Nights In France

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I was out walking, enjoying the cool evening air when I spied this scene. At the moment I saw it I was camera-less, but I was but a couple minutes away from being re-camerad, so that was not a deterrent. Rather, it was the notion of once arriving back home of having the drive to walk back up the street to make this image. But I didn’t wrestle with it too long. The same proximity that could easily lead me to think “I’ll just go after this another night, it’s right there” also led me to think, “I’ll just go after it right now, it’s right there.” And truth be told, I had no idea if this grass would get cut, or another car would park there, or what have you. Don’t pass up things you see… there might not be another chance.

And why would I even bother with this scene? The answer is simple enough: because I found it interesting. That is all the reason I need to go make a photo. In fact, it is generally my exact reason for going to make a photo. Photography had taught me to look at the world and pay attention to its details, the notable instances of interesting light, or the subtle relationships between two things, or the serendipitous moments that only occur once (then again, every moment only occurs once, right This isn’t a dramatic moment. I am not even sure it is a subtle one. It isn’t even about this photo. It is about me standing there one evening and taking note of the world around me, and at least in this limited rectangle of a frame, striving to appreciate it just a bit more.

http://www.berndkugow.photos/

A Quiet Time

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Getting away from the noise of the city and replacing it with the noise of the open landscape. This noise has a harmony and place to it within the greater context of the music of the world than the sounds of the city, which can be harsh and jarring. Noise has been something I have been noticing more over the past few years. I am not sure why. While I love photographing in cities and seeing how they change and grow, I also find I dislike their inharmonious clatters, rumbles, bangs and booms. Give me the meditative rumble of an ocean, or the sound that twilight makes as it seeps into the world, or the birdsong of a quiet forest, and of course the sound of chirping Crickets under serious Moonlight. Quiet is often underrated. But I think we also build up a tolerance to the noisy noisiness around us where we live and should get out to appreciate some of the non-human sounds of the world more often too. Though I have noticed that we have a tendency to go into such areas and then proceed to fill them with our own sounds and noises nonetheless. So I make a habit to go to places like this whenever I can and make as little noise as possible and then appreciate as greatly as I can what I then hear.

http://www.berndkugow.photos/

The Poppy Seller

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There is a part of me that definitely prefers doing long exposures in black and white. I could say it is partially due to the colour shifts I get from filtering through stacked NDs, but I have largely wrapped my mind around those. No, my reticence comes from my frame of mind when I stop to make these types of images. One of the big reasons I do these long exposures is because of my interest or fascination with time. Often, but not always, time is what I am making a photo of here. Time is usually my subject. So when it comes to composing these images I generally think in terms of working to get rid of elements that don’t belong. And if I am building an image about time, I want to get rid of things that don’t relate, because if they don’t support then they distract. Often colour is not in this equation. It is easy to be enamoured of colour and to include it simply because you like it, but if the photo is not about colour. If it is about other things, such as time, then colour becomes a layer atop your subject that to some degree or another obscures it. So while colour is always tempting to add, I have to be careful to actually make images that make use of that colour as part of the message, thought, subject, what have you. I have to make sure that I want to direct some part toward that colour. So usually I don’t want the colour to be overtly important in these types of photos… it is not what I am trying to impart. But there are occasions where I want to mix colour and time. This is one of those occasions.

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http://www.berndkugow.photos/

Random

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The basic ingredients for this image look a bit like this: Nikon, Daguerreotype lens, Rollei Retro 80S film, Hoya R72 filter. But for spice I involuntarily added some grain issues, which left a texture across the image, and throw in a healthy dose of chance timing. So once framing and focus are achieved, you are flying blind in terms of the exact timing of an image at the moment of exposure. But I have learned many things over the years. Patience is one of them. I know few other things as patient as Mother Nature. Also the fact that nothing is ever certain, that the wind will change and nothing remains static for long. So if one opportunity is missed, it is only a matter of time ‘til another comes along. And that there is beauty in the random. One has no control over how the wind churns the waves or how the trees dance. Yet the resulting random mix of influences can create unexpected and beautiful confluences of events.

http://www.berndkugow.photos/