Archive for the 'abstract' Category

21
Feb
11

2/21/2011: pampas?

Not really, of course, since this is north Florida. A few miles east of Titusville on route 50 there is a major conservation area, practically unmarked, between the road and the river: Canaveral Marshes Conservation Area. I’d never heard of it, but I saw the sign on my way back from an abortive trip to Orlando Wetlands (still closed for hunting, apparently, even in January) and turned around to go back for a look. It was late afternoon, with storms coming on, but I took a nice, if lonely walk back in from the road for a mile or so. There was nothing much doing…just acres of open grassland with tree cover and small patches of swampy forest along what was apparently and old road.

This small stand of mixed grasses along the way struck me as somehow exotic, like something from a savanna or the pampas, hence the title. Of course I have never visited either, so it is no more than a feeling based on who knows what set of impressions from film, tv, magazines and books. Until I went for the title, I didn’t even know I knew what a pampas was. 🙂 And I had to google it to be sure. Argentina? Okay.

Of course what really caught my eye was the mixture of textures, curves, and subtle colors, built up around those darker feathery heads. I used a medium long telephoto setting on the SX20IS zoom to frame an interesting pattern, and then cropped in Lightroom to eliminate some distraction at the top.

Canon SX20IS at 380mm equivalent field of view, f5 @ 1/400th @ ISO 200. Landscape program.

Processed in Lighroom for intensity and clarity.

And a happy Presidents’ Day to you!

23
Jan
11

1/23/2011: vegas segment 6, light and shadow

Happy Sunday! This might be my last Vegas Segment, as I have moved on to Titusville FL and plan to be out today for pics…

This is the Winn of course, which has come to dominate the Las Vegas skyline in the short time it has stood there, and even now more-so with the Encore to echo it. I shot up through the structure of the Fashion Mart, itself an interesting piece of architecture, using the foreground shapes of girders to frame the reflection of the sun.

Canon SD 4000IS at 106mm equivalent, f5.3 @ 1/1000th @ ISO 125. Programmed auto.

Processed in Lightroom for clarity and intensity. Extra Fill-Light to bring up just a touch of detail in the girders.

As I said last Sunday, it is possible to find and celebrate the beauty in Vegas, for it is there…but it is always beauty that has to be seen despite itself and its intention. It is like the whole city is as artificial as the city-scapes built in miniature inside the hotels. I survived it, but I am certainly delighted to be “outside” again! I’d like to thank all of you who kept me company on this week-long excursion into territory I don’t usually explore. I look forward to seeing the creation more or less as it comes from the mind of the creator, and maybe sharing a bit of that, somewhere out on Blackpoint Wildlife Drive at Merritt Island NWR today.

22
Jan
11

1/22/2011: Vegas Segments 5, Cranes

Vegas is not only the city that never sleeps, it is also the city that is never finished. There are people on the streets and in the bars and casinos 24 hours a day, and every year when I go back I see at least one new hotel, or new hotel wing, and there is always evidence of new construction at the moment. Construction cranes over Vegas are as much a part of the skyline as the Winn or the Venetian or Cesar’s Place.

Canon SX20IS at about 75mm equivalent, f4 @ 1/1250th @ ISO 80. Programmed Auto.

Processed in Lightroom for intensity and clarity. Perspective adjusted and cropped.

21
Jan
11

1/21/2011: Vegas Segment 4, Shadows

Shadows also speak of Vegas, or speak in Vegas. This is from the colonnade at the Venetian, where the stone screen casts shapes against the marble facade of the building itself. I totally confused about 50 tourists while attempting to shoot this. They could not figure out what I was doing, but they were polite enough not to walk into my camera line.

Canon SX20IS at 40mm equivalent, f4 @ 1/1250th @ ISO 100. Programmed auto.

Processed for intensity and clarity in Lightroom.

20
Jan
11

1/20/2011: Vegas segment 3: curves

Vegas is a totally fabricated experience, and one in which each new fabricator feels the need to play with what everyone who passed that way before has done…adding effect to effect…until every juxtaposition is rich with intention. Or at least that is the way it can look. To me. I have the feeling that a trained eye should be able to trace the elaboration of form and light back to some essential center, to the original conjunction of two designing minds from which all this, over time, has sprung. Maybe somewhere around the Monte Carlo? I am certain it is all more random than that…but, being human, I will project order wherever possible, even if wildly unlikely.

This juncture of curves…and what the sun is doing with them on an early Vegas evening…arrested my eye long enough to record it with the little camera I had in my pocket, just in case.

Canon SD4000IS at about 105mm equivalent, f5.3 @ 1/1250th @ ISO 250. Programmed Auto.

Processed in Lighroom for intensity and clarity, and cropped slightly for composition.

19
Jan
11

1/19/2011: Vegas segment 2, reflections

Vegas is a city of illusions, and reflections are the stuff of illusions…as in smoke and mirrors…the stuff of Vegas. The architects who designed the newest hotels were obviously well aware of the power.  The color contrasts and textures are no accident.

Canon SX20IS at about 240mm, f5 @ 1/320th @ ISO 200. Programmed auto.

Processed for intensity and clarity in Lightroom.

09
Jan
11

1/9/2011: If dancing water froze

Happy Sunday!

I suppose there is no real surprise here…other than the fact that it is possible. This is what even the most rapidly flowing, swirling, jumping water coming down a little series of falls in Maine looks like when it freezes. It captures the motion in solid form. It turns the music of the rapids into intricate folds and fingers of ice. How? I will admit, I can not quite imagine it.

But then I don’t really need an explanation. It is enough to find it there on my walk…to see it for what it is…and to bring it home to share with you…to bear witness.

It is an instance of truth that must be seen to be believed, and that, once seen, is sufficient to itself.

It is Sunday, and you might be ahead of me with where this image is leading me. Because, of course, what I see and appreciate in this image shares an identity with what I see and most appreciate in the spirit. The essence of faith is that it is possible even when we can’t imagine how…but it is also truth apprehended, seen, touched, felt, experienced…that is sufficient to itself, beyond the need for explanations. Like dancing water frozen and yet in still in motion, truth is something we must experience, and that we can only bear witness to. With no spiritual camera to bring back the evidence to share, I have no choice but to become the dancing water, to let the frozen motion form within me, to let truth perceived shape my life into a living witness.

In that sense, what matters here is the taking of the image, and its sharing, not so much the image itself.

Canon SX20IS at 560mm equivalent, f5.7 @ 1/200th @ ISO 200. Snow Mode.

Processed for clarity and intensity in Lightroom.