November 16, 2011

A few thoughts on Photography

As the sun turns out the lights on another day a central coast surfer makes good use of the last bit of daylight to find the perfect wave to propel himself home. As he watched wave after wave to pick the ones he wanted I wonder if he was cognizant of the outstanding optical phenomena going on all around him. For the surfer it is probably just another sunset, for the visiting photographer it is panoply of subjects on parade in front of the lens.

I wanted to take pictures of the evening light reflection in the wet sand of low tide so I slung my 500mm setup over my shoulder and set my short telephoto setup on the tripod and headed down the beach just shortly before sunset. I was constantly switching between the two. The 500 I would hand hold but I would use the arm on the tripod for a handy and quick support.

I would shoot couples walking and riding bicycles down the beach, I’d shoot them wide then switch to the 500mm. I’d shoot the grand scenic wide then wait for the mobile silhouette to move into the proper place. No shortage of subject matter here.

I moved to Jackson Hole Wyoming from California in 1987 because all the things I wanted to shoot were in the mountains and California's mountains were too crowded and although I spent much time living at the beach what I saw there was no longer special. I enjoyed the grand scene but the ebb and flow of fantastic photo fodder was lost on me.

It is amazing to me how even now I ignore what is right out my window because something better is 100 miles down the road where the grass is greener. The beautiful ubiquity around me shamefully I rarely see.

Yes I get plenty of good stuff in my area but I do feel like a slacker when I look at what my visiting photog buddies like Jeff Clow, Stephen Oachs, Jerry Patterson etc. produce in a short window of time on their visits. They as visitors with a limited window of time have to look closer and do a better job of “seeing” to make good use of their time. Consequently when I look at what they produce in my back yard it opens my eyes to some of what I have driven past of failed to seek out.

1 comment:

Jeff Clow said...

Always a pleasure to read your thoughts and see your images, my friend.