February 20, 2018

Rain, 56 Degrees, Light Winds

When I left the house this morning I was shocked by the temperature. It was incredibly warm. I knew what the temperature was before I left the house, but I was still shocked. We haven’t seen morning temperatures like this in a long time. On the other hand, it had been raining much of the night and right up until I left. The radar showed a massive area of rain to our West, so I knew there would be more. There was a fortunate gap in the rain when I left, so I headed out with just a rain coat. An umbrella would make it really difficult to handle the camera, so I left it behind.

Here you can really see the ground fog.

On the walk over to the woods, I could see steam blowing off of the few remaining piles of snow. It is caused by the cold snow condensing the humidity from the air. It looked cool, but wasn’t particularly photogenic. When I got up to the dirt road to the woods, however, I could see ground fog across the road. It is caused by the same phenomenon; snow on the ground condensing the high humidity. Now I was excited to see what I might find in the woods.

Sumac with ground fog.

It had already begun to rain lightly when I got up there. I got off a quick shot of the road and a few shots as I walked North along the brushy area of the upper level, but the rain was building and my camera was getting wet. I eventually decided to put it away for fear of damaging it. I need to look into waterproofing, but I don’t know of anything that isn’t really unwieldy.

Another Jackson Pollock like shot.

The rain kept building to a steady rain and I just hustled home. Of course I got soaked on the walk, but I can’t say that I felt bad about it. It will take more rain than this to make a walk truly miserable. I doubt I got many photographs of interest today, but we’ll see if I might have gotten one or two things worth editing. It continues to be exciting how the daily changes in conditions offer new opportunities.

The dense brush in the woods. I’d hate to have to walk through here!

Yesterday I did some editing and made some small prints of my favorite images. There were two in particular that I love. I’ll include one of them here.

A shot from yesterday that reminds me of Jackson Pollock.

In yesterday’s post I mentioned that I am influenced by my background in painting. I mentioned the color field and stripe painters of the 60’s. When I saw the above prints I immediately recognized a relationship to another favorite painter of mine: Jackson Pollock. His famous drip paintings are popular to ridicule by the public.

People love to say that a monkey could make these paintings but it’s a patently ridiculous thing to say. The films made of him painting are remarkable to any painter with an appreciation for abstraction. His concentration, the variety of gestures he uses, the layering and choice of color are gorgeous. I saw his paintings at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. As a young painter it was practically a spiritual experience for me.

I didn’t have Pollock in mind when I took the pictures, but the similarity is unavoidable. The shallow depth of field I used in these pictures creates an abstract quality and the blurred foreground and background create a layering that Pollock used in his drip paintings. The twisting and curving of the vines and branches is remarkably similar to the gestures in the paintings.

Anyway, I love these images. They are my favorite photographs so far in this process.

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