Wednesday, August 27, 2014

I confess to owning a neat little Canon point-and-shoot digital camera in addition to my 'real' film cameras.  Because I don't take it very seriously, it's fun to use, and I enjoy the easy delete function I employ frequently.  The images below were made with it while driving back from my trip to Savannah and Brunswick.  I had been looking for cotton fields without success, but passed this dirt road that I got a glimpse of at 65 mph, and had to turn around to return to.  While taking a five hour class in Lightroom (a pixel processor), I converted the color image to monochrome and messed around with it a bit.  For me, color is literal and boring and becomes execrable when it's super saturated.  It gets even worse with the nightmare use of HDR. (high dynamic range). 

The idea of HDR is the notion that it records the full range of light the eye can perceive.  But, the eye does NOT register both bright and dark scenes simultaneously.  Our irises open up in low light, and close down in bright light.  Though we may quickly change from one to the other, they are not both viewable at the same time.  Another drawback is that rendering everything in the photograph with equal tonal importance allows no area to become significant ....aesthetically stupid!!   The look of HDR is contrived and false.  So is the rationale for using it.  More and more it seems that software engineers are dictating photographic aesthetics, and like lemmings, vast numbers of digital photographers are drinking the Kool-Aid.  I will not be one of them. 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

While in Savannah, my friends and I spent some time in Forsyth Park.  It's a gorgeous and elegant place where people exercise, and walk, and sit and talk, and just enjoy being outdoors.  There is a prominent and much photographed fountain, and statue of  a Civil War hero of the Confederacy.  Of course, in some of the southern states, that war is referred to as the War of Northern Aggression, and not without reason although it both shocked and amused me when I first heard it called that.  Compared to Central Park in NYC, it's very small, but it has some echoes of "Poet's Walk" at the south end.  There are far fewer benches in Forsyth, and a dearth of buskers, but there is abundant Spanish Moss that immediately tells all y'all you be in Dixie now,..... Bubba! ;-)

Thursday, August 21, 2014

During my trip to Savannah and Jekyll Island, I only exposed two rolls of film.  Today, I developed the other roll that included some Forsyth Park images, and a few from Jekyll Island.  I like this one from JI.   I think the witchy trees contribute an eerie sense to a quite ordinary scenic overlook viewing bench.  As the temperature was in the 90s, the humidity oppressive, and swarms of gnats were buzzing about without mercy, it's no wonder no one had chosen to sit there.


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

August in the southeast is a time to allow for liberal doses of indoor hibernation.  Days go by in the 90s without  a weather forecaster's comment about a heat wave....of course it's a heat wave...what's to discuss!???  It's is the obverse of winter time snow and ice up north.  Even its worst, though, there is still nothing to shovel, nor any reason to be housebound.  No...get in your car and drive to the mall...always 72ish, and comfortable.  Boring as it is, at least you can walk around.   

This past weekend  I visited Savannah with some friends to see a photography exhibit at SCAD.  It was a retrospective of the regional photographer, Jack Leigh.  Beautiful work shown in an exquisite city that can charm the feathers from a peacock!  The next day, I drove to Jekyll Island to revisit driftwood beach.  The weather was witheringly hot and humid, but I did the best I could nonetheless.  Here are two from that visit.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

There are two more monographs I've obtained that I am enjoying a lot.  One is by the late Georgia photographer, Jack Leigh titled The Land I'm Bound To.  The other is by George Tice titled Seacoast Maine.  Both are vivid evocations of place, and both do it well.   Many of Leigh's photographs share themes with those of Tice, and there's no doubt that he's been influenced by that master, but Leigh is genuinely of coastal Georgia and is original and true to that subject.  I mention this because I need the influence too.  This flat Florida landscape isn't easy to photograph the way the rolling hills, and open forests of New York are.  Both Leigh and Tice use fog as an important filtering element, but that's not so common here.  Coastal Florida, though, has incredible clouds that form on many summer afternoons and often bring local downpours. The photograph here was made standing at the edge of the little roadside pullout where I found the bent over tree in my previous post. The clouds were not spectacular, but were good enough!