I think the common saying is, opinions are like noses, everyone’s got one, or opinions are like a liver, everyone’s got one, or the most common, opinions are like as***les, everyone’s got one. Those of you who have read Earth Images for a while probably have noticed that I’ve got one…..or two…..or three…..etc. I have refined how those opinions are formed, bit by bit, over the years.
I always try to make sure my opinions are just that, my opinions. For better or for worse, win, lose or draw, they are my opinions. I am in no way suggesting that those opinions are always right. I am also not suggesting that anything written on these pages is the correct path that you should take. That is for each of us to decide. With rare exceptions, I no longer watch television opinion shows. I don’t visit opinion driven internet chat rooms, read email forwards or browse the websites of politically motivated groups. I do watch and listen to the news, and yes I am very aware of the bias that is included in those broadcasts. I adjust accordingly. This method tells me that my finished opinions are at the very least, intellectually honest, and they are my opinions.
None of the above adjustments in my methods, has changed my basic views or my fundamental belief system. It did however, set me free from the propaganda and venom that spews out from every portion of society today. I may need help in keeping up with the events of the day, but I am more than capable of forming my own opinions without the aid of reading (hearing, etc.) the opinions of others. I am now free to applaud my adversaries when they do good, and criticize my allies when they do the wrong thing. I need not to follow the creed of any group or political party.
This sort of “do it my way” philosophy has always existed in my nature photography. I love viewing the images of others, but I have never wanted to copy the image style of those photographers. While we all learn from each other I would rather be known as an original than be revered as great. It can pay to be unique, but I do admit it often pays more to copy the work of other photographers. I came to that conclusion by observing the most successful photographers that post on Facebook. The subjects we choose to make images of, and the way we decide to compose them, are in fact a way of sharing our opinions. Unless we copy that style from others.
As I look at the above paragraphs, I realize that if I were cruising the internet and found this site filled with the opinions above, I would have to stop reading immediately in order to follow my own advice.
That of course is just my opinion………everybody’s got one.
Now for some pictures (and opinions).
Any day that begins with the anticipation, and then satisfaction of photographing the rising sun, is a great day. Good things seem to follow.
I know not where I made this first sunrise. I do know myself well enough to realize that my goal was to include a lot of silhouettes of branches as a graphic aid, while bringing enough order to the chaos to make a visually pleasing picture. Trying to make a confusing scene into a pleasing image is an enjoyable challenge .
This next image was made at Wolfe Lake here in Wisconsin. Most of you know by now that this has been one of my favorite sunrise locations. This image was about sky patterns and their reflections more than it was a sunrise waterscape.
Sunrise has often meant two distinctly different types of images to me. One that is a deeply colorful picture made while shooting into the rising sun, and one in the other direction as the land becomes bathed in the golden light of morning.
I have been blessed ever since the day that I decided that close-ups/macros would be a large part of my photographic life. Macros can be a part of your photography/exploring in every single season, and on each and every day of those seasons. When other photographers stayed home because of the weather, or went home disappointed because of their failure to find a suitable subject, I was crouched down in front of a colorful insect, or a flower, or a wild mushroom, or a simple pattern on a rock. With open eyes, and open mind and a willing heart, your subjects are endless. Below is a wild Prairie Smoke flower and a very common Monarch butterfly resting on an equally common Chicory flower. The final macro shows patterns of lichen.
Foxes occupied a three-year period of my life that I will never forget. For those of you who have followed my adventures with Red Foxes this itchy male fox was the mate of Foxy, who was the first Red Fox that I developed a photographic relationship with. The second photo is of a half-grown kit and was made the next year. It is one of this same males offspring, although Foxy (I believe) had gone on to her reward by then. Yes he found another mate to carry on his bloodline. The following year he again fathered a litter but he suffered from the horrors of what might have been mange. In my final year at this location both parents were new. The story of Foxy and her man became history. Of course it is still possible that one of the newer generation of parents was a fox that was born of Foxy and the scraggly male.
When is it okay to have foliage not only in back of, but in front of your subject? When it is on or near the same plane as the bird, and therefore it is not obnoxiously fuzzy. It doesn’t have to be perfectly (my opinion) crisp.
I have visited a lot of historic sites and I have photographed a lot of old buildings in my life. I have known photographers and non-photographers who simply hate history and old dwellings. Why would you want to photograph or visit places that are dead? I find almost all of the old buildings I have photographed and historic sites I have visited, to be teeming with life. The long history of people who have walked through those doors, or farmed those fields, or worked in those shops, is felt almost like they are all still there. They are a celebration of life.
As I look out my window at all of those clouds and this beautiful overcast, all I can say to you photographers in this area is autumn, autumn, autumn. Those clouds make for beautiful saturated colors, but of course compose without those skies in your images.
“With man, seeing is believing…with God, believing is seeing.” Wayne Nelson
Have a great day, Wayne
It’s all relative!
“Is the glass half empty, half full, or twice as large as it needs to be?”
“When a man sits with a pretty girl for an hour, it seems like a minute. But let him sit on a hot stove for a minute – and it’s longer than any hour. That’s relativity. “~Albert Einstein