The great joy of traveling is by far one that we in America ban be best explored. The elk and the moon was a composite that I created by adding the moon to a day shot. The clouds were there already but I did ad some extra for effect. The bee was just a couple of feet off the sidewalk and took me just a few seconds to get several useful shots. The smiling elk was having a smack on some bushes in one of the park areas in Estes Park, right outside of the Rocky Mountain National Park. I got within five or six feet of her after about ten minutes of patience to gain her trust. The panoramic is a five shot stitch made with Adobe Photoshop of the larger lake in the East side of Estes Park. The kissing chipmunks are a once-in-a-lifetime photo chance. While it is possible to get shots of them rubbing noses to get them in this moment in which one is twisted under the other's face is rather rare. The last fellow is a rather large rodent that lives up in the park close to the top of the range.
In this layout you may notice that the composition is such that each element is placed to keep the eyes from escaping the layout. Each subject has its movement toward the center where the lake is and the general area where all these shots took place.
The Golden Dream
Sometimes a few moments of right lighting, open heart, and a friendly bee to add a note of elegance can lead to a self-satisfying experience with a piece of art to go with it.
Dreams and Reality
In one of my walks for exercise along with my wife Julia, the sky treated us to a beautiful display of colors at sunset.
While the image of the full moon and the stork was created to reflect my feelings from the evening -- the stork and the moon were present during the whole time I walked but separately. Yet, in my perceived reality they were all connected as part of one experience. This composite picture reflects the way my heart felt about that experience.
The following images reflect actual experiences all in the same evening walk. I saw one of the richest and bright rainbows , a one-single-color rainbow -- pink/red -- and a purely golden sunset with trees just in the right place to create a great composition.
This is an example of what happens when we take the time to take the camera along with us wherever we go. Often pays to do so.
In a more intimate mode i share with you the other side of this experience.
Just before the walk I was feeling depressed from the events of the day leading to that moment. Earthquakes, mud floods that wiped out entire villages with no apparent survivors, the argument that we are approaching the end of times, and both religious and mystics romancing parallel ideologies, all of this combined along with the threat of a pandemic, not to mention the last two hurricanes in the golf, all of this took a token on my natural optimistic nature.
So, that evening as I started the walk with Julia, I asked for a signal from nature of where I should go with my thoughts. Within 100 yards from the place where I formulated this thought the rainbow appeared and remained up in the sky until I ended the walk when the Sun had gone below the horizon , yet the rainbow still remained with a single color. There was rain and storms but never got to where we were.
For me the answer was clear giving me peace of mind and bringing love to the front of my thinking instead of fear.
Sometimes art does take its own direction. All the artist has to do is follow directions. From nudge to nudge the final image lets you know when it has arrived. The success often depends on knowing when to stop.
I never feel like I really can express the emotion of the Fall! The saturation of the golden trees and the spectrum of tone variation are so intense that there is no way to say it all with a picture. This layout is my attempt to gather images taken in a single two hour drive within 30 miles from home. -- it could have been only a one-mile walk -- I had business to do in one of the near-by towns so I took the opportunity to take a break after the meeting and got these images. Even the butterfly was in the proper color for the occasion! The vertical shot of the tree and the wide shot are respectively a two and four-pane panoramic.
Two hours of shooting and a couple more at the computer and voila' a memory of this fall to share and keep!
The following two images have a common background story.
I had a very successful meeting with a client of mine. We did meet at a local park to visit, talk business, and enjoy the season. After having shown some examples of my portable portfolio and visit we stopped by the car. I did put the portfolio back in the back sit and we then talked for a while longer.
Eventually we parted and I drove back home. Half-a-hour later as I come up the driveway I realized I was missing my camera -- the Olympus E-10 which I still use often. I was overtaken by panic! I just realized then that I had put the camera on top of the trunk area of my car while I opened the car to put the portfolio in. Then, as we started to talk again, I totally forgot where I had left the camera.
There was only one thing left to do: go back and hope to find whatever was left of my beautiful camera it it was sill there at all. Big fat chance, it you asked me!
It took me 23 minutes to get back and I thank all the cops in Arkansas for not being around then. After re-tracking my steps there it was! In the side of the road laying on the grass facing the road as if just nicely placed down right side up.
It looked all in one piece. After close scrutiny I found just a few abrasions on the bottom left corner and a slight bent on the view finder but still fully usable!
How much damage did it have internally? I really couldn't tell until I tested it. The next two pictures are a selection of many that I took on my way back home to test the camera. And as you can see, it stood the ultimate test!!
A "Fency" Sunset
I used the fence to stop the sunlight from hitting the lens directly.
The result was, as you can see, a nice one.
Add the warmth of a sunset lighting to a pink rose and you get this rich, warm, and sensual mood.
Driving along on my way home I noticed some pretty blue-purple dots of color in the edge of a river bank.
Parked, looked, found and captured. Total shooting time -- including some extra minutes to take in a few deep breaths, enjoy the moment, and give thanks for the privilege of being alive and fortunate for quality of its content -- about 15 minutes. There is indeed time to smell the roses, and other flowers and also photograph them too. Just think how much joy fifteen minutes of shooting time can add to your life experience and all the others with whom you later get to share your findings with!
Mesa Verde National Park around Christmas time!
Adobe Photoshop lets you put into your pictures what the camera can't capture but you heart feels.
The best way to hide unwanted background is often by using the very subject to hide the background. This shot was taken on the side of a highway. I got the camera down close to ground level and the top of the mound covered the lanes and some unwanted construction sites.
In one of my videos I demonstrate how easy it is to get a shot like this and how much joy it brings to us creating one!
Adobe Photoshop to the rescue once again. If photography is a form of communication, which it is, then, controlling this media with all the resources available to express what we see, saw, or imagine is OK.
This is a shot that I created to tell a story about a storm I experienced when I was driving along Lake DeGray in middle Arkansas. Obviously if you se something like lightning you cannot photograph it because our time reaction. So we must set the camera for the possibility that one will happen where you have chosen to set the camera. That's how the pictures of lightning are done. Here I collected lightning, got some stormy clouds from a storm I shot, took pictures of the lake the next time I went by in the day-time -- and also waited for a speeding boat to pass by so I could get some close-ups of the waves caused by the boat. -- Then, one cozy evening while listening to the rain tapping on the windows of my studio, I equipped myself with some hot coco, my purring cat on my lap, some nice background music -- low enough not to drown the sound of the rain -- and with the use of Adobe Photoshop I created this piece.
While on my way back from Galvaniston, LA I stopped to get gas. When I went inside to get some munchies and pay for the gas I found this moth on the side of the entrance to the store. Click, click and here it is!
Baby grapes taken with my Sony video camera DSR PD 150
Going over bypasses or bridges are not the best places to stop. However, sometimes it is well worth the chance. Remember, if you do not catch the moment you will never get it back... ever!
Before Sun-up is the time when I can get the closest to these shy fellows. As long as I drive they are OK. When I stop they become very alert and suspicious. I just roll down the window and shoot the best I can. Then, I get out of the car and as casually as possible I start to walk in the same direction that the stork is going. I stay parallel to his trail long enough for him -- or her -- to become comfortable with me. Then, slowly as I continue to walk, I side-step a little at the same time so I get progressively closer to the bird. When I stop to take a picture I bend down and pretend I am picking something off the ground. -- apparently this gives the animal the idea that I am another animal eating off the ground, so I am not competing for his fish or him --While bent, I take the pictures, then, I start walking and repeat the process for as long as he allows me. At some point he will notice that I am too close and stops. At this point I pretend to "eat" some more and start shooting. Then I start shooting and walking until eventually he flies away giving me an added chance to catch some flying poses.
This works also very well for deer and moose. The problem with moose is that when they decide that you are too close for comfort they don't fly away, instead they often charge at you. That happened to me in Alaska and if I hadn't been lucky enough to fall into a ditch, as I ran away giving the moose the idea that I had gone underground, I may have had not the chance to tell this story!
Outside of "On the Border" Mexican restaurant while waiting for the pocket buzzer to activate.
While going from the civic center in Hot Springs, Arkansas to the central office of the Hot Springs Documentary Film Institute I noticed this leaf just laying there. Click... Click... and there it is!
I felt a meaning coming through by the way in which the dry leaf laid on the concert separated from the green grass. It was as if the dry leaf represented the larger third-world humanity and the green grass blades the lucky few who happen to live in great places like me! The concert separation represented the political and sociologic barriers that keeps us separated.
This sparrow had been in a fight with another bird and he was regaining his breath. A gash is noticeable on his head. Twenty minutes later he took off and left this image for us to appreciate!
There is a common factor that ties all these pictures together. The photographer had the camera with him!
Ultimately it is not so much about the greatness of a photographer's work as it is about the passion for taking pictures and the dedication to have the camera ready, and being willing to capture whatever grabs your heart. All the images you see in these section were possible because the effort was made to capture the moment and that has little to do with greatness of any kind, only love!
The Posing Butterfly
Normally it goes like this: You see a butterfly and decide to take some pictures. You get the camera set and then try to creep up on her until you are close enough to get a good shot. Just as you are about to press the shutter... she moves to another spot. So, you try again only to have the same thing happening again and again. You may be luckier than I have been but I find it very hard to get close, focus, compose and take the shot while the butterfly remains in place waiting for me!
Then, just recently, my luck changes and this sweet one posed for me in every possible pose for over 20 munites. I took about 250 pictures and ended up with a great collection of images. In the end I did thank her for her kindness and only then did she left to go visit other flowers elsewhere. But behind she left a happy hearted photographer with a nice story to tell.