Photographic trip does not have to be all about art. It can also be fun.
I’ve just returned from a trip to the Death Valley where I spent several days with a photographer friend photographing at various locations around the valley. It involved a lot of driving and hiking and of course photography. We woke up before sunrise and hiked in the dark to a location to photograph at sunrise every day. We drove quite a bit to remote locations where we photographed sunset, then drove back in the dark.
It sounds very tiresome but it was not because we’d have fun playing photographic jokes on each other, taking silly pictures, sharing and laughing at them. Photographic trip does not have to be all about art. It can also be fun.
When I go on a photographic trip the hardest decision is always picking a destination.
Last week I had a knee surgery (which went quite well and I’m recovering quickly). The weekend before that I was going on a photo trip. I knew it would be a while I’d go again, so the choice was really hard.
The way I often make such decision is first decide whether I want to explore a new place or visit again a place I’ve been too. Once that is over I decide within that group which place to go based on time of the year, weather, etc.
The way I decided this time was simply by following my heart. So, I went to the Palouse. After so many years and so many visits I still love this place.
It’s rolling hills have calming, meditative influence on me. Despite its growing popularity I still have my places where I can be alone. And I keep discovering dirt roads I’ve never visited before.
When I arrived there I realized it was the right choice for me. Calm and peace filled my heart. First day I did not even get the camera out. I was just looking at the hills following their lines in their slow rhythm of a heartbeat.
With better and better sensor technology and better software for HDR processing we can capture an incredible dynamic range in our images where we have an incredible details in highlights and in shadows.
Would photographers of the past be amazed with amount of details we can capture? Maybe. But I really miss silhouetted photos that have become such a rarity. They reveal very little leaving a lot of room for imagination.
The photo can be not about what is said but about what is not said, or to be more accurate about what is not shown and not about what is shown. It can be about mystery left in the shadows.
I’m not sure where I picked this up but I was stuck with a thought that Photoshop is bad for photography. as a landscape photographer I should use as little of it as possible. It dawn on me that I was holding myself back from what I craved for a long time. I wanted to create landscapes from my imaginations. I always envied artists who could draw what they saw in their minds, not what they saw with their eyes. So, this summer I started working on a new project “Imaginary Worlds”. In this project I use multiple images to combine into one. I don’t limit my creativity.
The first of the series was in my post a month ago: From Real into Surreal. Though I was not yet conscious at that point about why I was attracted to it and where it was going. This image is the first one where I was consciously working on it as a new project. (click on it to see larger size)
What can be simpler than a single curve in snow. It is like an artist calligrapher drew a hieroglyph with a single movement of hand.
What’s interesting is that I found the same curve in a track of foot steps that a fellow photographer left behind.
I like photos in which fog is taking over, photos where viewer need to take an effort to make out what’s on the photo. So, when I was returning once from Snoqualmie Pass and I saw clouds falling down, dispersing into fog and taking over the mountains I exited freeway at the closest exit and photographed it.
Day 3. Wherever You Go
Enchantment Lakes is a place of incredible beauty. Wherever you go you see something pleasing your eye.
I want about 10 meters from the camp just to pee (pardon me) and I saw this scene: golden larches glowing in the sun on a deep blue background of the sky; playful light and dark spots on the ground. It was so beautiful I forgot about why I came there. I went back to the camp, grabbed camera and tripod to capture this:
Or on my way to Prusik Peak I stopped by a small carving in the ground where larch needles formed geometrically perfect arcs:
A little bit further the trail itself fascinated me as much. Spots of light and shade over the rocks: