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.
I visited an old friend today. The Red Barn, as I have come to name this place, is a location that I have photographed on many occasions and in all kinds of light. The morning light in the Spring and early part of the Summer is the most dramatic as the rising sun illuminates the south-east face of the barn, arguably and fortuitously, one of the more interesting sides to photograph. At this time of the year the owners allow the fields around the barn to go to seed and the clover and grasses grown to around waist height. The resulting textures create a very strong foreground element and I love how the barn seems to nestle into its footers as the grasses embrace it.
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.
Let me start by saying that I do not intend for this post to be a giant primer on long exposure image making. Nor is it a justification for the techniques over a more traditional approach to capturing a scene. A great deal of my current landscape or architectural work is not specifically long exposure. But in the right conditions - environmental and type of light - I appreciate how it can bring a kind of hyper clarity to the subject that is uniquely contrasted against the soft rendering of sky and water.
Well, it is New Year’s Eve, 2018. This has been a fairly busy year with some personal growth and certainly a few “firsts” for me relative to photography. I co-led my two annual photography workshops this year with my two pals, Martin Radigan and Vern Pattterson. This was the third year for our Spring, and Fall, West Virginia landscape workshops and we had some great clients and photographers join us as we traipsed around the West Virginia Highlands.
The concept of place, and our connections to place, are powerful expressions in how we view our world. The Black Church at Búðir is one such location, that for me, expresses a powerful sense of place and identity. On a recent past blog post I wrote about this church located on a windswept point in a harsh landscape For me the church emotes a sense of hope, civility, and simple community which I think is a fitting concept for a Christmas Eve post.