Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Got wood?

As an Oregonian, massive trees, straight grained and tall, are familiar to me.

I use them in my photos, and I hike in their shade.  As someone who used to do woodworking as a hobby, I can make good use of this natural material, not just as part of a photo.

Here in high desert country, it is different.  Trees are more challenged.  Even when they grow, they are stunted and gnarled.

Maybe backlighting with some fill light...?

When they can no longer manage the struggle, they shed their bark, they dry, and they turn a silver grey color which, in the shadows, can reflect the blue of the sky.  They split and crack, revealing their tortured growth.

There is a strange beauty in these twisted remnants.  Both Jim and I have been trying to capture these forms with our cameras.  It is frustrating.

I guess a couple of old men can be interested in wood, but not know what to do with it when they get it...

Monday, January 12, 2015

New Mexico light

I am camped at one of the campgrounds at Elephant Butte Lake State Park in southern New Mexico.  Days are often cloudless but when clouds are present, the light changes can be dramatic.

Mid-afternoon yesterday, the lake looked like this.

Early morning, it was very different.  The heavily overcast skies allowed a single spot on the lake to be lit by the sun.

As the afternoon sun settled slowly to the Gila Mountains to the east, gaps in the clouds plus still air composed some nice views of the mountains across the lake.

The day continued the light show to sunset.

Today, dawn was still offering treats.

Remember, these were all shot from within 100 yards of my RV in a single 24 hour period.  This is why I am here for my sixth winter.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

With a nod to John Cleese,

...and now, for something completely different.

When I am here in New Mexico, I do not work as hard at photography as I do in the northwest.  I sleep in in the morning.  My hikes are as much for simple exercise as for photo ops; in fact, I often do not bring my camera.

A friend challenged me to try new approaches, new ways of looking at stuff.  Here is some of what that challenge produced.

Snow here is rare.  Snow and fog, even more so, but that is what I awoke to this morning.  So, up and out.  The grasses at the edge of the river were bent under their crown of ice.

If all is one color, shoot black and white... Picnic anyone?

The posts along the river faded into the fog.

By 1 in the afternoon, it was clear and sunny, tee shirt weather.  We took a hike, but I continued to look for shapes and patterns more than vistas.  Some desert flora accommodated me.

Finally, I like this shot in color, but that is much like stuff I have done before.  After some work with Photoshop, I like it almost as much in black and white.

Happy New Year, y'all.