High on Photography…

Black & White

arches …


… adrift in snow.

warts …


… on an oak log in the forest at my university.

blades …


… in the woods near my office.

balls, redux …


… now in monochrome!

the sky over the land …


an image from years ago re-edited much better … [embiggen]

Rush: Cataract Falls, Summit County, CO

A few years back Greg Thow took this majestic shot in Rocky Mountain National Park, and I’m still not sure it isn’t my favorite Greg photo ever. So today, while hiking the Lower Cataract Lake loop up in Summit County I came across Cataract Falls. Didn’t know there¬†was a Cataract Falls. But this scene reminded me of Greg’s RMNP shot. I don’t think I’m anywhere near that one in terms of power and artistic impact, but it’s nice to have pretty spots to practice, huh?

Two takes, color first.

Cataract Falls, Summit County, CO

Cataract Falls, Summit County, CO

And the black and white. (more…)

a big sky …


… in southern Wyoming.

bleak horizon …

35470119675_e1986c0a28_b… in Badlands National Park in South Dakota. [larger image]


Science Pyramid | Denver Botanic Gardens

Science Pyramid | Denver Botanic Gardens

mom and the kids …


… in the back country of Wind Cave National Park in Wyoming, USA.

in the woods …


… at a place my students and graduates ought to know well.


The Best or Nothing


Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta

Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta


layer cake …


… in Badlands National Park, South Dakota, USA.

the risks of littering …


In Wyoming, the state fines you for littering … and then sends a storm after you.

overlook …


… a small cabin high above a valley near my university.


Ground Zero

Ground Zero Reflecting Pool

I felt the solemnity of the location, the near-sacred aura of Ground Zero, coupled with the somewhat lacy reflections of nearby buildings juxtaposed with the strong lines of the memorial structure was poorly served by a riot of tourist color. The gathered crowds retreat into the background when rendered in black and white, while the names stand starkly front and center.

I’m glad to have shot this after Moab. I feel I did it much more justice than I might have otherwise.

basin and range …


… in northern Nevada. See larger image.


Palouse Fields from Steptoe Butte

Palouse Fields from Steptoe Butte, Black & White

One of the classic shots in the Palouse (eastern Washington’s grain region) is color and shadow from the top of Steptoe Butte. Rather than explore the shades of green and/or brown, I chose to explore the textural contrasts and patterns in this scene.


Faux Falls Cascade

Faux Falls Cascade, Moab, UT

Faux Falls is just outside Moab, UT. It’s “Faux” because the water is pumped from an adjacent canyon through a ridge to move the water closer to town, cascading down into a lake.

During the Moab Photography Symposium I shot Faux Falls on two separate occasions, once coming down on the falls from above, once from below. Acutely aware of some errors (er, suboptimal decisions) in the first session, I set out to create a better image during the second. Part of that was seeing in black & white, part framing, part clearing excess material from the image field itself. I’m happy with the result, at least for now.

I should point out that during this second shooting session, I lost a lens step-up ring into the stream and was soaked to halfway between my ankles and knees. At least I didn’t hurt myself. That was a different shoot :-).

desert rain …


… over Route 50 in Nevada, oft-billed as “the loneliest road in America.”


Entering My Monochrome Period: Bodie Machinery

I had a wonderful experience during a weeklong workshop and symposium (the Moab Photography Symposium) in early May. Among the realizations was remembering how much I loved working in Black & White as a kid (much easier to process and print in black & white when you are using film). In conjunction with starting to print my own work, I am re-exploring monochromicity. The next few days will bring samples.

Abandoned Machine, Bodie, CA

Bodie is a California State Historic Park in the Eastern Sierra, south of Bridgeport and north of Lee Vining. The ghost town has been a state park since 1962 and a national historic landmark since 1961.

A short stop in Bodie in 2014 began my adult, digital, photography as art period. I had about 45 minutes in the middle of the day and shot deliberately for black and white, using the harsh light in an attempt to evoke stark emptiness. Out of less than 50 exposures (most of them bracketed sets of three to capture the total dynamic range available), I got three or four of my better images. It’s taken nearly three years since then to solidify my sense of my photography as art, but the Terrific Trio workshop before the Moab Photography Symposium (plus one other presenter during the Symposium itself) have managed to do that.