Sunday, July 19, 2009


Life goes on doesn't it? A lot of us are pretty blessed if we take a minute to stop and really think about it... God is, after all, quite good whether we think so or not.

Those of you who were out camping where I was a couple of weeks ago know that I hung around most of the afternoon waiting for the lighting in this shot. I ended up with about one minute to catch this.

I had been out on the bluff the evening before in the rain, so I knew sort of what I was looking for. To get this, I used the lowest ISO with the longest shutter speed possible, and then I used my hat to shade part of the lens and even out the exposure. I had to flip the hat up at just the right moment to fade everything properly. You would usually use a neutral density filter for this sort of thing, but I had accidentally left mine at home. In the end, it really was sheer luck that I got the timing right.

The beetle....

Sometimes, maybe the only real option left is to rake all the rubbish into piles and set fire to it....

For many years now, our family has owned some property in the Ashley National Forest. In the last five years, there has been a shortage of water in the area and at the same time, the forest was invaded by a beetle. Unless the trees have sufficient water, they cannot resist the beetle, and the end result is that they die.

The result for our little area, was that many, many old trees died, and the forest has been in a sort of ruins for a while. There are new little trees growing, but right now, it all just looks pretty bad.

When I drove in, loggers had gone all along the road and piled all the dead limbs into these neat little piles. Although they had done a really nice job, I couldn't help but feel an overwhelming sense of devastation as I looked at all the piles. I was listening to Secondhand Serenade's song: "Why" at the time, and honestly, I felt like pulling over right there and crying.

I spent a day and half wandering the hills and valleys that I walked as a little kid. In many ways, it was like going back in time. Because there has been so much rainfall this year, it is greener then I have seen it in a long time. Possibly the greenest that it has been since '83-'84 when I went up there the very first time. Flowers. Tall grass. It was nice. And it was sad. Sad because so many things have been lost. So many things have changed.

From the moment I pulled in, I wanted to take a photograph that captured what I felt when I looked at all those neat little piles. I took this the last evening that I was there, on my way out...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Miracle Shots...

"I don’t want to have my picture taken," she said. "I’d like one of those puffy flower things though."

"Well go pick one," I replied.

The next thing I knew, there she was, all settled in with the tall grass all around her. Suddenly, I felt like I was photographing an angel...

Later on, when I sorted through the images, I thought to myself how every so often, we are graced with a miracle shot. I suppose that some people can produce them all the time at will. I can't do that. Especially when I'm working with people.

My goal in photography is to be an artist. I have no interest in being a professional, and the two are significantly different in my opinion. My interest lies in catching something that is just a bit more than a photograph, and with this shot, that worked out.

For an entertaining read, visit Ken Rockwell's site and read his Seven levels of Photographers artical.