Fear, Restoration, and the Release of the Art of Photography

March 14, 2011 § Leave a comment

Top of the world at Yosemite NP

I was fortunate to share my dining room with Rich Walkling on Monday this past week.  Rich is an accomplished restoration ecologist, currently working at Restoration Design Group in Berkeley.  He and I have continued to bump into each other over the years, sharing similar interests and motivations in life.

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A Sense of Lightness

September 29, 2010 § 2 Comments

Morse Mountain Preserve, Maine

Morse Mountain Preserve, Maine = Black = Heavy

So I’ve always enjoyed black in photos.  That ultimate contrast color that often plays nicely with lots of white – which seems to be the most common color of webpages nowadays.  Certain functions also cater towards increasing black, I found the “clarity” slider in Lightroom, for instance, tends to increase the prominence of darker shades, lines, thus increasing “shadows”.

Black is great but it is heavy.  It can be overdone.  It can weigh on a photo like an anvil.  Heavy.

So here’s heavy on top of light (think of oil on water).  This is Sitka Spruce from Maine’s Morse Mountain Preserve – the southern range limit of this species.  Isn’t it amazing how one feels very serious, and the second photo much lighter – almost lively-er.

So I started thinking about the work I do – botanical photography – and I wanted to revisit whites.  White is a light color.  It adds nicely to many smaller forbes, grasses, smaller and lighter plants.  Then I came across a really special site – Angie Seckinger’s A Macro Journey.  Please do visit it.  Her triptychs are amazing.  Her eye is precise and well tuned.   She’s also a phenomenally nice person immediately asking how she could help my non-profit – Golden Hour Restoration Institute.

So here’s my thanks to Angie – and a resurrection of a sense of lightness.

stumbling onward

a whisper of fall

The Photowalk Experience – Sutro Baths, SF, CA

July 25, 2010 § Leave a comment

Taste of Sutro bath ruins fading into the Pacific Ocean

So I went on my first official, organized photowalk to the Sutro Baths site in San Francisco, CA.  It was slightly overwhelming to be walking around with some 50 other (hunched over with gear) photogs.  It was intimidating because of the sheer number of creative minds, but also because of the “interactive nature” of the event.  Often I find that I like to shoot in search of solitude and peace, so you might say “then maybe a photowalk with 50 photographers isn’t the best choice for you”.  Good point, and yes, I didn’t think of that until I got there 🙂

I found myself awed by the pure energy and excitement of the moody day and the hungry photogs.  I think it took me some 30 minutes just to take my camera out of my bag.  I loved watching all the little human forms crawl over the ruins like ants on some fresh Ritz cracker crumbs.  Lots of perspectives, lots of just pure – well, shooting photos.  I found that I probably changed lenses as often as anyone.  I found myself also enjoying watching everyone as I noticed they were all focused on the task of taking photos.  I can’t say how much I recommend this experience – for the social, and the technical aspects.  Thanks for hosting us Jim Goldstein for organizing and leading this most excellent experience.  Check out the photos from the entire group here.

I’ll be posting a few photos from this event on Flickr (see sidebar).  The above photo is one long exposure I took there.  Processed with Lightroom (LR2.7) with an emphasis of blues and whites (my blue and white preset).

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