My final photographic adventure of 2022 felt fittingly fell at dusk and felt like an achievement: flying my drone at the Salton Sea’s Bombay Beach, capturing the unique sculptures and setting.
Seeing that little wading bird approaching this tetrahedral sculpture seems a bit metaphorical for humans approaching our own futures: Coming up to something big and interesting and completely beyond our ability to properly predict/explain. Here’s to 2023!
Deserts are dry, naturally. No moisture often means no clouds, and no clouds means not much of a sunset, either. Still, the light scattering through this human-made water retention area has a certain calming evening glow.
The quiet moments of winter are the times when I look back on my photographic year and finally finish uploading my favorites. The rhythms of 2022 meant a particularly huge backlog, so here I find myself with far too deep a set of uploads to handle at a pace of one-per-day. As a result, I’ll be spacing some horse show mega-posts among my normal posts.
First in the set is Saratoga Horse Show, back in June 2022.
Traveling southeast into the expanse of Coachella Valley, more and more of the regions farms still remain.
Though suburban sprawl may eventually make its way down here, “California rural” remains for now.
High-end homes nestle between groves of date trees.
A hike through La Quinta Cove, like many hikes, is a mix of experiencing natural and human-adjusted forms. That’s normally more subtle on the east coast, but this desert hike shows the clear shapes of water retention and control structures carved into the landscape.
Erosion can be a major issue in areas with sparse vegetation; the areas supported by the roots of this small tree stand apart from the eroded absence-of-soil nearby.
The alien (to me) landscapes and strange life forms make the hike feel like exploring a strange new world.
I guess I’m still discovering new tricks up the DJI Mini 3 Pro’s sleeve. I’ve never managed to create a panorama (much less one looking up) from drone images before, but this massive shot of the sunset over the San Jacinto Mountains has changed all of that. The pink clouds arc above and the Empire Polo Club (home of the Coachella Music and Arts Festival) spreads across the foreground.
(You’ll definitely want to click through for full resolution on this one.)
I upload pictures to be future Decaseconds posts as I find images I think are worthy. (Only the best for my readers.) During most of the year, a three-photographs-per-week pace keeps up with my new acquisitions. This fall, however, was a time of plenty, powered by my DJI Mini 3 Pro’s incredible range and low-light image quality. To keep up with demand necessitates a triple-play today.
Three views of Canton, New York begin with this image over the Grasse River, with islands in the foreground and SUNY Canton in the distance.
Farther south, St. Lawrence University’s campus is lit up for the evening.
And the quad by Kirk Douglas Hall looks warm and inviting. (It’s currently beneath a layer snow.)
Just before a snowstorm battered the northeast, we’ve escaped back to the desert. The rocks are craggy, the nights are weirdly cold, and there’s always a palm tree swaying in the distance.
Can you spot the tiny figures at the top of the hill? I’m confident that tiny figures produce a sense of grand scale in images—particular desert shots, like this one, where the inhuman nature of the place can make understanding the sizes of objects difficult. Nonetheless, I find myself wondering how small the figures in an image can be before the viewer loses the ability to recognize them as human.
The view from the aircraft window while departing Dublin Aiport was quintessentially Irish on this particular morning.
Big changes are coming to the world of Decaseconds: Next fall, I’ll be returning to Trinity College (my alma mater) as their newest physical chemistry professor.
I took this picture of Trinity’s chapel, framed by foliage, as I packed up my car to leave at the end of my interview. Though I didn’t yet know what I do now (I’m going back there!), the warm breeze and familiar smells and satisfaction of a successful interview left me with a sense of calm, comfort, and peace.
Coachella Valley is a desert that was once home to a lake, so careful management of water—both where it should go, and where it shouldn’t—leads to some fascinating human-engineered structures. I like this image for the sense of depth, but also for the way that the unmodified hills rise above the human-produced forms in the fore- and mid-ground.
The National Gallery of Ireland has plenty of galleries with the white walls that I expected of an art museum; stepping from monochromatic spaces into this deep red room was a figuratively visceral experience.
Canton is the seat of St. Lawrence County. The multistory stone buildings amongst the sea of single-family homes that out here because they (and the church steeples) are the only structures tall enough to catch the remaining red light of sunset.
Sustainable farming has found a home in New York’s North Country.