No rules. As soon as there are rules – even personal rules – everything becomes safe and predictable. I pursue my photography emotionally and not intellectually. When I reach a certain emotional connection with the image that for me is the cut off point.
I believe we all have a longing that one day we would like to live somewhere, have a house somewhere.
I believe that’s a longing for something inside; there is a place inside where that serenity exists.
Safe and sound with yourself. It is something I long for and I am working towards it in the most practical way possible.
I looked back and glimpsed the outline of a boy
His life of sorrows now collapsing into joy.
I stood upon this ancient land with eyes so wide
The clink of bells came drifting down the mountainside
When in my sight something moved
Lightning eyed and cloven-hooved
The Great God Pan is alive !
Floating in the void
Between there and back
It’s all bright in front
And it’s all dark behind
Living for the now that’s in between the bridges and the signs
And getting there is still a long way to go
While others dream and wish
This is everything officially I need to know
Happy, boy you bet I am
Holding on to this smile for just as long as I can
And it’s getting further every day.
As a photographer I have encountered that quirk of human behaviour where I will pull over alongside the road to make a photo, only to be joined by other cars stopping to also make photos? It seems to happen enough to me that I have noticed it; I’ll find an empty bit of shoulder, or a deserted lay-by with a nice scene and before long I’ll have a small crowd joining me.
This behaviour doesn’t annoy me, I certainly don’t mind sharing a nice view but I do find it interesting how seeing one person pulled over making photos makes it so much more likely that others will follow. I guess if I did have issue with this quirk it is that I wish more people didn’t need the incentive of seeing others already stopped to be encouraged enough to stop themselves. But I get it. I have been on the other side of that equation too, driving along, in the zone, wanting to get to a destination but then seeing a small crowd enjoying a view and having my interest piqued where as I wouldn’t normally have noticed.
I do have one other wish though when it comes to these situations. I wish people stayed longer. I know I have a photographer’s bias here, I move slow and love taking my time in spots such as these. I like to work on my images to insure they turn out well but I also like taking in the scenery. I struggle with feeling a bit dismayed when folks join me by the side of the road only to not even get out of their cars but simply roll down a window, lean out with a phone, snap a photo and drive on. I wonder what it is they really are looking for in that moment. Is all they want a brief record of where they briefly stopped? If you take the photo out of the equation the behaviour becomes even more questionable. Imagine pulling over for 15 seconds, rolling down a window, looking out and driving on.
It is a hard thing to learn how to slow down and really look at things. I feel fortunate to have chosen to become a photographer because I think it has slowly taught me the value of this. I was not as appreciative of looking at things before I became a photographer, so I realise that the stuff I see now that seems so obvious to me wasn’t always that obvious. In a weird way it makes me feel a bit sorry for some of these people that join me at stops like this. I know they are appreciating the pretty scene in front of them, at least in a very abbreviated and superficial way, but I almost want to guide them by an arm to a rock and encourage them to sit for even 10 minutes and watch the clouds drift, or the golden yellow leaves sway and rustle. To feel the warmth of the sun come and go as it passes behind clouds and to listen to the wind interspersed with passing cars. To watch the play of light and be aware of the passing time. To marvel at the seasonal beauty and realise it will be at least another year before you have a chance to see this again, most likely. Or you may never pass this stretch of road again in your life, do you really want to rush this?
I let them do their thing, just as I do mine. And that’s ok. Maybe not perfect, but ok.
I continue to be intrigued by how we see and experience colour. What if our colour layers would have been swapped? Take anything green and replaces it with purple, and vice versa. This swapping of course has other side effects on colour rendition, but the purple-green connection is the main impetus here.
Considering that I like to spend time in green places (like forests) I have some motivation to investigate.
To me this isn’t a gimmick, but instead helps me meditate on the idea but for a quirk of evolution we may not see forests as the lush green wonderlands they are. Our eyes could have adapted to see them as lush purple wonderlands or magenta wonderlands if we had developed some infrared sensitivity. There are some out there with colour blindness that don’t see them as all that green. We are used to seeing forests as green and take it for granted that they are green and we don’t even spend any time thinking about alternatives. I like trying to think about the things I don’t think about. So here’s to thinking about forests in ways we don’t normally think about them.
But there’s so much more than this
There is something else there
When all that we perceive has all gone
But nothing fades as fast as the future
And nothing clings like the past, until we can see
Way beyond imagination
Beyond the stars
With my head so full of fractured pictures
It’s all there is
Having read The Lord of the Rings as a young boy and created the visual imagery in my mind I never felt the need to watch any of the movies. The characters were real enough and I enjoy having them with me.
So today I raided my Lord of the Rings negative Folder and put a little fantasy post for you to enjoy and journey into middle-earth.
Some Photographs are years old other were just made recently.
Susan has recently completed a needle felted sculpture of Gollum, and for the first time I saw a 3D image of how I imagined him.
And what has this got to do with a photography blog? Well two-fold really. One it’s my blog and I do as I please, but more to the point all these images were made using ND Filters of different strengths. So here is a little of my findings about ND Filters.
The term neutral density is a bit of a misnomer. It isn’t really as neutral as it seems. Most of my ND filters do quite well if I only cared about the visible spectrum, and sometimes that’s enough. But I have long suspected that many ND filters don’t block UV light as readily as visible light. Turns out that some ND filters also don’t block IR light quite as well either. IR light isn’t generally a problem for me since I do most of my long exposure on film. Most film emulsions aren’t sensitive to IR light. It is digital sensors that experience the most noticeable problems here. Again, not a big help to me, I just use IR-insensitive film.
I guess many film emulsions have sensitivity that extends into the UV range. I knew that certain b&w films do, but based on what I see, a number of colour films do too. This tends to result in a blue/purple shift when using strong filtration. It also tends to result in the underexposure of vegetation. Mostly I accept it. Eventually I suppose I will learn how to make best use of that UV exposure rather than fight it.
So off to find my way back to reality……..
Pain is on the way out
And I want to find what can’t be found
Been up since the break of dawn
Lost my mind today
I am at the sea and I can hear trains
Winds of change so new
Blowin’ right through me
And pull me into the light
One thing I appreciate about photography is how it teaches me to value even the seemingly mundane moments of the day. I pulled up into this spot at the end of a long drive, just before the sun sank below the waterline. It was casting some wonderful, long light and, I made a point to take about three minutes to stand and make a couple of photographs before I set off onto the beach.
It only took about ten minutes to get organised, but in that ten minute span the light left. It made me thankful I had taken the few minutes to enjoy it while I had it. Light in the hand is definitely worth more than light ten minutes later. At least this time it was. This is a lesson I constantly remind myself of, to take advantage and to value the light I am in at that moment, to not pass it by or figure I can get it later because it might not be there later. Light and time are both fleeting and both finite. Making photos always helps me remember that.
My excitement I guess comes from how I experience moments like this and this isn’t the first case where these feelings have expressed themselves.
I was looking for her
But I fell for you
It was all just a blur
And a mystery too
I was moving through time
Riding my luck
Then I found you
So goodnight my dear
I am tired, it’s late
And tomorrow I keep my appointment with fate
Not playing the game
I loved and I lost
But I am one and the same
Do we choose who we love
Is it up to us
Does anyone know