Sometimes I say to myself, “Just step outside your own front door. Don’t go more than 20 meters in any direction, and see what’s there.” That is amazingly difficult. We had a nice blizzard the other day, but now it’s starting to melt. It was late afternoon when I went out, but it didn’t take long to become attracted to the strong light-play of pattern and design that was right under my feet.
Once again, I’m using a fairly “simple” camera by today’s standards. Well, not really. But it’s an older one, probably considered a “dinosaur” these days—and probably out of production. I think it does a great job with only a 1″ sensor. I love that the original Sony RX-10 (first edition) is weather-sealed, has a good Zeiss lens on it and a constant 2.8 aperture throughout the 24-200mm range. Macro is outstanding as well. I’ve kept it all these years because I still enjoy using it and I’m still impressed with the quality of the images. And remember, these images are crunched way down as JPEGs. The originals are RAW.
After more than a year of being shut down, I became accustomed to NOT seeing anything in the sky except for clouds, birds and weather. It may sound strange, but this line in the sky caught my attention. I have to say that I liked the abstract quality of it.
We’re not having the greatest Winter for skiing. But we have enough to go up and have some fun. Of course we’re known for our Wintersun. It’s true. We normally ski in bright sunlight with blue-black skies. I love that for black and white shots.
I get up there early and this time of year, the shadows are long and dark. It makes for some wonderful designs and patterns. I just visited Marcus’ website and read about how he feels like a kid in a sandbox when the light plays across some strong architectural features and he has camera in hand. I understand completely. And that’s how I see things when I get up into the mountains early. This is the best time of year to be up there and shooting. These strong dark and light patterns are seductive.
Don’t laugh too hard, but I like to carry the Sony HX-99 for these excursions. Purists might not take it seriously, but it makes carrying a camera into that environment possible. It does shoot RAW and that’s important, particularly for a camera that only has a 1/2″ sensor. But I am always amazed at what a good job it does. I don’t know how well the images would look if they were enlarged a lot. But for smaller prints, I bet they’d be fine. Considering that I was in motion on the ski lift for these pictures, I’m pleased with the results. I expected blurs! The HX-99 has all of the adjustments that I need and want and the layout of the controls is almost identical to the A6500 and the A7R3. It fits in the front of my ski jacket. If this camera were any smaller, I wouldn’t be able to operate it. It’s a miracle of miniaturization. Nice job Sony.
Sometimes when I’m out shooting, all I can look at are patterns and shapes and textures. I seem to get captured by them. I’m supposed to be the one “capturing”, but most of the time, the tables get turned on me. I’m fascinated by things like “Figure/Ground” relationships, and maybe that’s why black and photography just seems to work for me. I keep thinking of another artist, Anselm Kiefer when I look at my abstract images of dirt, rocks, hay and brambles—not to insult Anselm. I like his work a lot.
The circle of rocks were just sitting there like that. It reminded me of one of my favorite artists, Andrew Goldsworthy. And maybe I like Andrew Goldsworthy because his work reminds me of the inherent patterns in nature—he just has a gift for amplifying them. Strong shadows also always pull me in—but then there’s that figure/ground thing going on—abstraction seems to be the result.
I guess there are different levels of “abstraction”. Sometimes I can’t even tell what the thing was or where it came from when I look at some abstract photographs. But these still have enough of the context within them, so maybe I should call them “Semi-Abstractions”. Who cares, right?
Here I’ve decided to mix several genres. So, we have street pix combined with what I refer to as “Abstract” and, as a hedge, sometimes refer to as “Almost Abstract”. The photo of “The Kids’ Tent” is from the Jazz Festival in Telluride, Colorado. As far as Jazz is concerned, I can take it or leave it. For some of my friends, that statement is tantamount to heresy!
And something else has happened since this epidemic got going—and this town has always been friendly—but now it’s even more so. I find people being extra polite and extra helpful. It’s funny, we have to stand in line to get into a grocery store because management wants to limit how many people are in there at a time. I think they’re right to do that, and everyone cooperates. So we stand in line, six feet apart. But surprisingly, we start chatting with each other, still maintaining distance. Below is a sequence showing you what’s going on in the Plaza in Downtown Santa Fe. Drag the vertical line to get the full effect.…..(I think you might have figured that out on your own. Right?)
Wasn’t it nice of the city of Santa Fe to have provided us with this not-so-little reminder? But, seriously, I’m OK with it.
Rode up to the ski area today and looked at rocks and water. Most people would say “yawn”, but I liked it. The air smelled good. In retrospect, I seem to have been focusing on diagonals and abstract forms. I never think about it at the time. The Honda was running great…not at all bothered by the altitude. Me neither.
Not too many people up there and I always like that. I like the silence.
Well, here’s a diverse group. I do like the railyard(s), so they always seem to pop up in any collection of mine. The tall church at the bottom is in downtown Santa Fe. And what’s the attraction of peeled paint in the gallery below? Nothing more than the design and organization of horizontals and verticals which always seems to settle me, even when the theme appears to be “decrepit/has seen better days”.
Sometimes the things right beneath my feet are the most interesting. I love plants anyway, so maybe these guys “call” to me. I just like the shapes and the never ending new compositions they make just for me. 🙂