Photography is about light, and light occasionally plays tricks. These two pictures were taken at the same spot on two consecutive nights. The moon was full and recently risen over this tidal salt marsh. The first picture was taken near low tide, when the sand at the bottom of the marsh was exposed and what little water was left drained through a small gully. The second picture was taken the following night, near high tide. As close as I can make out, the lines are the trails of small fish running along with the current.
I spent a week at the 2006 Grey Fox festival and carried a camera almost as much as I carried a banjo. It's a magical place, especially late at night when the mists rise in the valleys and make the hilltops look like islands. Click on either of the two pictures above to see a filmstrip of photos I took there.
Last winter was pretty cold in Massachusetts. I took this shot during a brief thaw in December, 2002. Shot with a tripod and macro lens, 1/4 second at f8 on ISO 64. I liked the contrast between flowing water and stationary ice.
A few months later in Middlesex Fells, shot on a very calm day. The mirror surface of the pond gives the picture a surreal appearance - more surreal than normal, thanks to a little help from me. Look carefully.
Sometimes you just have to aim the camera and hope for the best. This was an early digital photo, taken at a temporary carnival put up at the site of what's billed as the largest Christmas tree in the nation. I wanted to convey the sense of motion from the spinning carousel, so I took several shots with the fully automatic digital camera, flash off, after locking different exposure speeds by pointing at various light and dark objects. I love the way digital cameras blur motion, and the white blur of the horse in the center of the frame looks just like I hoped it would. This was one of about fifteen pictures I took of the carousel that night and I could tell right away it was the best. The picture contains some enjoyable internal contradictions - a carousel at night, a woman in a winter coat on what most people consider a summer ride. Some of the other frames I took that night showed snow piled up next to the carousel, but that detail didn't make it into this one. Oh well.
When taking pictures, how important is the time of day? Compare these two pictures taken from almost exactly the same spot. The smaller one was taken at about 2PM, on the way up the mountain, and looks like your standard tourist shot. The larger one was taken on the descent, about four hours later. I just happened to look over my shoulder at the right moment - and I just happened to have one frame left on the roll. The mountaintop becomes gold from the direct light of the setting sun, and the lower mass of the mountain is colored purple by the combination of shadow and the sky's reflection. And yes, it really did look like this. Olympus 3000, 38mm, automatic exposure.
Another picture from the morning that produced the stereo snowman. The combination of full moon, a dusting of fresh snow and the light of dawn coming from the other direction gave the scene an otherworldly look.
This picture was taken out my hotel window at the Marriott East Side. The city looks very different - window lights compete with the dawn itself. The funny thing is, the sky itself could have been transplanted from the Red Rock sunrise pictures.
My first sunrise trip to Red Rock, and still the best. I've found over the years that morning clouds are a rare occurrence out there. The clouds definitely make these pictures, taken at different spots along the loop road. The changing foreground silouhettes echo the changing sky in this sequence.
I've been back a number of times, but I've never again had clouds anything like this to work with. And in spite of being there at virtually the same time every year, I've never again seen the sun come up exactly in the center of that notch.
On my way to photograph the sunrise at Red Rock Canyon, I looked in the rear view mirror and saw this view. I pulled over quickly and took this picture, looking back toward Las Vegas, by balancing the camera on the roof of the car. The crescent moon, just above the dawn light, stood out in spite of its relatively small size. Shot with Olympus 3000, approximately 38mm lens, automatic exposure.
I reached Point Lobos at the midpoint of a drive up the Pacific Coast Highway. It was the most beautiful place I had visited to that time, and only Acadia in Maine has come close since. It was literally impossible to take a bad picture here. This was my favorite picture from that morning, a cedar tree perched on the edge of a cliff that dropped about a hundred feet to the ocean and rose again on the other side. There was just enough morning haze in the air to convey the scene's depth. I took the picture close to ground level to include some of the nearby underbrush. Ilford 400 film, Pentax Spotmatic SP, 50mm F1.4 lens.