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Technical Details: Canon 5d MkII, Canon 16-35mm @16mm, ISO50, f/16, 2.5 seconds Singh Ray Warming Polarizer
I need to apologize. Nothing heavy, but you must be tired of seeing images from the North Shore of Lake Superior and for better or worse you’re going to get a good dose of them in the next couple of posts. I don’t even have a good story to tell. No run-ins with animals, no crazy weather, I didn’t drop any expensive electronics into the water, I didn’t risk life or limb to get a shot, didn’t get lost in the dark. A fairly mundane outing by my standards. Nonetheless, last weekend I spent 30 hours racing around some familiar haunts on the shore, mostly asking myself if I had anything new to share; anything that in one way or another might be new or fresh for all of us. I was pretty sure I didn’t until I got home. After going through the images I realized that there are so many new ways to show a tired subject and today’s is no exception.
This is the upper falls or Glen Avon, on the Beaver River. Glen Avon is not in a state park, it’s not one of the quintessential falls like Gooseberry Falls, yet its one of the most intriguing falls I’ve shot on the north shore. Some falls are a one trick pony. Not Glen Avon. I’ve posted several images from Glen Avon going back to last April, the first time I visited the area. I’ve shot there many times since and captured many fun images.
On this day I found myself doing something I often do in my photography; avoiding commitment. I was gaming the weather, the clouds and trying to optimize an outcome. I was not convinced that exciting cloud cover would be around for a shoreline sunset image, so an hour before I would be on the shore I ran up to Glen Avon to scout the water level. Finding it at its lowest since spring thaw, Glen Avon had an entirely new personality and was literally in a new light! The sun has moved quite a ways to the south, presenting the landscape very differently. I shot for 30 minutes, chatted with some strangers that wandered into the area and then packed up to head to the shore for sunset. Some days I hunker down on a spot and some days I keep my feet moving. This weekend I just keep my feet moving – to remain productive, to remain fresh, to change routine, habits, and hopefully see things a little differently.
And I promise by next January I’ll have some new images from other parts of the county! Not sure where yet, but its happening.
technical details: Canon 5Ds MkII, Canon 24-70mm, Singh-Ray Vari-ND filter, ISO50, f/11, 150 sec
I was having a few beers on the patio with a good friend recently. It seems we’re both going through some career transitions and he said, “We’re resetting our North Star.” This struck me. We get lost for many reasons: job circumstances change, relationships change, priorities and interests change. For any of us to grow through times of change we are well served to revisit the point of focus that guides us to bigger and better things. We need to reset our North Star.
The metaphorical North Star isn’t a goal or outcome, its a guide. A thing, a belief, an idea, or philosophy that guides us through transition. As a professional and fine art photographer, I find myself getting lost about once year, in transition from one place to another and always revisiting that North Star to guide my path from point A to point B. Choosing a North Star isn’t always a conscious, intentional act. Sometimes its identified after the fact, during some level of reflection. For me, it began while preparing my tax returns!!! Like Polaris, our guides can change over time and what served us in the past may not serve us today. I’m still searching for my new photography North Star for 2011.
A North Star for my photography that served me well in the past is I Am Not A Commodity.
Today’s North Star might include: Fine art or time with friends or zero commercial or different commercial projects or travel or educator or experimenter? A guide helps me direct my time, energy, and intention and I’m leaning towards Intimate Relationships. Let me explain while the snickering subsides.
In my photography this idea would imply that I don’t shoot anything that doesn’t create or arise from an intimate relationship. This might include dramatic effect, camera positioning, a preexisting and deep understanding of the subject (landscapes or people), all of them together. For example, tomorrow I’m shooting two UST athletes because of who they are as people. I feel a connection to their drive, passion, competitive spirit. I want to capture these ideas. My camera positions and lighting are all conceived for this idea of intimacy.
Well, in the course of writing this post I’ve reset my photography North Star. Intimate Relationships. What is your North Star?
Technical Details: 10 Minutes after sunset, ISO50, f/5, 10 seconds, Canon 5D Mk II, Canon 24mm Tilt-Shift, Adobe Photoshop Black and White Adjustment Layer Conversion
Lots of upcoming posts and news, but I thought I’d start off this phase with a montage of video and still images shot during the 2009 Digital Landscaped Workshop, August 9-13, 2009, on the north shore of Lake Superior. A huge THANK YOU goes out to Marek, Mark, Sharon, Chet and Amy, our participants. An equally big THANK YOU goes to Travis Bechtel for assisting. Some amazing images were captured during the workshop, many of which are seen in the video. Enjoy!
I’m still digesting the amazing workshop week we all experienced. I have to send out a BIG THANK YOU to all the participants, including Marek, Amy, Mark, Sharon, Chet, and Travis, who assisted and contributed to the wonderful vibe of the group.
I went out Sunday afternoon before the workshop to scout a trail in Gooseberry State Park. I decided to just shoot “long” regardless, forcing myself to see differently and in hard light. This image was near the end of the Gitche Gumee trail on the bluff overlooking the mouth of the Gooseberry River. I’ve used some selective focus technique that has become a little popular in some circles and I’m curious to know you’re reaction to both the image and the post production technique.
Over the next couple of weeks I’ll be posting exclusively landscapes. I’m going through some “throw-away” images, reworking some previously posted images and just re-posting some of my personal favorites.
I’d like to remind everyone that there are still openings available in my North Shore workshops, so please contact me directly at email@example.com if you’re interested. Also please pass this workshop information on to anyone that might be interested.
You can view my gallery of North Shore images directly by click here, just in case you’re search for a bit of inspiration.
Today’s image is a “throw-away” image, one I never intended on posting for a variety of reasons. It does represent some of the amazing characteristics of Lake Superior. For example, the lake is well known for its around the clock fog during the summer months. When warm, humid air runs up from the south and hits the notoriously cold water of the lake, bam…fog anytime of the day. I shot this image late in the day on a warm July afternoon two years ago. Fog can be a great landscape subject and Lake Superior often presents this opportunity. This particular image is of a “1000 footer” in harbor, Two Harbors, MN.