February 11, 2018

Cloudy, 22 Degrees, Freezing Rain

Today was another tough day to walk in the woods. As predicted, it snowed another four or five inches since yesterday, leaving close to a foot of fresh snow in the woods on top of the four or five inches that were there already. When I left the house, I was surprised to find it was raining lightly. I had intended to take the snow shoes again to pack down a good trail for myself, but between handling the dog and trying to keep the camera dry it was just too much to handle.

The walk in the woods themselves wasn’t too bad. It was strenuous, but not overwhelming. Still, it’s hard to think about much more than getting through the snow. Creative issues take a back seat. I took a few shots to document the snow and a few more of trees that struck me along the route. I’m still seeing new things there, but it was hard to really think about things too much.

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You can see the snow shoe tracks from yesterday, but there are four inches of snow in them over night. 

I was disappointed that the fine snow that was piled on every branch yesterday was gone today. There must have been enough wind at some point to knock it off. It’s too bad, because it’s the one thing that really struck me on yesterday’s walk.

I shot a number of frames of Jamie today, trying to capture his moods and expressions. As always, his appearance changes when I point the camera at him, but I might have caught something. We’ll see when I edit the pictures today.

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An example of a little composition that caught my eye

There was something about the way the tree trunks stood out against the sea of white snow that caught my eye today. I’m not sure that the images will amount to much, but the patterns and rhythms of the trunks struck me. Maybe I’ll be able to get something that complements the closeup shots I’ve been taking.

I still hope to find the right composition and edit to express what I’m seeing in those tree trunks. I’m making peace with the more active editing that I struggled with earlier. I find myself floundering a bit to choose a word for the edits with a lot of vignetting and blur and color tinting. Is it extreme? Or Dynamic, or Active? How about Expressionistic. Maybe that’s better. It’s in line with art historical terminology for styles and periods of painting. I like it.

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In the end it’s about making images that are expressive, not documentary. I’m all for expressive. I want my images to move people and if that’s what it takes to make things work, then that’s what I’ll do. I’m no purist, though most of my photographs have been pretty straight photographs in the past. I think many of them are expressive and emotional, but I did it then with mood, light, composition and setting. Maybe this subject matter requires more.

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Jamie in a very characteristic pose–looking back to see if I’m coming.
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Jamie in traveling mode. He’s pretty relaxed on our return walk. Notice the bend in the left front and right rear ankle? Also notice that he’s next to me, not in front!

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