We’ll start out today with an image by the great wildlife photographer Charles Gtatzer. He caught this wolf, clearly coming into summer hair, as it waded through an Alaskan river. It is great to see wildlife not just when they are in their perfect coat or feathers, but in the alternative “clothing” that they spend a fair amount of time wearing. I like the monochromatic look of this picture, which is actually color, not black & white.
Let’s stick with wolves and water. This Arctic Wolf is pretty as a picture as it swims through brilliantly reflective waters. Wonderful Wildlife gets the credit for the picture.
There are perspectives and then there are perspectives. Viewing this duckling from both above and below the water line, provides us with a very rarely seen point of view. Superb Wallpapers owns this charming image.
The Highway to The Storm. Long exposures (slow shutter speeds) have always been great for streaking headlights and tail lights of moving cars on highways. They are also usually how images of lightning strikes are created. I think this may be the first time I’ve ever seen an image that captures both in one photo. Chris Kelley deserves the credit for this magnificent picture. This area around Tucson Arizona is the world headquarters, so to speak, for lightning photography.
Ivan Pedretti made this expansive image of a volcanic cave….with icicles. How cool is that? The location was Iceland.
Wisconsin’s own Phil Koch made this inspiring flower/landscape image and did so right here in my home state. It just proves you don’t have to be in the desert or the mountains to make powerful and colorful pictures.
In recent posts I’ve tried to answer the question as to why I don’t critique the guest photographer images on this blog. I answered simply that I don’t make corrective comments on images that I have not been asked to critique. I should add, there are precious few criticisms I would have to offer anyway with these great pictures. Also in a recent blog I discussed for the umpteenth time, the rules or as I have come to prefer to call them, the tools of photography. Especially compositional tools. As usual, my attitude toward those tools are that they are good, and should be used if you choose, and ignored whenever it seems to make sense. Phil’s photo above breaks a compositional tool. It is generally thought that dividing a composition directly in half, makes for a boring comp. The viewers will not be engaged in the image, I agree, that can often be the case. Even more so with vertical compositions. Phil knows what he is doing and the proof is in the finished work. It is highly possible that if those beautiful and interesting clouds were not in that sky, that a 50/50 composition might not have worked. Of course, they in fact are in the sky, and that 50/50 division between the interesting foreground, and beautiful sky, makes this picture better not worse. In fact, when I first viewed this image I did not even realize there was a 50/50 split.
Photographic tools, just like rules, exist for a reason. But great photographers use them when they benefit the image, and leave them in the tool belt when they don’t.
Wow! I would have loved to have been there when this picture was made…with a camera and tripod of course. Glen Anderson is the photographer/artist and Australia’s Long Jetty is the location. Amazing!!
This picture is also very close to a 50/50 split between the top and bottom of the image. It also works very well here. Mirror images almost always work well with this composition. The fact that the bridge is not symmetrical in its path through the picture, also helps to break up that even split.
I was daydreaming the other day and my mind started to slowly drift back through my past. At the end of that journey, sat my very first love.
Her name was Maxine and she was a younger woman. I wondered if I was too old for her. She was six years old and I was at least six and a half. We were in Miss Fox’s first grade class together. I liked her and thought she was pretty, so I told her so. I have never again been that forthcoming with my feelings. She informed me that she had a boyfriend named Jim. She thought, maybe I could be her second best boyfriend. Now Jim was one of my better friends and for a reason I did not understand, he never mentioned her. I thought, well maybe being second best wasn’t so bad. At least I wasn’t third or fourth. The next morning she informed me that she didn’t like Jim anymore, so I could be her boyfriend. I said great, and then I got scared. Apparently boys had nothing say about whether or not there was to be a romance. Oh well, maybe it’s easier that way. After school she informed me that I had to come home with her to meet her mother. I wondered, if that meant we were married. I hadn’t met a married couple in the first grade yet, but then again I was only six and a half, I hadn’t gotten around much. Her mother was nice but I wondered if every time you liked a girl, you had to meet her mother. I began to wonder if girls were worth it. A cold terrifying feeling came over me, and the next morning, I told her I wasn’t her boyfriend anymore. I then wondered if boys were allowed to do that. I ran home.
Dating a female that was well out of my league, and then breaking up with her despite the fact that I was lucky she would even talk to me, was an act I was destined to repeat several times in my life.
You never forget your first love, nor the terror that it leaves in your heart. I’d like to think that Maxine thinks of me every once in a while, but remembers me as her brave knight on a white horse, rather than the dorky little coward I really was. It’s funny how little we change through decades of life. Thankfully we don’t understand all of the nuances of relationships when we are six years old, or none of us would ever get together. I hope life has been kind to you Maxine, and you‘ve done everything you ever dreamed of, and done it with a brave knight on a white horse..
Have a great day, Wayne