The photographic explorations of a former film student.

Posts tagged “outdoors

Cloudscape

There have been some amazing cloud formations around my area in the last couple of weeks. Soon, Fall will turn rainy and we’ll be faced with mostly drab grey skies, but not for now. I took the opportunity to capture the moment.

Oftentimes, there are several layers and types of clouds present at the same time. The bottom layer in this photo forms a nice ledge, you could almost imagine yourself sitting on it.

 

Several layers of clouds means that sometimes, clouds are in the shadow of other clouds.

 

I normally don’t look for animals in the clouds, but I think I see a cat. Eyes, nose, mouth, even swishing tail. Kitty is either upset or curious.

 

And there you have it: the advantage of living in an area without tall buildings or mature trees.

 

Next Week: Fall leaves

Fall color came, pretty much just in time for the winds to blow the leaves off.

 


An Exploration

Saturday, my father and I went on a photographic scouting expedition to a local park we’d just been told about. For me, it was more of a preliminary shoot, as I brought my normal camera. We spent half of the time learning the terrain and the new sights, and finding out that over half of the park was across a creek with no bridge over it. Overall, it was a nice place, but a different season/time of day combo would have made it better for photography.

The first thing I saw was a bunch of fungus in the shape of large flower petals.

 

The park was full of small trees that had been bent or knocked over during recent storms, forming archways. Many more trees were swaying unsteadily in the breeze above our heads.

 

In contrast, there were some large, sturdy old oaks with lots of octopus like dead branches. Very interesting, but as you can see, not the best lighting conditions. I’ll have to come back another day.

 

The leaves are just barely starting to turn up here, so it will probably be another few weeks before I shoot nature again.

 

Next Week

Honestly, next week comes at a busy time for me. My next post may be late, archived, or both. Hopefully neither. Hopefully I will be photographing negatives and short ends of film. I was a film student, so I have them, and I have a strange emotional attachment to them.

 


Late Summer Nature

I hate to say it, but summer is getting towards the end. Back to school is plastered everywhere, days are getting shorter, and vegetation is starting to dry up. Looking about my yard, I became quite depressed with the state of things, so I headed off to the local nature preserve in hopes of something better. There are a few more plants at the preserve, not to mention butterflies and other wildlife. I even saw a rabbit who was good enough to sit still for me.

I spent a lot of time chasing butterflies around the park. I guess I just wanted a challenge.

 Most of the flowers have faded. This dying Queen Anne’s lace has an intricate design and interesting shape. I thought of several things to compare it to, but I won’t force a suggestion or limit anyone’s imagination.

 Summer’s not over yet. Get out and enjoy what’s left of it!

 

Next Week: Jenny, probably

She’s such a pretty cat, and when she’s in the right mood she’s a great subject.


Early Spring

After months of waiting in the snow, Spring is finally coming over us. Though the leaves are not yet on the trees, I started to think about going for a long walk with my camera. Seriously thinking about it that is, it’s been in my mind all winter. Just yesterday, I mentioned my thoughts to my father, who as fate would have it, also wanted to go out. I loaded up my DSLR and tripod, and he loaded up his 4″X5″ and tripod. There we were, hauling our gear around a forest preserve practicing two very different styles of photography. I shot what interested me while he patiently hiked around the park looking for one thing to shoot that day (he only had two sheets of film left.) It was a great day to be out. The small stream in the forest was thawed and running with melt off.

Throughout the forest, we saw evidence of tree trimming along the path and what looked like some sort of controlled burn. Must be maintenance time for the trails.

Eventually, we ended up back where we started. I was drawn to an old dead tree covered in lichen. It had a combination of shape and texture I had to check out.

Dad was drawn to a still-standing old oak tree he’d spotted when we first arrived. Eventually, I came over to see what was going on in his photographic genius mind and practice being an assistant. Watching him, I couldn’t help but think I should revisit his kind of photography. The discipline and precision of old-fashioned 4″x5″ view camera photography mandates careful thought, an exercise I could use to keep me from getting lazy. I’d have to scan it for the blog, but it may be worth it.

Next Week: The Log Monsters

Due to my unusual schedule this week, I’m going to do a part two of sorts for next week. While out in the woods, I found some logs that looked like unfriendly animals. Since the log monsters wouldn’t really go with the tone of this post, I decided to save them for next week. I know, I was just talking about being lazy, but trust me, there are extenuating circumstances.