POPTP – Pictures of People Taking Pictures. Sort of like shooting fish in a barrel these days, as everyone takes pictures of everything and everywhere. But everywhere I go I look for opportunities to catch interesting people photographing an interesting scene. And also taking the time to actually appreciate the scene!
“I find it odd to confine life events and creative evolution to the arbitrary boundaries of a calendar year, but, as I have noted before, I welcome the excuse to pause and examine the progress, trends, and implications of my experiences in the past months.” Guy Tal
Odd or not, the tendency to compartmentalize our lives into blocks of 365 days is as good a way to reflect as any. A calendar year works as well as a birthday or anniversary year for that purpose. And I fear that if it wasn’t for the annual reminder, many of our species would not bother to look back at all, occupied as we are with running around, faces glued to electronic devices of all kinds in our real or imagined “busy-ness.”
As I looked back through my photographs from 2018 I began to realize that it was truly a year of departure for me, both literally and photographically.
Kathy & I “departed” from the workplace after 40 or so years of work.
We “departed” the shores of the U.S. for another continent for the second straight year
My photography “departed” from the norm, as more and more of my photographs had people in them
My photography “departed” from the norm, as more and more of my photographs were finished in black & white
Even more of my photos taken “in” a place are not “of” or “about” that place
We spent a month (actually 28 days) at the beach, the longest either of us had ever been away from home
I’m not sure what to make of the fact that more and more of my photos have people in them. I’ve historically considered myself to be primarily a landscape photographer, and have often responded to requests to photograph weddings and portraits with something along the lines of “notice that most of my photos do not have people in them. Thanks, but no.” I do think that as I get older I find that experiences and relationships have taken a higher priority than trophy icon shots or sunrises and sunsets. Oh, I still get my share of those, but for the most part the photos that call my name are the ones that bring back memories of a place, or more likely the memory of my feelings that I had when I was in the place. Venice is a good example. As much as I loved Tuscany, the few hours that I spent – mostly alone – wandering around Venice in the early morning is one of my most cherished memories.
I chose this collection of photos not because they are my “best” or “Greatest Hits” from 2018, but rather because they represent how I feel about the things I did and places I went, and how I felt while I was there. It’s not that these are photos I never would have taken previously, but more that they are photos that better capture my memory of a place, not just documenting what I saw.
Kathy & I wish everyone a Happy New Year. We’ve got lots planned for 2019 and are looking forward to getting started!
Merry Christmas to all, and thank you for continuing to follow along with our adventures. We are still working on plans for 2019 but it promises to be another year of fun and discovery, with a few photos along the way!
I took advantage of the snowy weather here to work on a long-overdue project of adding photo galleries to my website. I just added a gallery of photos from our visit to Colorado in 2015. I did say LONG overdue…. 😉
I don’t get bird photos like my buddy Don Brown, but once in a while I see birds. This flock passed over us one evening at the beach – I’m pretty sure they are some kind of geese, but looked too dark to be Tundra Swans or Snow Geese. Probably Canada Geese. They were going the right way, though – South! They were so high up that I couldn’t hear them squawking over the sound of the surf, but I’m sure they must have been noisy.
There were so many of them in so long a line that I couldn’t get them all in one shot. Who ever thought of shooting birds with a wide-angle lens?!?!
A technique that I love to use at the beach is motion blur. This can take the form of long shutter speeds on a tripod, or panning the camera along the scene or with a moving wave. It can convey a feeling of motion, simplify a busy scene or just look “pretty.” It doesn’t work just anywhere, and I’ve become pretty good about knowing when to use it.
I hadn’t tried using motion blur much this trip until I was reminded of it in a recent Instagram post by William Neill. Bill originally inspired me to try using motion blur years ago, and his work continues to inspire me.
Last night while we waited to see if the moonrise would be visible, I tried using a slow shutter speed on the water, the sky and even some sea oats blowing in the wind. A few of them came out OK, so I thought I would share.