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/

Quantum Gate

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Being a film photographer I move a bit slower and am more concerned with the nature of delayed rather than instant gratification. Also, this image happened to be the first exposure on the roll, meaning I had to make it through another 11 shots to finish this up and even see this exposure. The notion of first exposures is a worthwhile one to explore. A higher-than-normal percentage of my favourite images tend to be the first or last exposures on a roll because I tend to lend more weight to the making of those photos. For example, I typically don’t load an empty camera, or empty film back, until I have a picture to make. That means when a roll of film does get loaded it is because I have enough of a purpose in mind to motivate me to load film. And the film that gets loaded is being selected for the first image it will be used to make. Along those lines, when I get to the last frame I really try to make that last exposure count. There is no better way to wrap up a roll of film than with an image you are excited about. Another way of approaching this is to go out without any spare rolls of film. I did this on this outing with my two Hasselblad backs, one of which is dedicated to colour and the other to b&w. I opted to not take any extra rolls of colour film with me and that back was on exposure 10, meaning I had only three shots remaining for an entire excursion. It is limiting but scarcity can also place greater value. With only three shots, or by waiting on my first shot of the roll, or the last shot, I am placing a higher-than-normal value on those exposures and because I do so, I tend to enjoy a higher-than-normal success rate with those images.

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http://www.berndkugow.photos/

Stories

The Stories of the moments we lived in.

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Saturday Morning. Gazing out the kitchen window, enjoying hot strong coffee and being grateful for the peaceful life that can now be lived.

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Entrance to the work station

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Hidden treasures

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The ever growing

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Jonah feeling good in his new home.

http://www.berndkugow.photos/

In The Quiet Of The Crowd

QP3It occurs to me that these days one must go farther and farther to escape the crowds. I witnessed how larger and larger numbers of people are travelling and places are getting more and more crowded. In part this is driven by the internet and social media. It is easier to publicise a place and we are drawn like moths to a flame to the places that sites such as Instagram subtly tell us are the “it” places that one must visit in their life. Look at Iceland, look at New Zealand, sure. But even on a smaller, more local scale I see beaches and trails becoming more packed. I don’t know what I think of this. On one hand I find it repellent and annoying to navigate crowds of people when my goal is to get somewhere away from people. On the other hand, I can hardly fault these people for wanting to get out into beautiful places. They are doing the same thing I am doing and I can no more fault them than I can, or should, myself. But at the same time the increasing numbers present issues. The more individuals through an area the more wear on that area, the more litter, the more people climbing through alpine meadows off-trail, or scaling sea stacks at the beach disturbing the natural bird life. We slowly erode that which we love.

siena3On a photographic level the unwanted wanderer has long been a bane to the photographer wanting to get “the shot”. I remember struggling with this in my early days, waiting patiently and sometimes not so patiently, for that man in the red raincoat to get along his merry way and out of the frame I have been composing for the past ten minutes. But that was then. These days I rarely experience the issue and in large part that is because of the world of photography that long exposure and pinhole has opened up to me. When you are making 10 second, or eight minute exposures, crowds not present much less an issue but actually they create an opportunity. So many times the essence of a particular landscape image to me is based on the unpredictable blur of people moving within the frame. Now my struggles laughably tend toward the opposite end of the spectrum. I set up to make a long exposure of people within a landscape and I get a minute into a four minute exposure and they get up and leave the frame, barely registering as ghosts at that point. I want to run in and tell them to not get out of my way.

QP1The photographic aspect of this issue is a fun one to wrestle with, the non-photographic aspects of growing crowds though has me a little concerned at times.

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http://www.berndkugow.photos/

The Dream And The Light

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Our last night in Tuscany. We managed to escape; transported ourselves for some days onto a privately owned Chianti Vineyard. Utterly inspiring. A Villa set in Olive groves surrounded by soothing hills and billowing plains, the magical splendour that Mother Nature has to offer.

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So just go out and win
And should you lose? That’s fine
Precious love of mine

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We made it, though, to this moment in time

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The open road beckons. From San Gusme to the Val d’Orcia. Classic Tuscan countryside, rolling hills, sun-kissed vineyards and avenues of Cypress trees. Historic time capsules dotted amongst the landscape, transported to the modern day. All there waiting for us………more to discover ……

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I found a wild wild wood
Full of white eyed birds
And a roaming boar
With no eyes at all
I felt a warm warm breeze
That melted worry and fears
I had a bad migraine
That lasted eight long years

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And I know that I am alright
And I will wake from my dream tonight
And I will find some true peace in time

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