First Snow: Augusta, Wisconsin



































The rest of the set is here


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Beautiful photographs, Blaise



"I've been on food stamps and welfare.  Anybody help me out?  No!" Craig T. Nelson (6/2/2009)

Gorgeous shots, Blaise. -nt-



"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

It's easy to miss,

Bird Dog's picture

but be sure to click on Blaise's link at the bottom. 

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

Thanks, I would've missed em otherwise.



It is So Very Hard to do Whites well....So in a Technical Sense



...these are just really wonderful, to hold the whites and not going smudgy or blue, to hold the whites against the other vibrant touches of color, reds and really a photographic achievement.


But beyond the technical wizardry that deserve their praises....the choice and location of subject matters, the ability to make almost wholly white images had subtle distinctions and be wondrously interesting....that, that was the talent.







Coming from you, Traveller, that's high praise indeed.


The photographic achievement was courtesy of a fistful of Python scripts I've built over time.   These images were shot with a Sony DSC-HX1, the grandson of my original Sony camera.  There's a downside to having a 20x zoom:  I'm constantly tempted to shoot at its farthest range.   The penalty is pretty obvious:  I'm shooting through thick air and I lose crispness.   Here are a few cases in point.


The more I shoot, the less it seems I care about Taking Pictures of Things.   It's about making images, more craft than art really.   Michelangelo once said if people only knew how hard he worked at what he did, it wouldn't seem quite so wonderful.  I drive around, my eye catches something beautiful, I sort through whether or not it would make a decent image.  Lots of scenes won't, for various reasons, learned via long experience.   Once I've got the camera out of the bag, it becomes a process of organizing the image according to a few simple rules of composition.   This camera's point 'n shoot display has a Rule of Thirds grid, dividing the image up into nine rectangles.  


My eyes aren't what they used to be at short range.   This has a practical advantage:  once the camera is pointing somewhere, I stop thinking about it as a Picture of Something and reduce it to a composition.   The human eye is rather like the palate in some respects:  it wants to be fed something delicious, so find that Delicious Spot and build your image around it.   I especially like the intersection of the bottom left Rule of Thirds grid for the Delicious Spot.   It's sorta pointless to put it in the exact center:  then it becomes a Picture of Something.   The eye seems to hate it.  Still, sometimes it is a Picture of Something and there's no denying it, so zoom right in and fill the frame with it and quit being all artsy-fartsy about it and if it's happening in a hurry, you can crop it later.   It's more important to get the shot.   It can be improved in software.


I shoot a lot of landscapes, faut de mieux.   That's what's out here.   I shut down my brain and quit thinking about the landscape entirely.   It becomes an abstract painting of sorts.  Hard to explain how the process happens but lately I've been considering how the eye wanders through a picture, absorbing detail.   Detail is distinction, but distinction from what?   That's the hard part to define, but it's easy to demonstrate.   Landscapes are mostly horizontal stripes and each one wants to hog up the picture area.   Give each one enough room and when your eye is satisfied with how the screen real estate has been divided, press the button.   


I never consider an image until it's out of the camera and on my monitor.   In some ways, these days, I've sorta begun to exercise a little mental trick.   I think about HankP over there, who once said some nice things about how my images can take him to the places I travel.    So I shoot for him, thinking, hmmm, Hank's never seen this landscape.   What characterises this place?   Sure, there are plenty of treelines and fencerows and barns and cows in the field, that's about all there is here, but he's never seen them.   And let's face it, most photographs aren't nearly as good as the photographer thinks they are, so make an attempt to be a good witness, conveying a sense of the place.

I hate to disappoint you Blaise

HankP's picture

but I've seen plenty of snow in my life, as well as treelines and fencerows and barns and cows. I lived in Vermont for 7 years.


Just kidding of course. I like a good picture no matter what the subject. And I do like the virtual visists one can get from a good landscape. The best ones are where you want the picture to show more than it does.

I blame it all on the Internet

My problem is the landscapes are all starting to blur together.


All the cities are starting to look the same.   It's getting harder and harder to muster up any enthusiasm for cities, except indoor architecture.    Vermont is lovely countryside.

Here's another virtual visit, just for you.


I've just been reading Cheyenne Autumn

mmghosh's picture

by [url=]Mari Sandoz[/url] about the Cheyenne breakout and trek back to Yellowstone through the winter snow.  Great pics.

freedom is a fundamental value that does not need to be justified in terms of some other value like efficiency

Nice pics

HankP's picture

I have to say that at this point in my life I'd be much happier visiting a first snow rather than living though it.

I blame it all on the Internet

At this point in your life?


I'd have figured you'd enjoy sledding down hills on your bed pan or oxygen tanks.  Folks have got to remember that at your age when you refer to your first snow you mean the very first snow...ever.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome.