I chose this image not because it is really all that remarkable. At least not in a unique way. It is just a beautiful image. Sometimes the large amount of photography I produce conflicts with the small amount I decide to share that I pass over some of the images of mine I feel are more generic but still pretty. I let these collect digital dust in favour of the images I see as more unique and that isn’t always fair. Or rather another way to think about it is the reason to pick an image for sharing doesn’t always have to be based on creative uniqueness or even technical accomplishment. Sometimes it is worth sharing something because it is a nice reflection of a beautiful place and time.
Having made it through the frigid gift from Siberia, endured the added joy of deep snow, I decided to visit the local reservoir on the first day caressed by sunbeams.
I felt that I had neglected my pinhole cameras and this was the perfect opportunity to blow away some hibernation dust motes. Also it turned into a chance to try a new Rollei film (80S) for the first time. The snow melted as I made my images, but I just stood long enough on the tail end of winter to capture some.
They say spring is just around the corner. They have been known to be wrong………….
These images happened at around 06.00 in the morning on a snowy outing. I made two images of these trees. The first I exposed per my usual formula for challenging lighting conditions: using f11 and a 400 film with only the shutter speed varying. In this case, the shutter speed was about 5 seconds. And then to do a little experimenting I decided to flood the frame with some light and thus I made a second exposure, adding a ND Filter at f11 and ISO 400 but for about 2 minutes. I wanted to really overexpose the scene and render it much brighter under the unique ambient light that occurs on heavily overcast snowy days.
When Siberia came a calling
Ashes in the snow
Can you believe photos not made by my Hasselblad? It’s true and it was deliberate. To be fair, I actually want to work with my DSLR more. I neglect that camera, which is easy to do when I have so many fun film cameras. Still, focusing on the digital was a good experience and I was happy with how we got along in the wild and wonderful snow play with Missy and Jonah.
To the bone
One more ear pull
My Nikon is getting long in the tooth, but it’s showing no signs of giving up by having gone to so many places in the world with me. I am not anti-digital, I just enjoy film more. So I am glad we are still friends.
Jonah at almost six months, ready for his first snowy moon stroll.
Time fascinates me. The fact that we invented it and created the rules of it, which we live within, and how those rules trickle down into how we photographers think and act and photograph.
But now and then I feel the urge to poke at those rules just a bit.
Moving here through time, like a watch that’s lost it’s wind
All I can think of with these images is, what they might look like if Michael Kenna did more colour. Because I like what he does and then I begin to try to find that demarcation line between where the influence starts and where it stops. Not that I mind.
The fact is, Michael Kenna doesn’t do much, if any colour, and he wasn’t standing there. I was. And I had colour film. And while I don’t remember exactly what I was thinking on that particularly chilly outing, I do remember thinking about the colour.
Your math teacher would sport a look of disbelief if you insisted that two is greater than four, and for good reason. But I know of at least one situation where two (as in feet) really is greater than four (wheels).
It is the math of snowpacalypse. I can also tell you that one stalled car plus one stalled car quickly equals infinity. Or their exponential relationship between inches of snow and time of travel. I love math, especially blizzard math.
Last year’s snowfall was pretty incredible.
Will we get another such snowfall this year? I’m sceptical. This was a once-a-decade snow, which isn’t to say it won’t happen two years in a row… but probability is an area of mathematics that I spend less time in. I can tell you though that if we do, the number of exposed rolls of film I will produce will be greater than zero.
These images came from a quiet morning wandering a maze through a section of snowy forest. It quite literally was a maze, too. I had just reached the farthest limit of my walk and was preparing to retrace my footprints before the falling snow obscured them. This open field served as my turnaround point but I stood there for several moments before I reversed course. I found a small hill and was able to scramble up atop of to gain this view. It was just so quiet I was hesitant to leave. Quiet like that is rare these days, there always seems to be something honking, beeping, clicking, clanking, ringing, roaring, whirring, talking, or otherwise breaking the silence. But here in this forest clearing, all the silence of the world seemed to have been pooling and I stayed as quiet as I could to not sully that. It was magical while it lasted.
There are places and images of places that are better left quiet, where my words don’t risk drowning out the moan of the cold wind and the rustle of the snow-laden branches.
Where the crunch of the snow under your shuffling feet can be clearly heard.