April 16, 2018

Cloudy, 33 Degrees, West Wind 15 mph.

It is a cloudy and damp morning as Jamie and I head out for our walk. There is just a hint of mist in the air, but it’s warm enough that most of the ice and slush from yesterday has melted. It’s certainly not a nice day, but it’s dry enough to walk and photograph.

Subtly different light this morning. Brighter, but trees are dark.

After a couple of days with very little photography, I woke up this morning thinking that maybe this idea of photographing every day for a year is simply crazy and impractical. I’ve thought a lot that maybe photographing every day is impractical, but I have not thought that I should stop altogether before this morning.

It is a passing thought though. I have come to far to consider stopping now. Of course, that could happen later when the monotony of summer is in full swing, but I still want to see what might come of continuing. What will I come up with? What will I create? And will the entire experience add up to something more than the sum of its daily parts?

Bushes are really starting to leaf out.

But back to today. Today we walk. I take the Lensbaby again, because I think that it’s just too gloomy to shoot much else. I have really enjoyed the strange effects the lens creates. Some of my favorite images of late have come from that lens. So it’s more experimentation today.

I shoot the road, as usual. It looks much like it has lately, but it’s always subtly different, so I always record it. Then I start playing with overhead shots of branches. I’m looking for interesting juxtapositions of branches from one tree against another, foreground and background. I compose instinctively, looking for interesting, even awkward compositions that nonetheless work for me.

I like the spiky branches in this shot.

I’m also experimenting a little with the aperture on the lens. A bigger aperture yields more blur around the perimeter and a smaller aperture yields less. I felt there was maybe too small a focused area and too much blur the last time I shot, so I want to experiment. Unfortunately, the lens does not communicate the aperture to the camera, so it won’t be recorded when I review the shots in Lightroom. That makes it a harder to know what I’ve been doing. I mostly stuck to f4 and f8 this time.

I revisit the pine groves with the lens as well, looking for those spiky branches that I like. It’s very dark in there because of the water-soaked limbs and the dark skies. I should probably return when it’s lighter out.

This one is maybe a little too weird a composition?

As I walk along the trail on my way out, I see a large bird fly out across the marsh. It looks like a hawk. I have the wrong lens on to even attempt a shot and it’s behind too many branches anyway. But then I notice another big bird sitting in a dead tree overlooking the marsh. It looks huge to me. The head seems really big, so I think for a minute it’s some kind of owl. I doubt it is, because I think they’re mostly nocturnal.

Not sure about this either, but it is interesting.

The bird stays put for a bit, so I stand behind a tree and swap to my long lens, hoping to get at least some kind of shot of the bird so I can identify it. When I step from behind the tree, it’s gone. I’m disappointed, but I’m guessing these birds are mates and maybe they have a nest nearby. Maybe I’ll see them another day. Next time I’ll put on the long lens before I walk by there.

Same here. Not wonderful, but interesting.

From there, we head home. There’s not a lot to photograph from here out. Or maybe it’s just that my creative energy gets drained before I reach this point. I shoot the road again from a different vantage point on the way home, and Jamie and I walk together, side by side, back to the house. He’s lying on a rug just a few feet away right now, completely satisfied with his walk.

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