Posts Tagged abstract

Oregon 8

After we visited Yaquina Head, we went to a sort of nautical junk yard. Except it wasn’t really a junk yard. They take a lot of worn or rusted equipment from fishing vessels and repair and refurbish it. The first look gave the appearance of random piles of junk, but once we got in and started looking at things, we found an order to the chaos. There were huge nets, running gear and lots and lots of rusty equipment.

Rick suggested trying to get a few good abstract images of the rust and then of finding images that looked like something else. No problem for me, I love doing detail shots and enjoy seeing if I can find out, as Minor White suggested, what else the object is.

There’s a lot of chain used in sailing and that chain needs to be replaced once in a while, so finding rusted chain was no challenge. It was finding the shark that took a little thought.

 

Rusted Chain

Rusted Chain

 

Sometimes the chain was joined by rope:

 

Rope and chains

Rope and chains

 

And then there are the abstract opportunities. Wear on metal objects is often uneven and leaves us with a great opportunity to select just the right portion of the worn area:

 

Rising against Rust

Rising against Rust

 

As for finding something different in this wide variety of subjects, that wasn’t so hard either. I found a rust shark:

 

Rust Shark

Rust Shark

 

This collection of treasures was a real photographer’s dream.

More to follow,

B0b

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Valley of Fire

I’ve heard about Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada for decades. I’ve always wanted to go there, but never seemed to find the time to head that way.

A couple weeks ago, I had to go to two conferences in Las Vegas (yes, had to go is the right term. I really don’t like Vegas for more than about two hours). I decided to go out a day early and visit Valley of Fire. I made the right choice.

I was only able to spend a few hours there, but what I saw confirms for me that I’ll be going back and spending some time there. It’s a beautiful place with so much to see that one day simply isn’t enough. I’ve got some images I’ll share with you over two posts, so check back next Wednesday for more.

There’s an area in Valley of Fire called The Wave. It’s photographed often and for good reason. I hiked into The Wave to check it out and came back with some images I rather like.

 

Here they are:

 

The first is a sort of establishing view. A desert garden with some very interesting geology. (Don’t forget to click on the images to see them full size and with proper color.)

It’s a beautiful area, I think you’ll agree.

The Wave #1

The Wave #1

 

But if you’ve known me for any length of time, you’ll know that I love Black-and-White photos, probably more than I like color, so I converted the above scene:

The Wave Monochrome

The Wave Monochrome

 

I really like this view. For some reason, the lack of color accents the scene far better; to my eye, at least. As long as I was doing B&W, I decided to move up a little and capture the heart of the scene with a little desert garden:

 

The Hear to the Wave

The Heart of the Wave

 

Check back Wednesday to see what else I found at Valley of Fire!

 

More to follow,

Bob

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Brought to you in Glorious Monochrome!

Well, you know me. Still trying to make a good Black & White image. I’m showing improvement and some of the images I’ve done lately I’m pretty happy with. It’s funny how I can be looking at a brilliant green scene and see monochrome written all over it. I guess that’s my preference, so I lean that way. I’ve been up in the canyons lately and have done a lot of wildflower photography. And I’ve noticed the non-floral scenery. While I still can’t understand mountains and trees as well as I can the desert, I think I’m getting there.

Here are some monochrome scenes I’ve seen lately (as always, click on the image to see them full size and with the right color. Oh, no color this time):

 

Here’s my boy Gandalf, The Gray Cat. He was sitting thinking about the birds at the feeder, so he held still for a while. Not a bad portrait.

 

Gandalf the Gray Cat

Gandalf the Gray Cat

 

This False Hellebore or California Corn Lily (I’ve been told) just called to me, saying, “Monochrome.” It was right.

False Hellebore

False Hellebore

 

And these are, to all intents and purposes, weeds. I don’t have a clue what family they belong to, so I’ll take the lazy way out on the naming.

Weeds, Big Timber Canyon

Weeds, Big Timber Canyon

 

I’ll keep working in this old-timey mode, I think.

 

More to follow.

Bob

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Sometimes it Rains

I remember parts of a song we used to sing when we floated the Green River a few decades ago:

Sometimes it rains, and 
Sometimes it rains, and
Sometimes it rains…

We also used to say uncomplimentary things about Ma Nature at the time. I won’t repeat them here, but they’re still true.

If you follow the blog, you know I had a few days off a while back and went to the Oregon coast looking for a geological and spiritual feature my friend Rick Sammon told me about: Minor White’s Wall.

It was a sort of pilgrimage, because White was a mystic as well as photographer and wrote some interesting thoughts on photography. Some of his ideas really strike home with me and because of that, I have a lot of respect for Minor. One of my favorite quotes from White regards the obsessive need some photographers have to document everything about making an image. Minor said, “For technical detail, the camera was faithfully used.” That’s enough for me. Besides, my camera records all the data anyway. Back in the olden days, I wrote down f/stop, shutter speed, film type, processing information and sometimes even some ideas about how to print the image (no blogs in those days). I guess I’ve gotten lazy in my old age, and Minor’s statement suited me to a tee.

A couple more quotes from Minor: [The ecstasy in photography is the] “Insight, vision, moments of revelation. During those rare moments something  overtakes the man and he becomes the tool of a greater Force; the servant of, willing or unwilling depending on the degree of awakeness. The photograph, then, is a message more than a mirror, and the man a messenger who happens to be a photographer.”  He added, “I believe, that, like Alice Through the Looking Glass, with the camera one comes so close to the real that one goes beyond it and into the reality of the dream.”

I’ve read a little about psychologist Carl Jung, too. He had the idea that every human being shares common memories. Memories buried so deep that we can’t call them up willingly. They’re buried in our unconscious (note, he doesn’t use the Freudian terminology, “subconscious”). That means we have a shared unconscious or, as Jung named it, the Collective Unconscious. American philosopher John Dewey said that artists (and, yes, photographers are artists) are popular and important because their images remind the viewer of something. That must be something deep, something buried in the unconscious. Something mystical (see, I got back around to Minor!).

Pretty heady stuff, and awfully deep. What I take from all that is that photography is more than just tripping the shutter and uploading the image. Much more. Minor gives us a hint when he tells us that when we photographers look at a subject, we should look until we see what else it is. That ‘what else’ is what makes a great photograph. I don’t mean dressing a cat up in an Abe Lincoln hat and posing him in a big chair in a memorial. I mean that there’s a lot more in nature than appears on the surface. And it’s the photographer’s duty so find that ‘what else.’ And to be able to show it.

So I traveled through the rain to do homage to Minor. Finally found Minor White’s Wall and in a brief respite between the storms, I found some features that were worthy of capturing. Are they the ‘what else?’ I’ll let you decide.

Click on the images to see the true colors and proper lighting (there’s something mystical about the way you have to take a second look, I suppose).

See if you can see the “What else?”.

 

Eroded Sandstone, Minor White Wall

Eroded Sandstone, Minor White Wall

 

Erosion Pattern 2, Minor White Wall

Erosion Pattern 2, Minor White Wall

 

Sandstone inclusion, Minor White Wall

Sandstone inclusion, Minor White Wall

 

I originally titled these with the “what else,” but then decided not to guide you to a conclusion. After all, it’s in our collective unconscious, so you should be able to see what they are.

More to follow,

Bob

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More from the Past

A while back I started to browse through all my foto files. I was looking for images I passed up because I couldn’t figure out how to process them. My aim was to see if I could do something with them now.

I found some from a January trip to Comb Ridge. Nick and I stopped at a spot where there was a variety of ice crystals formed in a little depression. I shot quite a few, but let the scene and my camera outsmart me by underexposing a whole bunch. I kind of gave up on those images because I couldn’t get them right.

Now a few years later and with an improved version of Photoshop and a lot more experience, I decided to try my luck. Both of these images were fiddled with quite a bit through the process, from opening up the exposure to converting to Black-and-white. As a bonus, they match the season.

See what you think.

Ice crystals #1

Ice Crystals 1

Ice Crystals 1

Ice crystals #2

Ice Crystals 2

Ice Crystals 2

 

Oh, by the way. I signed up with a company that will clean out the malware that was infesting my RSS feed. By today you shouldn’t have to see any more viagra ads in the teaser. Finally!

 

More to follow,

Bob

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Oxygenating metal

On this trip I made several new friends. One is named Rusty. So I can’t really say these are from Rusty cars. I’ll just say there are some interesting things that happen when steel oxidizes.

You can see shapes, themes, ideas, images that look like roadmaps or portraits. Here are a few nice oxidation shots I found in the treasure trove we stopped at:

The first one looked to me like a fried egg on a green plate. Maybe I was just hungry (click to see full size and proper color).

 

egg

egg

 

Then I saw what looked like a pair of eyes looking back at me. OK, that’s fair. I stare at the car, the car stares at me:

 

eyes

eyes

 

And some of the oxidation patterns looked a lot like a map. This one reminded me of the maps we used to use when running rivers: it shows the islands and shoreline in detail.

 

River map

River map

 

Kind of fun to look at these abstracts and try to figure out what they remind me of.

More to follow,

Bob

 

 

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One person’s treasure is…

We stopped at the junk yard. Rick told us not to call it a junk yard, the owner might be offended if we referred to his treasures as junk.

We found cars. Lots of cars. Lots of old cars. It was kind of mind boggling. Between shooting the nameplates of long-discontinued vehicles, logos that are no longer used and flat tires, I started to see the detail in the metal and paint. So many painted, repainted and over painted spots. Lots to look at and lots to photograph.

I like abstract fotos of nature, so decided that this would be the way to approach the cars. Looking for color anomalies and rusted-out portions of fenders and frames, I came up with several that I think are interesting. Today I’ll show you some interesting paint schemes. Next Wednesday will show some oxidization patterns. Be sure the check back in.

I’m not sure how or why some of the paint jobs happened. But in the first one, it’s obvious. Used to be that in Utah we had to put the gross vehicle weight on the side of the truck, even if it was a Datsun pickup like I had. Most of us got decals and put them on, but some just used a paintbrush. (click on the images to enlarge and see the color correctly.)

U

U

 

And some people were never happy with the color of their vehicle, but this seems to have been owned either by a patriot or by someone who kind of liked red, but wanted to experiment.

Red Car

Red Car

 

I’d like to go back to the junkyard treasure trove and start all over again with a new set of eyes. There might be a lot more interesting paint jobs available.

More to follow,

Bob

 

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