The paragraphs below contain my opinions, which are based on my personal observations.
Around five or so years ago, when I killed off my website, and just a little while after I began this blog, I spent five or six months without the internet. It bothered me to be out of touch with friends who I only had internet or email related connections with, but other than that I was okay with it. I cannot say that today. The great improvement in the effectiveness of search engines like Google, the increasing stream of information on the World Wide Web, and the speed in which it can all be accessed, makes it invaluable for me.
A while back, my sister needed to know what the zip code was in a near-by small town. She punched zip code for Union Grove, WI into Google, and in about four seconds she had it. About a year ago I decided to order a pizza at a restaurant that I had not been to in ten years. I found my now outdated (no new ones are offered) phone book, located the add for the restaurant and its phone number, called to find out it was discontinued. Of course I could have called information, I am assuming that still exists, but instead I punched in Buena Vita, Racine, WI on Google and in about three seconds I had the correct number on my computer screen. I could have done the same for a restaurant in Lime Rock Connecticut, or Tokyo Japan. The convenience of the current internet is amazing.
The number of lies to be found on the internet is unprecedented. So is the number of truths. With a little work, you can find out the truth about anything in the world. A little laziness will bring you an equal amount of lies. I believe in being engaged and knowledgeable. The act of separating oneself from the world when there are important issues at hand, is selfish. There are many evil people in high places in the world today. They are my enemies but I never blame my enemies for doing things I disagree with. They are by definition, people who want to do things that I think are bad. Good people, are responsible for the world going bad. Hitler’s Germany did not take place because of the bad people in charge, but because of the good people who stood by and did nothing, and said nothing. I often wonder if people could have truly studied what people like Hitler and Stalin were like, if they would have rejected them. Of course it would have required being involved, and being willing to separate the truth from the lies.
Modern churches who do not address sin, are a perfect example of being the problem rather than the solution.
With every new advance in society, something is gained and something is lost. This 25 year experiment with the internet has brought with it the possibility of both more evil, and more good. Left to its own device, the internet is neutral. It is always up to the people as to whether good or evil will win. Liberals love to say that if you are not part of the solution, you are a part of the problem. For once they are right. I would add that you are more than a part of the problem, you are the problem.
Tough love is the hardest kind.
Now that I’ve imparted all of that wisdom (sarcasm), let’s look at a few pictures.
I’ve made a lot of different types of images in my life. I was never suited to photograph one subject, or to use only one style in doing so. Even within nature, I tried to look at every subject for its potential, and create the type of images that felt right at the time of conception.
I made my first wildlife pictures in the 1970s, got serous about it in the late 1980s, and really serious about it in the mid 1990s. Even in the mid 2,000s the one thing that was considered taboo in wildlife pictures was shadows. I love shadows in pictures for the drama they impart, and in the 2,000s I began to look for shadows in my wildlife pictures rather than only landscapes.
Shadowy wildlife images work the best (my opinion) when something of the face, or eyes is illuminated by light. The light provides the personality and information, and the dark side produces the drama.
Below we have a pair of male Yellow-headed Blackbirds, and a fly covered Whitetail Deer doe (say that three times fast), while they peak in and out of the shadows.
Photos of solitaire animals, usually need a little something to add some visual eye candy.
This shot of a Mute Swan does not give the viewer any information as to what the face of such a creature looks like. Just the same, the pose is interesting and the winter’s light is pretty.
There’s nothing like being at eye level with your wildlife subject. Especially when they are fearsome looking. The fact the we are looking through the foliage at this charming female Common Snapping Turtle, puts an exclamation point on the fact that we are in her world and at her level, not in/at ours.
This is an old film image of a sunset in the Badlands of South Dakota. I’ve traveled to very few places that either a sunrise (usually) or a sunset wasn’t a part of my plan. When you view this image alone, it appears to be some sort of rock formation. It stands or falls on its own as exactly what you see and no more. When I show it in context with other daylight pictures from the Badlands it helps color this location and broaden our view of what the Badlands are like.
I would imagine critics of this shot of an old settler’s cabin in Wisconsin would ask, what is it he (I) was interested in? The old porch railing, the rockers, the flowers, the side of the cabin? My answer would be yes, exactly.
If you are stimulated by both the art of visual splendor and the information it provides like I am, everything is a subject in and of itself.
I had been making pictures of this Colorado mountain rapids for quite some time when I became more interested in the moving water and the static rock than I was with the “scene”. I reviewed my slow shutter speed rendition of the now soft water, and the hard crisp feeling of the rock on the back of my digital camera, and enjoyed the contrast. It is those contrasts that produce the ending mood and focus of our pictures.
Many photographers today would add some serious Photoshop alterations to the image above. That’s not really my thing but the original file was in fact over exposed. My bad. While editing the image I left the overall exposure as I made it, but I circled the rocks, so to speak, and dropped the exposure on them in order to show detail.
God Bless, Wayne