It has been quite a long time since I last posted here. It is not that I have had nothing to write about; just being lazy I guess. Anyway, I’ve been working on a few images and before I print them, I thought I would publish them here. The following called Illinois Sky. It hangs on the wall above one of our kitchen windows just a few feet from a print we bought in Alberquerque at Photogenesis Gallery inside the LaFonda Hotel (a wonderful and truly historic place in itself). Before I get too far off the subject, Photogenesis owns several images by several famous French photographers: Willy Ronis, Robert Doisneau, and last but not least Henri Cartier Bresson (the “master of the moment”). Even if you don’t purchase, it is a privilege to look at their work close-up and not in a museum behind a security rope. The photo we purchased is by a remarkable photographer by the name of Nicholas Trofimuk entitled Summer Cloud Festival – NM featuring a rolling New Mexico landscape beneath a cacaphony of cumulus clouds. My kind of sky! Just like I tried to capture in this:
Staying with this format (black and white and what I will call panoramic), here is a scene from Scotland. It was our first evening at Inverewe Gardens and this is a shot looking southwestward from our cottage at the Gardens to Poolewe and the mountains beyond.
Now let’s return to familiar territory (the rural flatlands of central Illinois – corn country, that is).
A couple of these may yet end up on our kitchen wall as companions to the first. What do you think? Any favorites?
Earlier this week I went out in search of those dramatic, puffily clouded skies that I enjoy photographing. [Clear blue skies are nice, but oh so BORING!] This particular afternoon promised for something dramatic as the previous two days started fairly clear in the morning, but as the days heated up, the clouds would form and, in some cases, evolve into spotty rain showers.
As I headed out, it became “clear” to me that I was in for something more than puffy clouds. Looking south the sky was nearly solid black; although without the contrasting colors and shades I typically like to see, I felt this would be worth trying to capture. This whole shoot-the-rain is something new for me, but I know I have to get somewhat competent with shooting in inclement weather for our trip to Scotland (the Highlands!) this summer.
I soon realized I did not bring my tripod, so no time-exposures with which to attempt to capture some lightning strikes. But as the skies unloaded overhead, I found that it would be foolhardy at best and dangerous at worse to stand outside with camera and tripod taking time exposures with strikes occurring only a mile or so away and thunder roaring overhead. All quite dramatic and thrilling!
I also learned that one cannot realistically capture images in a pouring rain. At least not me. So, with this type of pop-up thunderstorm, one works the edges of the storm, shooting toward where the rain is falling, but not standing in the rain where there is virtually no visibility. So, check these out. They were shot just west of Champaign near Bondville – the elevators on the horizons of most of these images are, indeed, the Bondville elevators.
Over the last couple of days that I’ve been out in the Illinois countryside, I decided to make some panoramas by using Photomerge in Photoshop (Elements). Most of these are stitched from at least 5 images, some more. These are not true panoramas in that I simply hand-held the camera and rotated my point of view, rather than using a more sophisticated nodal point panoramic system. Maybe someday…but until then, these work pretty well!
I returned to some of the same territory I visited two days ago when I pondered whether color or black & white was preferred. Many of you “liked” the post, but did not comment. Please feel free to let me know what you think, like, or don’t like. I “like” a fresh perspective! Today’s post includes photos in color, no black and white…although one is pretty monochromatic, as you will see. I thought the weather was going to break, and it did in a way, with bright blue skies showing through openings in parting clouds. But, the weather did proceed to close in and I could see rain falling in the distance. As much as I wanted to stay out, I decided to head for home and try mowing (or should I say baling?) the 6 inches of grass in my yard before it got wet once again.
I went out this afternoon thinking the weather was breaking and I’d catch some sunlight on the emerging corn. Well, that didn’t exactly work out, but the clouds made for a dramatic backdrop. The sky also lent itself to a black & white treatment, so I’ll ask, which do you prefer, color or black & white?
Not that red barns are unusual around here, but this one caught my eye.