground Paul alerted me some coming in and luckily I was quick enough to get a shot of pair almost synced.

Following a wonderful holiday meal and some present opening – especially by some excited little ones – I slept well.  We went to breakfast the next morning with icy roads and fog hanging over the fields.  The plan was to go on to LaConner just to do some holiday looking – wonderful art galleries and a great little town.  However, on the way we ended up at the same fields from the day before and there was just a huge flock of snow geese.  They seemed relatively unconcerned with photographers and just lookers in general and in some cases were feeding very close to highway and walking right towards it.  Periodically they got spooked and would take off in a cloud of goose – Amazing@!! I don’t know how they found room to fly.  The image below if of one of the flights – it is not an abstract although it looks like one nor is it a Where’s Waldo game card!!  Be sure to click on the image to get a larger view – it is worth it.

They don’t go very far and seem to settle back near to where they lifted off and with morning light and a bit of fog they looked lovely just coming back to earth.

Wishing you all a great holiday season and again thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment on these posts and view the images.  Very grateful.

 

Natural details

If my photographs are a window to my soul, I would hope that in the future that window reveals a better version of myself than today. Surely that is what the journey of life is all about?     Alister Benn

One of my favorite pioneering photographers is Eliot Porter and the other day I went to a used bookstore here in Eugene to see if I could find a copy of his seminal book Intimate Landscapes.  I was successful and since they did not seem to be in any rush to get me out of the store I took the time to just spend with the images.  His style – focusing on nature’s details –  and the resultant images set a high bar for a lot of landscape photographers and while mine come no where near that level I sure am inspired by his work.

I took the image below the other day while wandering along a path near Fern Ridge reservoir.  I was taken with the details of the bare vegetation against the fog and while some of you may find this image cluttered and confusing I find it intricate and intimate – at least that was what I was going for.

This one really needs to enlarged when viewing it.  Just click on it.

 

My Happy Place

It was near freezing this morning here in the Valley and the fog was clearly thick (no pun intended) when I left the gym, brewed some coffee, loaded up the camera and headed out.   Shooting on cold foggy days can be such a treat and it was for me this morning – my happy place – alone in lovely country.  The sun weakly shone thru the fog making for very interesting lighting and some silhouettes of the surrounding fields.  Both of these images were taken west of Eugene near Fern Ridge reservoir.

Sure hope to get out for a few more frosty trips before the end of the year.

Comments are always welcome.

A Yearly Collection of Favorites

These are some of the images I liked the best from this year of shooting.  If you click on an image you can enter a slideshow mode and easily move through them.  I still have the month of December left to shoot so this is potentially not all of the images from this year.

Thanks for letting me share these images from my travels this past year.

 

 

Morning readings/thoughts

Hope you all have a wonderful day filled with family and food.

This is a portion of a blog posting by one of my favorite photographers/philosophers, Guy Tal, that reminded me of a discussion I shared about introverts and extroverts with a friend of mine from NE Washington.  Just thought I would share it.  While I never intend to go back into the chemically infused darkroom I do find my alone time in the field and with my camera and then in the digital darkroom to fill my spirit.

As I think about what makes one a traditionalist, I realize that the distinction goes deeper than merely the knowledge of some processes, or having an interest in the history of the medium. Indeed, I think that the world of photography has transitioned into new hands. It used to be that photography was the favored avocation of introverts, allowing unquestioned solitary time in a darkroom—a private world behind a closed door where magic unfolded in development trays under the eerie glow of a safelight, and where one could be alone with their thoughts, disconnected from society, without having to explain. The photographer then was an eccentric, an alchemist, an observer. Today’s mainstream photographers seem almost the opposite: bold and outspoken and public; no longer experiencing, observing, and reacting, but planning and executing, broadcasting and marketing not only their photographs and thoughts but also their travels, corporate sponsors, and lifestyles, and even their most trivial accomplishments, to the widest audience they can reach. Most of today’s photographers no longer spend intimate hours processing and printing their work, and often go out of their way to promote tips and tricks and commercial services for minimizing and shortcutting such prolonged and solitary aspects of photography. In a sense, the tradition perhaps most obviously lost is that of finding profound pleasure and value in the photographic process, not to the detriment of the finished image, but as an indispensable and immensely pleasurable means to it.

The worlds of introverts and extroverts are difficult to bridge. One does not fully understand the other and often considers it anathema. And yet, having observed both for some time I lament some of what was lost, not in terms of tradition, but in terms of lessons once learned, and now forgotten or unknown; and which can greatly enrich one’s joy of photography in ways not usually explained or taught in today’s photographic classes and texts.

And so, my advice to those not versed in the traditions of photography is not necessarily to practice them, but to learn the histories and philosophies of those who did. It is hard to explain the value of finding contentment and flow in one’s process to someone who had not already experienced them, or who does not naturally gravitate toward such states of mind. And yet, there is no denying their power. There is more to tradition than mixing chemistry or using certain equipment. Today, photographers no longer are forced to slow down by the nature of the technology available to them, but can still choose to do so and reap the associated rewards.

Thanks for reading – all the best to you.