Archive for September, 2010

#108 The Skies of Autumn

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010


The Skies of Autumn

Three kinds of clouds, together

Here are ice, water and vapor clouds

Together in one portrait. My main interest was the three-layer ice crystal cloud below center, just above the land. It reminded me of a blues record company logo — latter day Stax, perhaps? — and I wished at the time that I’d had a longer lens. As it happened, this was made with the 150mm lens and I’m glad of it. The arabesque of the vapor cloud makes everything happen. The images made with the 250mm lens lacked the sweep and energy we find here, and so I will probably never show them to you.

I’d still like to have a longer lens. If you have one to fit, let me know.

Rating 3.50 out of 5

#107 Almost the Hunter’s Moon

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010


Almost the Hunter's Moon

Bow-hunting season opened this week

Hunters were everywhere

Driving their four-wheelers, in their camo outfits. I guess it’s legal to go camo with a bow. And there I was, with my camera and tripod, in a t-shirt and shorts. They kept stopping and asking if I’d seen any elk. No, I hadn’t. Saw a hawk, who refused to come back for a portrait, once I had the camera set, but no elk.

Hunter’s full moon is actually tonight, and I had been hoping to get some good out of it, but the clouds are here in earnest. Maybe next year.

Rating 3.00 out of 5

#106 The Western Reaches

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010


The Western Reach

The tilted land, the rugged land


The Westering Pioneers were smart

And didn’t try to travel over this land. They skirted the mountains as best they could, to the North in this case, and followed the rivers on to South Pass and the Continental Divide. This view overlooks the Oregon Trail, but it is still a long way off, and many years ago.

I must credit the incredible Zeiss lenses I am privileged to use. This 50mm lens is often said to be the best design Zeiss ever made. And I think that’s true.

Rating 3.00 out of 5

#105 What, No Pumpkin?

Monday, September 20th, 2010


What, No Pumpkin?

We're still more than a month away

The leaves are certainly the right color

And in the right place for Halloween. There are some stands of aspen on the mountain I don’t want to miss, and the breezes are blowing hot, then chill, then hot, again.

I had intended this to be a black-and-white photograph, but the focus point, on the strip of light, put the near leaves out of focus, and that made the BW version not-too-hot. I suppose that’s whence came the rule about never having an out-of-focus foreground. As you can see, in color any problem is much smaller.

And, I discovered that on close work, one must use the spot-meter in nearly the same line as the lens. See that blown-out leaf just to the right of center? I metered that, but from about three feet above the ground. The center of the lens was about eight inches up. Big difference in how the sunlight reflected.

Rating 3.00 out of 5

#104 This Is a Land Apart

Saturday, September 18th, 2010


This Is a Land Apart

They are not making any more of it

Over There Is Casper Mountain

And we’re on Muddy Mountain. In between is Jackson Canyon. and a whole lot of what makes the West what it is. Up the road a piece is a herd of sheep, guarded by a suspicious but cordial dog, who appears to be a Poodle-Labrador mix. I have never before seen a lab with white, curly hair. He’s intent on keeping the sheep safe, but you can tell he’d love to fetch a tennis ball if one should appear.

Across the way, a herd of black baldy cattle is grazing on the sere dry grass. I think it’s the same bunch I photographed back in July at the bottom of the canyon, when the grass was better.

The West changes, and is ever the same.

Rating 3.00 out of 5

#103 A Very Long View

Thursday, September 16th, 2010


A Very Long View

To the edge of the Earth

The Weather Service Says 10 Mile Visibility

Almost every day here, never any more than that. That seems to be the furthest they can ever imagine. Just so you can gauge for yourself, the flat land nearest to you here, at the mouth of Jackson Canyon, is about five miles away, and a half mile down. So how far off does that put the horizon?

For what it’s worth, on the Eastern Seaboard, the Weather Service allows at most, five miles of visibility, even over open water; and that’s a seldom thing.

Rating 3.00 out of 5

#102 His Admiring Gaze

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010


His Admiring Gaze

He has no basis for comparison


The porcelain boy wants to run away to the mountains with the glass perfume dauber, but what does he know? He doesn’t recall his perfect porcelain girl, who had a parasol and a winsomely shy glance, and who was knocked to the floor by a rocketing kitten many years ago.

Rating 3.00 out of 5

#101 Corner of Cloud & Vine

Thursday, September 9th, 2010


Corner of Cloud & Vine

Where they all hang out in their best clothes

Autumn is a fascinating time of year

When the plants prepare to go into hiding but not before telling us to look out for next year. In their party clothes they dance in the wind and sunlight. Soon, the dancing will end and this vine and the tree across the way will be skeletal and stiff. Even the clouds will hold themselves differently. But let’s not think of that right now. Let’s party and celebrate the life we have.

Rating 3.00 out of 5

#100 Die Sonne Macht Sie Schön

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010


The Sun Makes Them Shine

And it makes them shine, too.

“Schön” is the German word

From which our English ‘shine’ derives, especially in the sense of “doing well” or “excelling.” The sun slanted into this tree in an excellent way and its leaves answered with shining beauty.

Again, I found that tight framing gave the feel and substance I wanted. The tree became more ordinary when I took a longer view.

Rating 4.00 out of 5

#99 Leaves, Shoots, & Stones

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010


Leaves, Shoots, & Stones

This is an unlikely event

It would never appear

In real life. I confess, it was I who arranged the leaves, shoots, and stones on an old and mossy board. I did use more or less naturally occurring items, but the arrangement is totally artificial.

Of course, that’s what artists do: Arrange things to their liking. Even the very most celebrated “journalistic” photographers arrange things, either directly, like Ernie Pyle and the Iwo Jima flag-raising, or indirectly by moving and finding a new angle, like Cartier-Bresson. Either way, the artist controls what appears. That’s the artistic way.

It also turns out that this sort of arrangement benefits from tight framing. I tried it from further out, and the results were not at all good.

Rating 3.00 out of 5

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