Archive for the ‘morning’ Tag

Challenging Perspectives   10 comments


Challenging Perspectives

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“Perception is reality,” as the saying goes. I first heard that many years ago in a business environment. The context may be different now, but it’s still something that I ponder frequently.

We assume that the world ‘out there’ is exactly as we perceive it to be, solid and stable, but that is not generally the case. (Just ask Neo, from The Matrix.) Instead, our perceived ‘reality’ has to do with our own internal position, our perspective. There’s a good, digestible article on this from Scientific American Mind, Looks Can Deceive.

Photography can give us an excellent opportunity to challenge our notions about the world around us. While many people think that photography should only capture the world as-it-is, taking an image also presents an excellent opportunity to play around with our most basic assumptions. Some people might look at this image and say things like, “That’s just too weird.” Or, “That’s wrong.”

Is it?

Kids do this all the time. As a child, did you ever hang upside down on the monkey bars? (Are those death-trap monkey bars even still legal?) Did you ever lie on your back in bed and hang your head over the side? Perhaps it’s because the child hasn’t spent decades conditioning their thought processes to match what they perceive with their senses. At any moment children can pretend that they’re a pirate, a Jedi knight, a princess, or anything else that the mind can conjure up, and to their unconditioned minds it seems completely real.

We seem to lose that ability, that playfulness, as we get older.

As I was flipping through the images taken on our recent autumn trip, I ran across this set from Flagstaff Lake, one of my favorite places. I ran it through the usual steps, and when I saw the result, I thought, “Meh. Same as many others I’ve taken there.”

Then, in a fit of playfulness one night, I flipped the image. Bam! Perhaps it was my state of mind at the time, but it completely messed with my well-conditioned perspective of the place I think I know so well. Suddenly the image took on a new dimension and meaning, and I couldn’t neglect to publish it, even though it bears substantial similarity to other images.

Interestingly, I did the same thing on an image of an egret, in Masnavi. I sent that image off to the print lab for a client, and when the print came in, someone at the lab had flipped the image into what they thought was the ‘correct’ orientation! For my purposes, of course, this was a complete “mistake” and I received a re-print from the lab, with the “correct”… no, wait… “incorrect” orientation.

Hell, now I’m confused.

That’s the point.

We’re free to challenge our most basic assumptions. We’re free to play around with the reality that’s presented to us. We can change things by simply altering our perspective a bit.

Why don’t we do that more often?

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Boats on Somes Sound in Early Morning Fog, Maine   9 comments


Boats on Somes Sound in early morning fog, Maine

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Ahhhhh… This was the view from our campsite while we were at Acadia National Park/Mt. Desert Island. Placid water, cool temperatures, and mysterious fog rolling through Somes Sound made for one of those delightfully perfect mornings. No coffee was necessary to be fully alert in a place like this.

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In a departure from my usual workflow, I took a new tack by merging three frames in Photomatix to create an .HDR file, but instead of tonemapping in Photomatix, edited the resulting file in 32-bit, then 16-bit mode directly in Photoshop. Since I’ve tended to post-process in a more ‘realistic’ style lately, the steps were perfect for the look I wanted to achieve.

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Thanks! And Hope…   9 comments


Cobscook Bay

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Happy Thanksgiving to all!

The way I see it, it has been an incredible year. Since this time last year, I’ve been fortunate enough to continue doing what I love, part of which is sharing the results with all of you. The friends I’ve met and the camaraderie we’ve shared is truly something special, so thank you for following along and hooking up with me, as I have in turn been watching what you create.

This has also been a year of extraordinary change, both in the world and in our perspectives on what we’re doing here. Having been around for better than a half century now, I can’t recall a period of such transformation, save perhaps for the late ’60s. Some of the changes may be unsettling for some, but I can’t help but think that it will result in something better for all of us. At the very least, things aren’t boring and certain, which suits me.

There is currently – and always will be – suffering in the world, and on this Thanksgiving I think of all the people who are actively transforming (or even maintaining!) the status quo at their own peril, hoping for a better, freer, and safer place to be. Not all of us will agree with their messages or methods, either side, but their dedication should never be challenged, nor should their perspective be marginalized. As always, no one perspective is the single ‘right’ way, but neither can anyone ever be 100% wrong. There is something important to all points of view; now it’s a matter of figuring out how they – and we – will fit together.

We’re living in a time of unprecedented adventure. Will we make it? Sometimes it seems like a horse race, but we can hold out Hope, which is really all we can hope to have anyway. In the meantime, as photographers and creatives, we can satisfy ourselves by finding the beautiful things in the world and bringing them home to share with others. In a rather big way, that’s what gives me Hope.

So, thanks for what you do… you enrich the lives of others with your creativity and thoughtfulness.

Rob

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The image was taken at Cobscook Bay State Park in northern coastal Maine. Although it’s an HDR taken from eleven exposures, it would look much the same if I used the single middle exposure… the sunrise really was that spectacular. 

 
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From Flare to Eternity   11 comments


From Flare to Eternity

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I’ve always wanted to catch some good sun flares, but it’s not always the easiest thing to do. It seemed I never could get it quite right.

Driven by the influence and tutorial of a master of sun flares, Dave DiCello, I took some extra time on a client shoot to catch this morning scene. If it weren’t for Dave’s support, I likely wouldn’t have posted this at all, but there you have it. Thanks, Dave!

HDR from 11 exposures (give or take) at +/-1EV, f/22, 17mm, ISO 100

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