High Falls, Wallpaper

It’s time for this week’s Wall­pa­per post!

Last Sun­day, we went for a walk to High Falls in Dupont State For­est and great­ly enjoyed the warm weath­er and mas­sive vol­ume of water from the pre­vi­ous rains. An awe­some day, espe­cial­ly con­sid­er­ing the week of weath­er we’ve had since here in WNC.

Here is one of the pho­tos that was post­ed ear­li­er but cropped dif­fer­ent­ly to (a) show more of the water­fall how it appeared that day and (b) fit com­put­er wall­pa­per sizes more accurately.

High Falls, January 2013

I hope you enjoy! Down­load here

Photo Exploration: Austin, Vocals. March 2011

I heard from a film pho­tog­ra­ph­er once that he would only shoot the first three songs of a con­cert. He said the ener­gy lev­el was high­est then and that at least one of the songs was going to be some­thing the crowd could get into. There was the prac­ti­cal real­i­ty that if you want­ed to get your pho­tos in the papers then you had bet­ter get back to the hotel and start devel­op­ing ASAP. If I had fol­lowed his advice I would have missed this photo.

Austin, Vocals

This was tak­en at the only live per­for­mance of a group of extreme­ly, extreme­ly tal­ent­ed musi­cians that went by the name The Arche­techs. I believe all were tak­en dur­ing the song Mr. Mul­ti-Mil­lion. The show was in a cramped room in down­town Asheville that was over­flow­ing with peo­ple. I’d been work­ing with the group to pro­vide imagery for their web­site, album mate­r­i­al, etc and was excit­ed to final­ly see them live. It was quite a mean­ing­ful experience.

There are some attrib­ut­es to a venue that help pho­tog­ra­phers. Great light­ing, easy to get around, awe­some stages — plen­ty of places have those fea­tures. The loca­tion of this show was not one of them. It was a com­plete­ly flat floor, pro­vid­ing for an inti­mate expe­ri­ence with the band but dif­fi­cult to get angles one nor­mal­ly can get at an event. The light­ing was atro­cious. Bare­ly any spe­cial light­ing for the band, and what there was were basi­cal­ly direc­tion­al 40watt bulbs. So, out comes the 50mm f/1.4 and we’re shoot­ing pret­ty much wide open and hop­ing for decent fram­ing. ISO at least 1600 on a 5D all night. Look­ing for any set­tings that will come out sharp and rea­son­ably exposed.

Even with the dif­fi­cul­ties there were a great num­ber of pho­tos that came out at least decent. Some good ener­gy shots, some nice inti­mate cap­tures, and espe­cial­ly a series of Austin singing this one song. I remem­ber very clear­ly tak­ing the pho­tos and hav­ing high expec­ta­tions for a sin­gle defin­i­tive shot. But the more I looked at that series — try­ing to pick out “the one” — the more I leaned towards a set. It was clear­er to me that a trip­tych con­veyed Austin’s emo­tions and con­vic­tions far more com­plete­ly than one soli­tary capture.

After mix­ing and match­ing the sets, I decid­ed on these three. I enjoy the sto­ry they tell, the self­less­ness of the artist mixed with the con­vic­tion of the cause in the lyrics. Even though the pho­tos are grainy, the con­trast is high­er than I pre­fer and the fram­ing isn’t per­fect, I can hear the song every time I see the pho­tos. Try­ing to accu­rate­ly doc­u­ment the pow­er of per­for­mance leads down many paths and most often the results aren’t what were expected. 

To close, I don’t know if Austin has sung the song in pub­lic since this show, but I’d like to think that every time there is this much ener­gy and soul in the performance.

High Falls, Covered Bridge

High Falls and Cov­ered Bridge, Dupont State For­est NC

Photo Exploration: The Accident, August 2011

When do we not mess up? When have we shot a per­fect ses­sion, had every frame on the roll be per­fect, knocked every com­po­si­tion out of the park? I’d say…never. Each roll, or each fold­er, con­tains at least one not-quite-there image. Some­thing that need­ed adjust­ing. A bit of a mis­take that we corrected.

What about the acci­den­tal pho­tos? I know I take plen­ty of pho­tos that I have no inten­tion of real­ly car­ing to uti­lize, but rarely (I think) do I take some­thing gen­uine­ly on acci­dent. But some­times I leave that lit­tle shut­ter lock dial set incor­rect­ly and before I know it I have an extra image. Occa­sion­al­ly I’ll real­ize the mis­take but often it is a sur­prise until I get the images devel­oped (or loaded onto the computer).

With film it is espe­cial­ly frus­trat­ing to have that occur as there are some pret­ty hard lim­its with film. You can’t dial down the size of the image to squeeze more space out of the mem­o­ry card with film, and you can’t delete images on the fly to free up some mem­o­ry. When it is exposed, it is exposed forever.

Hence, we have this image:

"The Accident" Canon A-1, 50mm lens. Ilford Delta 400

“The Acci­dent” Canon A‑1, 50mm lens. Ilford Delta 400

I believe it is a set of bicy­cle han­dle­bars — the next frame has a prop­er­ly exposed image of that sub­ject. I don’t recall if this was blur­ry because it was too long an expo­sure and I moved slight­ly or if it was a real­ly short expo­sure and I was sling­ing the cam­era around. Regard­less, it’s motion and blur and a lit­tle bit of form all rolled into one.

It’s not a hor­ri­ble image, it is at least exposed prop­er­ly. If I had cho­sen to do this sort of image, I would have framed it a lit­tle fur­ther down to get more of the bike. But tak­ing it for what it is, I have grad­u­al­ly got­ten attached to it.

But why keep it in the first place, before I’d had a chance to devel­op a fond­ness for the image? Par­tial­ly because once the film is devel­oped, it is basi­cal­ly free scan and store the image along with all the oth­ers. But most­ly to remind myself that if an acci­dent does hap­pen to con­tin­ue the ses­sion, to fill the roll, to not get too shak­en or frus­trat­ed by the mis­take. To always remem­ber that what is cur­rent­ly con­sid­ered an acci­dent may one day be trea­sured along­side all the pur­pose­ful creations.

Ava’s Mailbox, Wallpaper

It’s a new year, we made it to 2013, anoth­er arbi­trar­i­ly marked trip around the sun (with a few course cor­rec­tions along the way)! OK, I’m not real­ly that cyn­i­cal and I’m cer­tain­ly glad to be here. And with that in mind, and keep­ing in mind that I haven’t always kept up my promis­es for reg­u­lar updates, I’m going to try and add a new fea­ture here with this blog.

Week­ly wall­pa­per sets. But not just any wall­pa­per sets, oh no. These will be cre­at­ed from a pho­to tak­en in the last week. So it’ll be hot and fresh and as heart warm­ing as baked bread. Unless you are gluten free, then it will be as heart warm­ing as fresh GF banana muffins.

With the intro­duc­tion out the way, here is one from a vis­it to Mis­sis­sip­pi last week­end (pho­to from Sat­ur­day, so still in the last week but bare­ly). It is (one of) the mail­box­es from an old fam­i­ly home in Mis­sis­sip­pi. It is actu­al­ly my in-law’s fam­i­ly house, and I am grate­ful for their shar­ing some time explor­ing the property.

Ava Mailbox

Click here for the Wall­pa­per as a .zip file. It includes files in a vari­ety of aspect ratios and a small Readme.