Tuesday, May 31, 2016

In my  endeavor to learn the craft and the art of photography I came upon this video by Michael Kenna (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBmaxdB7QWk). I think that it is worthy of your viewing on his techniques and his willingness to tell you how he views the world.  I've also included a link to his website to the right side of this website.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

I forgot.  I wanted to show one more image of that day.  It was taken further down US 40 further out into coal country.  It is a panorama.  Yes, I do like the occasional panorama.  Suffice it to say it shows
that there is more to Utah than the Great Salt Lake and red rock country.

Back when I first came out to Utah I was looking  for places and taking road trips to get reacquainted with the sites and places that I might like to take images.  One of those places was Strawberry Reservoir on US 40 out of Heber, UT.  It wasn't a planned stop but as the road wound around the reservoir it rose to a level that gave me a high vantage point.  So I got out of my car to take a look.  It was late fall and there weren't many on the water as it was getting cool and school was now in session.  But there were a few out there.  One group was fishing.  It looked like there were several of them in one boat.  In another boat, with umbrella, was another group.  Hard to say what they were doing as they appeared to be just floating on the lake having a leisurely day.  Their remoteness out in the lake made for a couple of good images.  The results you can see below.

 Along the shore there was a father and two of his kids.  They were traipsing back to their vehicle along the shore.  I found it interesting that they were not together.  Suggests to me that the father was wanting to get home (maybe for his late afternoon beer) and his sons were not wanting to leave.  In any event I took this shot of them.  After looking at this image again it came to mind that this image was about the evolution of a boy to manhood, ready to get into that vehicle which will carry him through life.  Interesting what comes into ones head when looking at images, your own or others.

This last set of images have become personal.  Lately I have been watched a couple of movies (I won't name them) in which one of the underlying themes has been the relationship between parent and child.  Typically it has to do with the fact that the parent has in some way neglected or abandoned the child.  The resolution is typically one of realization of the past and in some way to make up for it going forward.  Now, it's not that these images necessarily show a parent neglecting their child.  They don't.  Just the opposite.  They show what I did not have as a child.  At least not that I can remember.  My parents and I were not that close.  And now that they are gone there is not much that I can do about it.

I do like these images because I also like minimalist photography and I think these fit the bill quite well.  The two on a surf board lazily rowing around the lake.  A big lake which engulfs them.  The texture of the waves in the water changing as the wind changes strength and direction.  I also like the allusion that the surf board is not in the water but appears to be suspended above it.  Most of all I like it because father and son are together doing something if nothing more than paddling and talking and if you look close, they are fishing.

I ended up in Toole, UT, unplanned, and had a late lunch.  As the sun was finally beginning to set and while I was up Pine Canyon these hills to the south of me were bathed in this interesting light, at least interesting to me.  I took several images and stitched them together for this composite.  I like the soft shadows across the hills.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

This particular image isn't the greatest image but I took it because I liked the texture of the different plants and foliage on the mountain side.  The only problem is that most of it spans only 1 zone in BW.  Not a lot.  So I tried my best to coax out a couple more zones to enhance the texture a bit.  I'm still trying to learn the nuances of black and white photography.

Over the last couple of weeks I have actually done a little street photography.  Taking images of a few things that catch my eye.  I explored the downtown  areas of American Fork and Lehi first.  Not to get down on these two towns but they are a bit bland.  I mean they are  nice and clean and no graffiti.  There just isn't the same kind of character I was used to seeing in some of the towns in Texas such as Calvert.   Thankfully the light was working for me when I took this first image of a stairs leading to a basement in American Fork.  I was drawn to it by all the crossing lines framing that far dark corner.  Thankfully I was also able to capture the texture of the concrete wall as well.  

A little further on down the street there was this little shop and in the window were these dolls dressed up in late 19th/early 20th century clothing.  The dolls are Barbie sized dolls.  My eye was first captured by the first one because of the hat.  I love to watch the Kentucky Derby for the ladies and their big hats.  I think they are splendid.  What really got me was the other three dolls.  They had no heads except for what I believe are hangers for hats.  Certainly a different kind of mannequin.  

I thought Lehi was going to be different than American Fork.  It has a longer business district which gets a fair amount of traffic.  There are more businesses as well with fewer closed store fronts.  But alas, the only thing I was able to find that I thought worthwhile was this old truck in a back alley.  Something I learned from my friends, Gary and Alcy, in Texas, don't forget to explore the alley's.  You never know what you are going to find.  The only problem with this shot is that it was taken way too close to midday and the lighting is a bit harsh.  But I love it anyway.

Just this past weekend I went up to Salt Lake City (SLC) to collect images of people for a project I have in mind.  Thought I would hang around City Creek Mall down town.  At either end it has open areas, to the street and to the sky.  I sat at a couple of different tables and in looking up there is this awning around the perimeter of the open area used as cover in the event of bad weather.  I like the patterns that the steel support structure for the awning makes.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Following are the latest set of images I have taken of the mountains of the Wasatch Front.  In particular these are of Mt. Timpanogos (MT) which is in Utah County, Utah.  The towns of Alpine, Pleasant Grove, Highland, American Fork are at the foot of this mountain, the second tallest peak on the Wasatch Front.  The mountain is situated north/south meaning that it gets direct sunlight all day.  There are very few shadows as it is also has a very steep west facing slope.  For this reason I did think I had much of a chance to get any good images of MT.  Early morning and late afternoon always had extreme haze which just washed everything out.  But, while sitting in a coffee shop one the other morning I happened to look out the window about 10 AM and the face of MT was crystal clear and their were shadows.  I realized this was due in part to the fact that the sun was still in the southern sky.  So I quickly got out my camera and went to work shooting images, first from the parking lot.  I hopped into my car and drove around the various streets of American Fork and Pleasant Grove looking for vantage points and different angles from which to take pictures.  What you see below are a few of those images.  There were clouds in the sky which also cast shadows on the mountain side.  The general rule of thumb is that you take your photos early in the morning or late in the evening.  Well, in general, that may be true.  But there is more to it than that.  Take into consideration what you are photographing, what direction it faces and the time of year as well as the time of day.  Otherwise you might miss the best time to take that image.