Thursday, April 29, 2010

What Will Your Photos Mean In the Future? - New Podcast

I am not sure any of us can answer this question. None of us know what the future will hold for the photographic images we capture today. As I mention in the podcast I got to thinking about this with an Ansel Adam's photo I was viewing. This particular image taken almost 80 years ago of San Francisco Golden Gate before the Golden Gate Bridge. I can only imagine he had no idea at the time the future impact his work would have. Just as we don't know how work will be looked at decades from now in a photographic world that has significantly changed with the advent of digital. Not to mention the digital era is only it's toddler stage. Who knows what it will be ten years down the road. Regardless of the medium used to capture images it's safe to say there is likely not going to be another Ansel Adams anytime soon. And by that I mean a photographer that everyone knows by name regardless of whether they are into photography or not. I think of many well known photographers today from Art Wolfe to Peter Lik but even then they are not known on the scale that Adam's is.

I have tested this theory a number of times. When people have come to me that are new into photography (just bought that first DSLR) I get talking to them and throw out some of the names of well known photographers around today. Most of these new photographers haven't clue who these people are, and I was one of them when starting at as well. But I pretty much knew who Ansel Adams was back before taking my first darkroom class in Junior High School.

Ok, getting back onto topic. Another reason I was pondering this topic is the reverse of building of structures that mixes man & nature and alters the landscape to more man than nature. For those that don't know Olympic National Park is about to undertake one of the largest dam removal projects in our nation. Two dams with one built almost 100 years ago will be removed. Almost all the images taken now and in the past will show these places with dams, becoming the opposite of the Adam's image I mentioned. This does give hope that not all historical photos will be of places before structures came and permanently infiltrated the land. It is possible to go in reverse and bring more nature into view. A positive thought for the future.

Ansel Adam's "Golden Gate Before the Bridge, San Francisco, California, 1932"

Olympic National Park - Elwha Ecosystem Changes

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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Columbia River Gorge in Spring

The Historic Columbia River Gorge is a beautiful place any time of year. Yet each Spring it transforms and comes ‘alive’ making it one of the best times to visit if you only are able to come once. The many different flowers from Lupine to Balsamroot in the drier and more open vistas of the Gorge to the dense deep jungle feeling forests with lush carpets of moss, cascading streams galore, rushing waterfalls and green foliage abound. It really is a sight to see if you have not had the opportunity yet. Ask many that live here and they will most likely agree that it rivals many National Parks and Preserves in its scenic diversity and postcard beauty. This marvelous landscape is not a secret as you will easily see on any sunny weekend in spring or summer (even though overcast and a foggy drizzle is better in my book, at least for being in the forest).

Nonetheless there are always those spots that receive much less traffic than others, allowing you a slice of solitude to visually soak up the scenery and sniff the natural aroma of the Gorge. I know I have covered the Columbia Gorge in the past on my blog and elsewhere but I never tire or grow bored of the area. Even though I have hiked hundreds of miles over the years in this area; I know there are still falls, streams and hikes I have yet to experience on both the Oregon and Washington side. It really is almost endless. Here are just a few images I have captured the Spring of 2010 on a few different trips to the area. These three images are as different as can be but all in the same general area no more than 20 miles apart. If you are planning on coming out and are interested in a photography tour, I normally offer group and or one-on-one workshops / photo tours in this area.

“Forest Rain” – A lush mossy backdrop with fast flowing stream photographed in the pouring rain. To capture this photograph I did need to stand in the water which is pretty ice cold this time of year. Not to mention on this day there was a spring season winter storm that had snow falling only about 1,000 feet above me. I could see the snow line before walking into the Forest. This is normally not a busy place but on this day it was completely void of people. Very peaceful it was.

“Early Spring” – One of the first signs of Spring is the presence of the Grass Widow (Sisyrinchium douglasii) which is seen normally in early March, however the peak bloom was very early this year. In Fact this photograph was captured early February and they were at their peak then, about a month earlier than 2009. Photographing flowers in the Gorge is never easy. Even when the bloom is good the sunrise/sunset might not be and the wind seems to always blow in the open areas where the landscape scene is usually best. Yet on this morning the sunrise was pleasant and the wind only a subtle breeze.

“Hiding” – This is one of those images that speaks about the art of nature as much or more than a landscape with a blazing sunrise sky, at least to me. While out exploring with my friend and photography peer David Cobb, we came across this scene. Both of us commented how we wanted to photograph this area but never had, despite passing it many times and the fact it is not some hidden far off location (it sits within view of the highway). We sure were glad we stopped to see the potential. This image is of Alder trunks blending in with the landscape of the rock wall behind it. A gem of a find for any photographer in search of abstracts.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Air Travel With Your Photo Gear May Cost More

Airline Ticket $29, Flight Fees $229, cost to travel on the flight you purchased an additional $49. You laugh yet the odd changes continue.

Well, this should not amaze me at the nickel and diming the airlines do already. If this catches on, and I truly hope it doesn’t, you will pay extra to bring your photo gear on every trip. I have only one question, when will this madness end? I know all businesses need to make money, nothing wrong with that. Personally I find it a little strange the way airlines are doing things today but that might be only me that sees it like this.

This is how I see it going down next time I am at the airport… “Excuse me sir, that jacket looks kind of bulky that will be $15 charge if you would like to wear it on your flight today.” These extra fees are out of control. Include them in the ticket price, that goes for the ho-hum meals of the past, and call it good. Ready for takeoff…