Monday, January 31, 2011

Marty's Hawk

Sunday morning. Standing at the kitchen sink, absorbed in the mindfulness of washing dishes, I glanced out the window and knew immediately what it was.
Click to enlarge

How utterly unexpected and delightful to be presented with such a curious vision! A sign, an omen, perhaps? Good fortune? Something that Marty, our first winter guest, brought with her? Who can explain such things? 

Did this Harrier Hawk come to pray with us? for us?

There is something in the brain of modern, urban man that demands a logical, cause-and-effect answer to every curiosity. We shuffled through Google seeking the reasonable answer for this creature's prayerful posture on the electric power line.

A half-hour passed for the inverted hawk with very little movement, a slight relaxing of wings, a few wind-rustled tail feathers. 

Petersons Field Guide identified this creature as a female Harrier (marsh) Hawk. Google told us, furthermore, that sometimes young birds attempting to grasp a branch (or electric power line) will over- or under-compensate, lose balance, and fall like the hanged man of the Tarot clinging onto their perch. 

This beautiful creature finally uprighted herself and, unseen, flew away. Marty and her Jim left this morning for their home in the frozen tundra of Ohio. It's Monday. Another marvelous weekend is behind us, leaving only an expectation of more beautiful moments during the week to come.

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Monday, January 17, 2011

Composition Two

This multiple-exposure image might have been titled Dancing Potatoes, but it became Composition Two so I could find it again.

Composition Two

These potato exposures were made closer to the subjects than in Composition One, and accomplished primarily by introducing a bit of "pitch and yaw" to the focal axis of the camera lens. The magenta in the potatoes begged for more color saturation. What else could a Zen photographer do but yield to the little beggars?

So, what does this image prove? 
1. Dancing potatoes may induce dizziness or sea sickness, 
2. Dancing potatoes might seem to advertize Dramamine TM, and 
3. Visual tensions between potatoes suggest faux 3-D
4. This, two, was fun and They were delicious after their portraits were made.
5. When I am alone in the kitchen I am easy to amuse and capable of entertaining myself.

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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Composition One

I usually grab the little Kodak hanging on my belt whenever I see something that stirs my aesthetic sensitivities. As a student of Zen photography I strive to articulate what attracts my senses through pictures. Most of the time this tendency leads to composition exercises and a closely related series of digital photos.

The subject matter is viewed at numerous points of view. I ask myself questions about the pictorial forms and light. I seek to gather picture elements that strike an emotional chord of recognition when I view the print.

Composition One, below, is a different exercise for me. While cutting onions I decided it might prove interesting to test my range of aesthetic convergence.

Composition One

After making the initial composition and exposure, I walked a great circle arc around the kitchen through the living room and back into the kitchen. I made return trips for compositions and exposures 2, 3, and 4. The full-frame photos were combined in Photoshop Layers and their opacity was adjusted to demonstrate the compositional variance between shots.

What does the image prove? 1. There is a relatively small range of my preferable framings for this composition, 2. Time-motion studies are a breeze while practicing Zen photography, and 3. the visual tensions between framings almost bring this multiple exposure scene into faux 3-D.  And 4. It was fun.

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Saturday, January 1, 2011

Sarasota Stereo Triptychs

A local self-promotion project from the early 90's that
 examined downtown Sarasota, Florida architecture.

This project evolved from a simple consideration of an old stereo camera I had just bought. The camera features two lenses. Each half frame lens of the stereo camera is separated by an interpupilary distance that renders three dimensionality in a stereo viewer.

click to enlarge.

The first and the third half frame pictures are exposed during the same instant that the shutter release is tripped. It's a wide angle view.

The simple photo objective: present architecture in interesting combinations of light and form. And make in-camera compositions into triptychs of continuous film (no cut and paste).
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