Monday, February 28, 2005

Rainy Day Experiment

So, I've started to look at photos in a different light, experimenting and taking chances. Digital affords you that luxury. It's not the technology I'm interested in although keeping up with it is fun for me. It's more about what it allows me to do and how more I shoot and experiment.

The image you see here comes from an experiment that came to me one day it was pouring here in Southern California. People reading this may not believe it ever pours in this area but this year we have had more rain than Seattle. Anyway, I saw the raindrops on the truck window and wanted to see what my 24mm lens could do with selective focus. Turns out it could do pretty well. It can focus quite closely and in the future it's a lesson I'll remember as I shot other images.

It's not that I couldn't have done this with film. But I wouldn't have been able to see the results quickly and I would have been reluctant to shoot enough to have something that really worked. In the end, I was able to find an image that worked for me, and one that was a reflection of what I saw in my mind as I looked out the window.

I still shoot film and I'll post some of these images in the next week or so as I find a way to scan 4x5 Polaroid film. My current scanner is a film scanner and doesn't handle positives very well.


Friday, February 18, 2005

"Taking Pictures" Inspiration

At the beginning of the year I had decided to spend more time with my photography. As so often happens, plans are laid aside while more pressing matters take precedence. Of course, it only seems that the something is more pressing and once you reflect on what it is you haven't done, you find you can't recall what it was that took the other things place. Anyway, I have been somewhat successful in spending more time with the camera in hand and with the "digital darkroom" making images that I like and enjoy.

I found a photography site that looked interesting and it's led to this blog. I don't remember how I got to the site of Clay Enos, but it led to a further exploration of his photography where I found street portraits he did several years ago and finally led to his blog Take Pictures on this very blogging site. He says that he started his blog as a way to inspire more people to "Take Pictures"and I for one have been inspired by his photography. I'm envious of his obvious photographic talents but I'm more envious of his ability to interact with complete strangers. The portraits are compelling, insightful and thought provoking. Go through his site if you are so inclined and enjoy the work of someone who seems very passionate and willing to share. It seems all too rare these days.

This is an image in keeping with the "Taking Pictures" site, although it pales in comparison. I hope you enjoy a view into my little slice of the world

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Arlington West

On the beach, next to the pier sits a memorial to the fallen service members of the Iraqi War. This is the first photo of a small photo essay I took on Sunday, January 30th, 2005. I have no intention of getting into a debate about the war, its justification or its need. Having served in the Navy for six years myself, I found myself drawn to the memorial thinking of these men and women and what they had sacrificed.

Paper was available to compose messages to the fallen. Rubber bands secured the notes to the crosses and each note looked to be lovingly composed. Photos adorned some of the crosses and I saw one bible adorning another one. The Star of David was included as was the moon. I am assuming that the moon represented the Muslim religion but I can't be sure and I haven't had the time to research it.
I can't help but think of these men and women on a daily basis and the makeshift crosses reminded me that each day many of them are entering into dangerous and life threatening situations. I don't doubt that many of them believe in what they are doing. Some of them entered the service prior to 9/11 and may have looked upon it as a job, an opportunity to get an education or experience for the world beyond the military. These are the people I identify with the most. The military provided me with this exact thing and I,ve been out long enough to have forgotten how badly I wanted to get out once my hitch was up.

The day was sobering and a reminder of the cost of war. I saw several reminders that these casualties of war are not the only ones to suffer. I saw several family members place placards and flowers beside a marker. But the most heartfelt thing I witnessed that day was a young man that placed a flower next to each cross. With a gentleness that belied his size, he placed a flower next to each cross, carefully covering them with sand. His quiet action was reverent and peaceful. It was a moving tribute to the fallen.