When an autumn day at St. Lawrence University ends with a storm above the Adirondacks, those horizon raindrops scatter warm hues back to the quadcopter camera.
Reflection symmetry makes the golden dome of Les Invalides all the more imposing.
I’ve taken a few pictures around Salisbury, CT in a snow storm in previous years. When the snow is drifting down and the charming New England buildings look inviting, the setting is perfect for feelings of home.
Driving through Buffalo in the snow-entombed aftermath of the recent blizzard meant sliding our car between snow drifts and abandoned vehicles, all brutally carved out of the way by earthmoving equipment. Though I’m used to seeing a cut in an earthen hillside, it’s quite different to see cuts as necessary to open a snowy highway. Given the way this storm will stick in folks’ minds, I like the idea of a fuzed, muted scene that already seems placed in memory.
I’ve posted before on the strange properties of Berkeley and the Bay Area: the condensation of nature and suburb and weird architecture and intensity urbanity that compresses human interest and life into a tiny area. This high-density material seems to deform the very fabric of space a time, and make the distance of a few miles seem like a light year and the time of a decade seem mere moments. This photograph captures the folding and crinkling as it happens: crunch clouds, sharp trees, an array of buildings from multiple Berkeley colleges within the University, the stretch of Telegraph Ave. and the tiny shapes of Oakland (at the far right) in the distance.
What is “honesty” in photography? My goal as a photographer is to capture what I saw—the subjective experience of being in a single moment. I want to capture a “truth.” The process of taking a picture is projecting the reality around us onto a sensor and through myriad digital processes to create the photograph you see in front of you now. Every photographer has, in their pursuit of truth in imaging, some lines in terms of image manipulation that they will and won’t cross. HDR, for instance, is viewed as a “cheat” by some, and as a better approach to getting the true dynamic range of the human eye by others.
A less dramatic case, however, is the use of color in an image. Last night, the sky over Canton was this incredible, surreal, and otherworldly pink-orange color that was completely overwhelming and astonishing. When I noticed it out the window, I sprinted outside with my camera and captured the final, fleeting moments. I was in that moment. Nearly the same effect, however, could have been achieved with a simply pink photo filter. To me, this raises two issues:
- Trust: You have to trust me, as the photographer, to portray the experience I was having when I captured the image.
- Subjective reality: When I process a photo, what techniques are enhancing my ability to convey my subjective experience to you? Which techniques are just “cheating?”
During the blazing August heat, looking back to winter pictures leads to the oddest “time machine effect.” As you can see from the rapidly filling tire tracks in the driveway, we barely made it home ahead of what turned out to be a fierce storm. The comfort of “I don’t have to go out there” is so amplified when standing on a perfect porch, next to the door to a cozy house, and seeing the frozen, dark contrast in the graveyard across the way.
The seaplanes dotting the shores of Long Lake offer amazing views and transportation to visitors to the aptly-named Long Lake. On this rainy Sunday afternoon, however, they were quietly bobbing by their docks. The 1960s-era motels, the float planes, the miniature beaches and vacation homes: driving through Adirondack Park is like taking a step back in time. (The complete absence of cell reception furthers the effect.)
Chicago’s suburbs are filled with older train stations like this one. In an area where quaint, older homes are often knocked down to make way for McMansions, these stations are sometimes an area’s only link with the past. (Luckily, Hinsdale is better than most areas in this respect.) On a particularly dramatic and thunderstorm-ready afternoon, this particular train platform feels like it could be unstuck in time.