Sometimes, not only is it a lazy day, it’s a “why bother to go anywhere else to shoot day.” That describes my backyard out here in the wilds of New Mexico. Sometimes an amazing scene appears out of nowhere and I’ll just grab the nearest camera. That may not be the best one, but light changes so fast around here that I can’t get particular. Since most of the focus is on sky and clouds, that creates a big problem when crunching these down as small JPEGs. Because there is so much subtlety and gradation in those clouds, they tend to become blotchy as they are compressed. So I have to compromise.
Several years ago I was in a photo class at our local college. There were some very talented people in there. We all got along great and had a total ball posting our photographs to FaceBook. In response, we were supposed to post serious, highly intellectual commentary for each photo. That was too heavy for me and I wanted to have fun. Some “Sprite” possessed me and I spontaneously started writing very short stories for each photo.
These are selections from just one of the students who had to endure this—although, he loved it. Sometimes we take ourselves too seriously. GK Chesterton once said (paraphrasing) “The reason that angels can fly is because they take themselves lightly”. This is an odd posting for me, but I thought it had some comedic, and photographic merit. Any maybe someone out there will get a chuckle or two out of it. We sure could use more of that! So here they are…my Great Literary Responses to the wonderful work of Henry Aragoncillo, fellow photo student at the Santa Fe Community College. These are ALL his photographs.
There is ALWAYS something artistic or theatrical going on in this town. We’re a quite small city with a very large art scene! I think there’s something for everyone. I happen to appreciate both modern dance and traditional. Our philharmonic is wonderful as are our choral groups which famously perform every Christmas Eve. Of course they perform throughout the year as well.
Shooting in low light is a challenge in itself. Modern cameras have become much better at this. In the “old” days we had to “push-process” the negatives to pull every bit of information from them. Now, we have cameras with ISOs (ASA in Old Speak) of 100,000. And we thought Tri-X was good with an ASA of 400. Those pictures with the really long shadows (which totally entranced me) were shot with a SONY NEX-5r. I guess that’s considered a dinosaur by today’s standards, but I still enjoy it for its good image quality and small-enough-to-fit-anywhere characteristics. Also, every image on this site, and all sites, have been crunched and crushed to the limit. So you are never seeing the full quality of the original. If it looks OK here, it looks a lot better “in person”. With the NEX, I was using the much maligned “kit” lens, that 16-50mm. All lenses have their limits, but the idea is to find the optimal combinations for each lens. I love that lens for its petite-ness.
I think, as I’ve mentioned before, that I don’t really start out with any particular intent regarding what it is I want to photograph. It comes to me, or it doesn’t. Sometimes, it’s just “no picture” and that’s all there is to it. Other times it’s like a flood. This is a very rural state, not many people and lots of wide open spaces. Even downtown Santa Fe isn’t really very big compared to other cities. I like that aspect of living here. No pollution. No crowds. But the light is often times, magical.