Visual Poetry

Visual poetry is a truth without a definition”  I do not know how it can be put into words.  At least I am without the skills to do so.  I know it is true because it speaks to me when it happens. Wayne Nelson

I love the visual effects of light and distance.  The aerial perspective that we see while photographing groups of overlapping mountains, is transformed naturally with a camera.  The atmospheric haze washes out the distant peaks.  We realize more detail as we look at closer mountains. They also get darker (with a mid toned exposure) as they get closer,  and then eventually they lose detail.  Light to dark, light details to more detail, and on to no detail.  Composition is the key to these pictures.  How you overlap those peaks is everything.BLCanSanJuan 070b

I love skies and have photographed them at every time of day. The sun was still fairly low in the horizon when I made this shot, but not enough for the colors of sunset. I elected to underexpose this shot as to silhouette those trees.  I think more detail would have ruined the mood of the image.  This is however an interpretation on my part, not a literal reproduction. The colors of sunset never really materialized on this afternoon on the prairie, but I was okay with that.DeerSky 063

We all know that I love falling water.  There are thousands of ways to photograph falling water and I have tried my share of them.  Grand.  Intimate. Powerful. Gentle.

Below you see possibly the only time that I have photographed the bottom portion of Morgan Falls in sunlight.  I general believe the sun to be my enemy at Morgan Falls and many others.  I used a graduated neutral density filter to drop my shutter speed a little, and create soft water.Slides10 028

This next shot has a big picture look, but is at a small Michigan waterfall. We can stretch little falls into big scenes with wide angle lenses, or we can make big falls more intimate with telephotos, or a closer approach.  Notice I did not say I stretched this falls into appearing to be a larger waterfall, I included foreground and made it a bigger scene.Slides3 010

This is one of my favorite images of Badlands N.P. in South Dakota. There are so many layers of rock and earth in this shot.  Different textures and colors, and all are heavily saturated do to overcast skies and a bit of underexposure.  The Badlands are great.

You would not readily see this shot if you visited the Badlands. Sometimes it takes some searching and a lot of lens changing.5966863346_3fc952af2a_b

I almost forgot my disclaimer. If you should go to the Badlands and not find it as wonderful as I do, remember that I am easy to please.  Take me away from home, and give me something to photograph, and allow me to drink in the atmosphere and feel the life around me, and I am in ecstasy.

Lake Michigan has been my treasure of sunrises over the years. It is so easy to forget this lake that I can see out of my front window.  I grew up on the shores of this lake and much of my early memories of nature came from here.

I watched the storm approach from the west.  I was disappointed when the lightning stopped before it reached the point I had hoped for.  I was elated when the “below the horizon sun”  lit up those storm clouds with a brilliant shot of light.  I was making pictures but I was truly speechless.


As new camera equipment advances so does the ability to capture what the photographer wants.  That is occasionally imaginative visions but usually it is technological improvements.  Nothing wrong with that.

We are getting closer to the capability of capturing non-flash images of Hummingbirds, with the wings stopped sharp, in mid-air. While I agree those images can be pretty but are they real?  Most people who want technology to advance say they can make images that are more truthful. Have those pictures of Hummers that have been made with high-speed flash been truthful?  I have watched a lot of Hummingbirds fly and it has been a rare occasion indeed when I could actually see detail in the wings.  Many of my pictures show no wing at all.  While that is close to the truth my personal favorites are those that let you know this bird has wings, but renders them fuzzy and soft. I do think especially fuzzy and sharp wings have merit.

This first picture is coming close to detail in the wings, and done so with an old camera and plenty of sunlight.Miss 049

This second shot is my personal preference (for wings) .  The soft wings tell you that they are too fast to see detail.  Yet there are wings.  I do like the first shot over all better.  The bird is prettier and the face is sharper.Miss 052

This shot begins to dissolve the wings entirely.  Hummers often look this way to us in real life but I admit that the bird begins to look like it has a deformity when it is viewed in a photo.Miss 047b

Cameras are still not to the point of being equal to high-speed flash units.  They will reach that point some day and the truth of course is, that you will have the choice of rendering the wings of a hummer, or a bee, or a fly, however you choose.  That is a good thing.

Every so often I like to share a picture of a bird, just because it’s a pretty bird and a pretty photo. Last time it was a male Bufflehead, and this one is a Horned Grebe.HGfox 077

One thing is for sure, it is hard to beat bird photography for sheer fun!

Back in the days when I was asked how do I decide what to show and what not to show as far as photos are concern. The most important advice I gave was, do what I say, not what I do.

I have always suggested that they show their best work, but I admit that I show almost everything.  Least ways, I show my best, and all the way down to a lot of average images.  I have put at least 8,000 different pix on this World Wide Web since 1997, there are only so many 4 Star winners.  The great thing is I can do what I want now, without worry that someone might not buy a workshop or want a print with my name on it.  It is a rather freeing experience.

On a different note I should  mention that when I complain a bit about some struggles with writing posts for this blog, that is mainly to excuse myself for errors in my writing. Please don’t take it as seeking sympathy or even empathy.  It is just an explanation (or excuse) for mistakes. If this was hard to do I would quit doing it.

Thank you and please stop back,  Wayne

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