The Eyes Have It

Everyone has the right to look at things (most things anyway), in their own way. Through their own eyes.

Music, movies, TV shows, plays, paintings, sports, politics, life. I support “seeing” the world with your own eyes as long as you do not offer me or anyone else harm via what you do see.  Do not attempt to take away my rights, and I’ll sure enough leave yours alone. We do not have the right to expect the world to see everything our own personal way.

I might find something you do distasteful or immoral. If you do no harm to anybody, I will surely let you go on with your life, even if I do not like it. 

Leave me to my moral standards and I will do the same for you. Notice that I did not say you could not or should not criticize me. Or I you. That is the freedom our predecessors fought for.  It is through discourse that we arrive at a consensus. If our goal is to silence each other, then we are only the purveyors of one selfish thought process.  All hatred and selfishness grows from that one seed. That close minded seed.
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Photography exists primarily to either disseminate information, or to share our personal view of things. Our opinions if you will. Below we have images from two great professional photographers.

Dan Walters is a Colorado based photographer of primarily wildlife. His work is always top notch.  The image of a Cormorant you see below is breathtaking in its detail. Just look at those eyes and the sparkling feather detail. The image contains both useable information, the art of the bird and the photographer‘s art.  You might say it contains his opinion.

Jim Zuckerman is an almost legendary photographer of everything. I think of him firstly as a photographer/artist of far away exotic places, The people, the architecture and the land. He also not only photographs nature landscapes, but has captured his fair share of top notch wildlife images as well. His style and his talent are uniquely his. He offers up his opinion of things every time he clicks the shutter. Thank God for the freedom for him to do so.

Below we have from him a great shot of a South American River Otter with its breakfast or supper.

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Below I share a few of my own humble images. Opinions of you will.

Wildlife in action is always a challenging goal, but a fun one. 

Now three flying pelicans which are nicely spread out, is at best average in how tough it is to accomplish. 

Two closer pelicans which are stacked one atop the other, requires a bit more timing. Of course, I admit that usually when you see something like this from  me or anyone, the photo was created in the horizontal format and was cropped for viewing. I do not “believe” that was the case here. Remember, for many years I made images like this with slide film where it is best to “get er done” with the camera. Making copies of slides on other slides, and doing so with an extreme crop was frankly more work that I cared to do.

I enjoy seeing a vertical stack of two birds in vertical format, and doing so, reveals an opinion of mine.

Viewers of an image of such, have a right to dislike that result. That is their opinion.

Okay, you already know if you have been to Earth Images before, that I like making close-up images of nature. Critters, plants you name it.  I, like each of you, see such subjects with my own eyes, in my own way.

I had a good time making images of these Milkweed Bugs. Then I realized that there were both adults and their babies on this plant. In this case, five babies and one parent.

A typical photograph?  There’s a lot in this photo about nature, but there’s a lot about me as well.

I suppose you could call this next image beetle porn. I walked into their lives at the moment of consummation. I suppose I could have given them some privacy, but they did not seem to care.

In close-up photography, when you depart from images of critters, your selections and what they say become more personal. They say almost as much about your opinions as they do the subject.

The web below was of course created by an animal. A spider to be exact. Then came the dew. In tandem, they are a great gift from God for a photographer or for anyone who might come along. 

The trick of course is for you, your camera, and especially your camera’s tripod legs, to not touch anything which might disturb the web and the dew. You can knock the dew off a web like this, from 30 feet away. One thing touches another which touches another and so on.

I do not remember making this image, but I must have been at “my patient best”, to have accomplished this picture.  I get nervous even when I am working with the jpeg while editing on my computer, worrying that I might still be able to knock off that dew.

Dewy flowers can also be a precarious task for photography, although not as bad as an orb web.

These Asters which flower out in early fall, are among my favorite subjects. Notice that this subject is in the morning sun. Fifteen minutes later and all of the sparkling dew would have been dried up. It can pay to get up early.

Dew is a favorite subject of mine because in my opinion, and from the way I see things through my own eyes, they make spectacular subjects. My interpretation of subjects like this is also personal.

I love the red rock country of the Southwest’s “high desert”. I spotted this mare with a foal (almost (hiding in the grasses behind her), and visually sandwiched them in front of some Navajo Sandstone.  That was my decision .

The horse is not wild even though she is running free. They never roamed very far from the corral which contained several Navajo owned trail and sheep herding horses.

When I view the world around me, I see designs. Those made by man, and especially those created by God. I see rhythms and patterns. I see color and I see texture. I especially see highlights and shadows. For me, to not take advantage of Navajo Sandstone bathed in morning light, would be akin to going through life with blinders on. Sharing with the world how I see things, visually, artistically and pragmatically, is sharing my personal vision.

There’s nothing (to me) quite like the moments just before the rising sun peaks over horizon. Especially in a marsh

The image below was one of my earliest digital images.

When I was in the story telling mode with nature photography, everything in nature was my subject. I am not so macabre that I actually enjoyed photographing the remains of dead animals, but I knew that there is a story there of some sort.

I believe but cannot prove, that this turtle was run over by a car, and subsequently much of it was devoured by other animals. Maybe it had badly decayed first, or maybe not. I always made images of such when they presented themselves, because somewhere, someone may be able to make constructive use of them.

Natural history or art, it is about photographers sharing their opinions with others.

May God Bless,
Wayne

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