Big, dramatic American landscapes, red filters, and square aspect ratios might be a cliché combination, but while Ansel Adams shot with a tiny aperture for deep and pin-sharp focus, I feel like this wide-open approach and its soft bokeh provide a new twist.
An iconic image of renewable energy in California, if I do say so myself: scrub brush in the foreground, mountains in the background, and a huge wind turbine in the center of it all. I particularly like the way this particular shutter speed allowed for just a slight blur at the tips of the turbine blades.
Hundreds of miles apart from each other, I happened upon these two images of vehicles, paired with their owners, otherwise alone in an expanse of western America. On a clear day, the yellow pickup in the image below is almost lost in the brush.
By comparison, this Nevadan Jeep stands out amid the dusting of snow and descending clouds. Even its driver is farther away. The setting is so perfect that it might as well be a Wrangler advertisement.
Transcontinental driving in the dead of winter is all about dodging storms—but no one’s perfect. In the emptiness of Western Nevada, with only an occasional RV/farm combo to keep us company, the edge of a major storm ran into the setting sun.
“Post-apocalyptic” was the general vibe. The landscape was so large as to be without scale; I couldn’t tell you the actual height of the hills in the distance.
Procrastinating a proposal is a great time for a quick drone flight. Though the camera quality is still around “potato,” the sight of St. Lawrence’s campus as autumn colors seep in, with foothills in the background, was too good to pass up.
If you’d like to watch the full flight (complete with overly trippy guitar music in place of screaming drone prop noise), I uploaded it to YouTube. The need for a gimbal on the camera is evident.
The Sun never quite cooperates, even when it’s at its loveliest. Winter means stark sunsets behind the Golden Gate Bridge or San Francisco itself; summer typically means only foggy nights. This was a rare occasion with broad cloud-wings in the upper atmosphere, but in early summer, the Sun drops behind the hills to the north.
Not far from the notoriously dystopian Salton Sea, the deserts of California are astonishingly alienating places. A few barren mountains etch the horizon, and other than lonely power lines and the path of a motorcycle across the dust, there are few signs of other human beings around. The intensity of the sun made me question the wisdom of being out there at all.
This weekend, I finally conquered a serious challenge: organizing my ancient photo collection. As I went through it, I found some photographs from almost a decade ago. Unfortunately, they weren’t taken with a DSLR, but I’m presenting them here as a taste of compositions, colors, and places that aren’t otherwise found on Decaseconds that frequently. With no further ado:
This is the creek, behind my childhood home, where I spent countless hours building castles, bridges, and walls from sticks and stones. The water comes from the top of nearby Mt. Riga, and is icy cold through most of the year. Somehow, we still managed to handle swimming in it during the summer.
This picture shows the Long Walk of Trinity College in Hartford, CT. This is the oldest part of the school, built when the campus moved to its current location in 1863. This particular day at the end of November was the first snow of the year. Everyone is just a bit surprised, the leaves are still on the trees, and the snow seems wetter than at any other time.
This photograph was taken at the top of Mt. Monadnock in New Hampshire. Though the top of the mountain is barren but for a few shrubs, it turns out that this isn’t because of being above the tree line. Over the course of centuries, the mountain was repeatedly burned, both to make room for livestock and because wolves were living in its caves. Now, just a handful of berry bushes and grasses crust the smooth, ancient stone of the mountain. Some have called it, “the Most Hiked Mountain in America.”
Finally, I have a picture from Key West, Florida. The sunsets and the enormous thunderheads there make for some lovely pictures, but my favorite detail is at the horizon: the poles supporting power lines, alone in the water, bringing electricity from key to key.
A few days ago, I posted a photograph of an enigmatic pillar in the desert; perhaps today’s image can provide a bit more context to it. Off in the distance, you can see dozens of horse trailers associated with the HITS Thermal show, but other than that the environment is completely desolate. Out in the blistering sun, it was pretty intimidating.