I had a recent conversation with a friend over the subject of composition, and how specifically do I compose my images. It is not exactly a soup question, not easily quantified or simplified into bullet points, and is a subject that leads very quickly down a deep rabbit hole. Without going into a lengthy diatribe I think this image may quickly point to what I look for in an image. Simply stated it I look for the light first and then I compose - or better yet, shape - the image around it. This simple structure takes on a different meaning in the way the side-light and shadows create the depth and dimension. Working quickly off the tripod I created a series of “sketch” images to determine the position of the other elements, from the road, to the clouds, and even where the darks and lights would go to create the figure-ground separation of tones.
This mornings dawn brought with it a lingering fog and the fresh air that only comes from an overnight rain. It has been some time since I have ventured out to perceive the world through the lenses of my camera. Too long really, and while work and other commitments are the culprit, I can confess that the imposed break has been good.
I took quite a few photo walks, which my fellow shooter, Kevin Brookes, and I often referred too as "photo-parkours", while working on a multi year project in St Louis. This is the last shot I made, on my last trip, and my last last parkour through the city. I think its uplifting, (sorry about the bad pun). There was quite the festival happening in this plaza in the city center with music, the Oscar Meyer Wiener Mobile, and these balloons.
The subtlety of our rural landscape takes some time to understand and appreciate. I know for a fact that it took me quite a while to not only appreciate the light, textures, and forms but to actually find a joy in peeling away the layers. It is not the grand "scape" like many of the western images I shoot, but I like the challenges of finding compositions nuanced by subtle light striking the dense patterns of grasses and leaves.
I have made a number of trips to St Louis, over the last four years, and this may rank as one of the best sunrises I have seen in that time. During this trip the weather did not cooperate for the first few days but on my last morning in the city the sky, and reflections, finally came together. This image was shot from the far end of the South Pond which provides one of the best reflection points for viewing the Arch. The Arch grounds, and the museum have been under a major renovation for the last four years, and the grand opening will be on July 3, 2018.
My experience in Iceland surfaces frequently in my memory. It is like a constant shadow that tags along on a sunny day. I try not to get to high or low about trips, or to set any expectations for that matter, simply to set aside any possibility of disappointment or preconceptions. I like to plan, but then set that aside in my subconscious, so I can just be open to the experience. The fact is this trip totally blew away my preconceptions as we traversed the island from waterfalls to glacial lagoons, with each bend in the road revealing another stunning location. Rain or shine did not matter. In every cloak it wore Iceland was beautiful.