#Monday Mantra ~ Week #8

thin ice BLOG

Week #8 has been more difficult than the first seven. I guess I call it the Monday Mantra Challenge for good reason. I don’t know what’s going on but I have a sneaking suspicion that it has to do with all the Bull shit that is going on in the world right now. I don’t know who decided to name us ManKind but I’m pretty sure they aren’t too happy with us.

I started my day as a cold footed, camera wielding witness to a beautiful sunrise this morning. I look at this photograph and I think about all that would be missing without both the subtle and the stark variations in the visual elements. Why can’t we have the same appreciation for our human differences. It seems to me that one particular political candidate who is long on cash and short on compassion might heed this advice. Remember to look at your own reflection as you step out onto the thin ice of false assumptions.

The Mad Science of Low Light Photography

monumental sunrise BLOG

We loaded up the camper, affectionately dubbed “Alexander Supertramp”, on Tuesday and headed West toward Grand Junction, Moab and Canyon Lands National Park. I knew the four night expedition would be fun and would offer another opportunity to capture fall colors,  but I had no idea that the adventure would unfold so fortuitously. Now that I’m home, I’ve begun the arduous process of catching up on business and life and am editing the images one at a time in chronological order so that I can share them.

alex at monument BLOG

Alexander Supertramp at Colorado National Monument

moonrise at cindi's BLOG

Moonrise from My Sister’s home in Grand Junction

The drive from Denver to Grand Junction was like a walk down memory lane. I have so many great memories of my youth in the Vail Valley and as we continued down I-70, each mile to the west symbolically represented the path of adulthood up until the age of 45, living with my Wife and raising my four teenage Children in Grand Junction. We arrived at the home of my youngest Sister and her family just in time for Dinner. My older Sister and her Husband joined us as well. It was great to visit and take in 360 degree views of the Grand Valley and watch the Full Moon rise over the Grand Mesa.

moonset before sunrise BLOG

“Moonset Dawn”

After Dinner, we drove up the steep and windy road of the Colorado National Monument in the moonlight and selected a campsite in the nearly empty campground. After catching a few quick night shots, I put the camera away and went to sleep with the alarm set for 5:30 am. Weather permitting I hoped to capture the rising sun in the morning.

cool blue BLOG

“Cool Blue”

before sunrise BLOG

dawn breaks BLOG

I’m thoroughly enjoying the challenge of learning how to capture night and twilight images with the latest equipment. Back in the film photography days, I did a lot of low light experimentation, usually in Black and White and always doing all of my own processing. Then for a number of years, I tried and tried to get good results with digital but fell short until the technology caught up with my ambitions. The new full sensor cameras “Rock” but it’s still taken a lot of learning and experimentation to establish a greater level of success. It takes time to fill the bag of tricks  and at times I resemble a mad scientist, frantically throwing together a concoction of apertures, shutter speeds, white balance and ISO, hoping to achieve results that have never been achieved before. Learning and having fun are an explosive combination.

moonset before sunrise 2 BLOG

” High Desert Dream”

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To Big Dry Creek

Dry Creek 3 FB

“As If It’s Your Last”

Autumn’s procession is finally moving along here in Denver and at a pretty good pace. The Flora is now shedding its summer sweater with apparent haste and the colors are not lingering like they do in a more average year. Is there a blanket of snow in our immediate future?

Yesterday morning, I left the house before sunrise, on foot and carrying my heavy equipment pack and tripod. My stride had purpose as I could see that there was a clearing in the cloud cover along the eastern horizon and I was anticipating a beautiful sunrise. I had to hurry to get to the spot that I envisioned, a walking path bridge along a small creek. At a busy street crossing, the “Walk” sign began flashing green and I stepped off the curb to resume my cadence, something was terribly wrong. The Driver of a pickup truck let his foot off the break and was slowly but surely pressing the accelerator, oblivious to my existence.  I found myself literally sprinting away from the oncoming hood and to any witnesses it probably looked something like the running of the bulls. At some point, the driver acknowledged his blunder slammed on his brakes. If I had been unable to get out of the way or if he had been any more hasty, I would have been run over.

The scene was pretty bizarre. I stood stunned in the middle of a busy intersection with my eyes locked on to the “bull”. He had rolled down his window and was yelling something to me. Was it an apology or was he claiming that I was in the wrong? I’ll never know. I turned away from confrontation and had to run to get out of the street before the light changed and the rest of the people had an opportunity to finish me off. I was soon walking down the tranquil foot path pondering how close I came to meeting a very unglamorous end.  I smiled uncontrollably and used the F word a number of times in my head as I coached myself back to my assignment, to capture a gorgeous sunrise as if it were my last.

Reflection of Big Dry Creek Pathway

Reflections of Big Dry Creek Pathway

In My Mind’s Eye

"From Here To Eternity"  18" X 24" Acrylic on Canvas

“From Here To Eternity” 18″ X 24″ Acrylic on Canvas

In my mind’s eye, I can see the eastern horizon off Oahu. Molokai, Lanai and the upper reaches of Haleakala on Maui somewhere below the rising sun. In my mind’s eye, I can see a Humpback’s breach or the glistening skin of a Dolphin as it stitches it’s way across the fabric of the Sea. In my mind’s eye, I can feel the refreshing breeze, I can smell the salt laced air and I can hear the crashing waves as they meet the rocky shores.

Hundred’s of times, I have driven past the very beach that was used for the passionate love scene in the 1953 movie “From Here to Eternity”. It is located along the Kalanianaole (Kal) Highway on Oahu’s eastern shore. Halona Beach Cove sits just on the other side of the guard rail of this winding stretch of pavement. The image that is etched in my mind is the one seen only in the fleeting glances from the drivers seat of a vehicle. For me, the sensory euphoria that dwells here is best captured in a photograph of the mind then painted on canvas, no reference material is necessary or desired.