Welcome to the archives of prevoius Image for the Asking selections.

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Friday, 08 March 2019 15:43

About to Sprung

For each of the previous three weeks there is one characteristic that the Images of the Week have featured in common: each has had an abundance of warm tonalities, especially reds and oranges. So today I thought I would change up and share something that borders on the monochromatic. How significant is a plethora of warm tones in the human reaction to a visual stimulus. What is it about this new Image that either evokes or suppresses a response of any kind - positive or negative?

Bonnie and I have been watching as one winter storm after another has tracked across the country, and last week we took a day to play in my favorite place, GSMNP. When we got to Newfound Gap, in late afternoon, the clouds were riding the ridge of Thomas Divide. Very little color to report, but the new growth tips on the hardwoods showed a blush of incipient spring. Holding our umbrellas, as we had all day, we watched as the clouds covered-then-revealed the various knobs of the ridge as it declined away from us on its journey to lower reaches of the Smokies and into Qualla Boundary.

A focal length of 135mm (somewhere on the cusp of short-to-medium telephoto) gave me the angle-of-view I wanted and some magnification-compression to boot. An aperture of f/22 assured depth-of-field from the camera-to-subject distance, and ISO 200 allowed for a shutter speed of 2.0 seconds.

No matter how many times you see a scene like this, you quickly come to realize that each one is very unique; and with some patience, each reveals its own special beauty.

Saturday, 02 March 2019 09:02

Ontonagon or Bust

On the maps of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan it is known as Bond Falls Flowage, a sparkling lake managed by the U.P. Power Company. Into this impoundment flow Deadman Creek and the Middle Branch of Ontonagon River, and out of it flows Middle Branch on its way north to join East Branch and West Branch before merging at the village of Ontonagon with the waters of Gitchi Gami, the greatest lake of them all, Superior. Not long released from the Flowage, Middle Branch tumbles over a series of cascades ending in one of the most spectacular drops in the UP, Bond Falls. Along the run of cascades is, in autumn splendor, one of the most amazing small falls I have ever encountered; and if you arrive at the right monent in the diurnal and seasonal cycles, and on a reasonably clear day, your reward is assured. Two dear friends who have sadly left us since the turn of the century, Bob and Gloria Epperson, introduced me to Bond Falls from their many adventures to photograph the wonders of America. I never tire of standing beside the flow, in gratitude for the beauty before me.

A focal length of 255mm from a distance of 25-30' allowed me to isolate a small section of the cascade, with the rich reflected colors reaching into the lip of the drop. An aperture of f/13 provided depth-of-field and, at ISO 100, allowed for a shutter speed of 1/6th of a second, fast enough to almost freeze the flow of the water at the drop's edge.

In considering a label for this image, I would discard both Intimate and Abstract in favor of calling it a straightforward (moderate) Telephoto creation characterized by magnification and compression. How do you see it?

Friday, 29 June 2018 23:05

Relativity and Mostly Solid Rock

In all of the years I/we have been visiting Acadia, we had somehow never managed to find our way over to Schoodic Peninsula, a separate unit of the Park on the eastern side of Frenchman Bay, due East of Great Head about an hour away from Southwest Harbor by car, and actually part of the mainland. It is a geologist's Eden, a massive slope of pink granite, fractured by interval intrusions of black diabase - an igneous rock similar to basalt - which weather differentially and encourage fountains of spray to erupt from the creviced rock.

Schoodic is such a convoluted landscape that I wanted to play a bit with perspective.. The rise in the granite (mid-ground) above the shelf is only about 15", but by placing the camera even with the top of the step-up and being lower down on the shelf, the step up was rendered as a much more looming presence. A focal length of 24mm, solid wide-angle, gave me the angle-of-view I wanted. An aperture of f/20 provided depth-of-field, and a shutter speed of 1/20th of a second at ISO 100 gave me an overall slightly-lighter-than-medium exposure. Some of the balsam fir trees along the apex of the point top out around 50'.

I feel certain that our first visit to Schoodic will somehow not be our last.

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