Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Last Breath

Photo 16 of 52:

Last Breath 16/52

I finally got around to taking another weekly shot. I got home and had to shovel the drive a bit before I could park my car. The temperature plummeted today and the wind was blowing. I loved the light in front of the car with the blowing snow so I thought why not lay down and look like I was dead ;)

So often I will get an urge like this to take a photo. Usually I don't, as I think something along the lines of looking like an idiot, being lazy and not wanting to get my tripod out, or I will make some other excuse, but tonight I decided to follow through.

The cell phone I added after doing 10 or so shots (I am sure the neighbors think I am nuts) as it draw attention to the shadows in the foreground. I didn't totally like this composition, but it had the main compositional elements I wanted. The others I was too close to the car, too far away, laying at a funny angle, etc. This one seemed the bet compromise. I cloned out the license plate on the car quickly with Lightroom.

And the view as I originally saw the light by itself:

The reason I didn't use this with me lying in front, is I took up too much of the image and blocked the car significantly. It was a bit harder to see what was going on, but I still like the shot.


Saturday, January 2, 2010

Forest of Fire and Ice, Year 2


The Jet Stream has been pumping cold air into the midwest again, I have a killer chest cold, and the temperature has fallen to only -10 °F (-23 °C), it isn't supposed to be above 15 °F (-9 °C) for a week, what better morning to go out and take pictures?

Decked Out

The last time I came out in such cold I made the mistake of leaving my snowshoes in the car and didn't bring a ski mask. This year I remembered to bring both. I head to my regular spot at Boyson Park, hoping to catch the light at the springs again. I missed some shots last year because I accidentally turned off shake reduction, and I showed up a bit too late.

Morning Wave

The air is crisp and calm as I begin my walk into the forest. My jacket becomes stiff from the cold. The snowshoe cleats crunch on the frozen snow and ice. My breath blows regular clouds of fog into the air. A large reddish slash cuts across the horizon behind the trees, separating the dark blue sky from the ground. Each step sounds as though I am awakening the entire forest. I felt out of place; as though I were the harbinger of the day waking the woods from a peaceful sleep.


I walk from the path to the forest deftly avoiding the brambles and deep snow drifts I became entangled in last year, and went out to the corn field. I snapped a few images and quickly noticed the white balance was off. Thinking of course that it was the camera, I quickly set it to CTE white balance and it immediately looked much better. Later I came to realize the tinting on the ski goggles I was wearing was throwing off how I observed the review image, and it wasn't the camera after all.

Watching the Sunrise

Not being inspired by the corn field, I went back to the springs where I arrived a bit late the year before. I watched the sun rise with a pair of leaves, and then I walked around the springs and climbed up on a wall on the far side to avoid looking through a chain link fence.

Light Fog

And was it a sight to behold. As soon as the sun poked through the trees and started hitting the water, large amounts of steam started to rise from the surface, and the light shining through the forest made beautiful rays. The wood of the trees appeared to be on fire. Divine.


After about two hours out in the cold, and the zoom ring on my lens starting to freeze up, I decided to head back to the car. I see a hat hanging in the tree, and think to myself, "why is the hat hanging in the tree? Wait, why is my head cooler? ... ah, that is my hat". I used it as a photo opportunity.

It was a fine morning. I am glad I made the time to go. I wish I had time to see every sunrise and set; like every one of us, each one is different. I only wish the pictures could do it justice.


See my flickr photostream