Photo Thoughts

I guess it was the interest of the new environment, i.e., Valley of Fire State Park about 24Km from Overton, Nevada that heightened my photographic awareness. Of course, it goes without saying that good, solid logistics are also important to a successful photo outing, e.g., prior arrangements to meet others, map, good footwear, clothing, sunblock and lots of water.
The landscape is totally different from coastal Vancouver Island and I wanted to be sure that I came home with a good representation of this place in the hours that I had to photograph.
I suppose there are almost an endless number of photos that could be made in any particular place on any particular day, but the 105 medium format slide images I made Saturday the 9th of March 2008 reflect my fresh vision for that particular place and time. Were I to make this location a regular stop for photography, my vision, my images may change somewhat to yet again reflect the perspective that the luxury of time offers. With time comes various seasons and more importantly, lighting conditions. As it was, the morning was filled with blue sky and sunshine whilst the afternoon became cloudy. This transition was really interesting as it changed the scenes from strong contrast to soft without affecting the impact of the colours and shapes within the rocks that make up this interesting place.
I also have a pinhole camera, but decided to leave it and just work with my Mamiya, a camera I have really appreciated over the years.
I recall a brief conversation with one of the camera club members who was on this field trip and he seemed to lament about capturing prize or contest winning images. I thought about this ... how was I going to respond? I decided that it was important to make images for oneself first and yet, I still feel that this is not totally adequate. I mean if someone enjoys photography, they might also enjoy a) seeing their work in print; b) selling their photographs and/or c) winning contests.
I think these things are all important and each photographer will probably internalise each of these according to his own reasons for taking up a camera.
In my photography, I hope to capture something a little different, a little unique, since someone before has probably already "been there done that".
With the plethora of digital photographs out there now, it seems like everyone is a photographer and the Internet is a testament to this assumption.
So, with so many images out there, how can I stand out? If you're a photographer, you're probably wondering the same thing.
It isn't about competition, although that may sometimes play a role, but it goes deeper than that ... it relates to the individual decisions one makes from visual conception to final print.
For instance, the camera type - film or digital, small - medium - or large format, lens, film, RAW or jpeg are some of the mechanical choices - the easy ones.
The more challenging choices are related to personal photographic vision - one's perspective. When looking at a tree, two photographers may take different perspectives to photograph it, one from a cherry picker a metre above the tree, the other, on his back looking up through the foliage.
My images represent my perspective, what I perceived as interesting for a first time visitor to this park. In some of my images I've tried to use the rock striations to lead the viewer into the image to a prominent subject. Some, just reflect the beautiful natural design of God's creation.
I also look for the "WOW!" factor as well, images that can be impressive because of line, shape, colour, subject, lighting alone or in any combination of these elements.
Finally, I strive to capture an essential representation of my subject matter. That which, looks for the distinct characteristics of a subject. Do I succeed ... I hope sometimes.

I hope you enjoy my photographs and if you know of any others who may enjoy them, please direct them here.
Thank you very much for your time.


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