Pause, Reflect

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” – Ferris Bueller

I wandered out to the Pier at Hueneme Beach to take a photo of an anticipated satellite launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base. Past launches around sunset have been spectacular with the rocket exhaust lit up by the final light of the day.

But the launch was not to be – scrubbed due to a hydrogen leak. Disappointed, I was determine to not go home without an image or three so I started shooting.

This ten second exposure turned out to very metaphorical. The whole “life is a road” or “time standing still” or “stopping to smell the roses” or “life passing you by” – take your pick. I especially like the people standing still under the lights looking at their phones. I guess there’s a metaphor there too. Am frankly a little amazed that the guy in the black hoodie stood so still for so long, but I’ll take it.

Happy New Year!

The details: Fujifilm X-E2 with Fuji XF55-200mm @55mm. 10 seconds @ f4, ISO 200

2019_jan

January 2019

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Find the why

Ten years ago or so we got a magazine in the mail that had a photo of the space needle on the cover. We all wondered where the photo was taken, so I sat down with our daughter (I think she was about 12 at the time) and turned it into a lesson in map reading/geometry/research to figure out where the photographer was standing.

Lining up the buildings and landmarks in the photo and comparing to maps allowed us to triangulate the photographer’s location to Kerry Park. The reward for finding the location was a trip to the park so she could make her own version of the photo of Seattle.

We’ve been back to the park several times since that day. I even used an image from there for a wallpaper back in 2014.  But going back this month and writing this has been an interesting reflection on why people take a particular photo. I’m sure tens of thousands of people take a photo of the Seattle skyline from Kerry Park every year. But this one is different to me because of the memory that goes with it.

I often look at other photographer’s images and think that it would be amazing to go there and take that photo. But would it have any meaning when I’m done? Would it have any story to tell beyond the simple content of the image itself? I think that’s a powerful thing to evaluate when taking a photo. My wish for you this Holiday Season is that your images tell stories and not just capture memories but celebrate them.

Merry Christmas.

The details: Fujifilm X-E2 with Fuji XF18-55mm @55mm. 6.5 seconds @ f16, ISO 200

2018_Dec

December 2018

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Fall Colors

I knew I was too late in the season to see any wildflowers but I wanted to go up to Mr. Rainier and watch the sunrise. Mount Rainier National Park has two sub alpine meadows you can drive to. One is called Paradise, the other, Sunrise.

Up at 4:15 and on the road by 4:45, I raced the run through the pre-dawn darkness toward my chosen vantage point (sounds dramatic!) At 6400 feet above sea level, the trees are a little sparse – much like the air. I arrived to a mostly empty parking lot. A couple campers, some tents even some people sleeping in their cars.

As dawn approached, people started stirring, I could even hear some alarm clocks going off, and everyone heard the one car alarm go off on accident.

Weather was perfect – the sun’s rays bathed the summit in a rosy pink, some clouds to the South breaking up an otherwise perfectly indigo sky. It was a beautiful morning.

The details: Fujifilm X-E2 with Fuji XF18-55mm @30mm. 1/170th @ f5.6, ISO 200

2018_Oct

October 2018

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To set as your desktop wallpaper, click on the link so that it opens to full size. Edge users can right-click on the image and select “Set as background”. Chrome users should right-click on the image and select “Save image as…” select a folder and click on “Save”. Navigate to that folder, right-click the file and select “Set as desktop background”

Whole note

Of the many hummingbirds in the neighborhood, this one seemed to be the most patient, posing on the clotheslines while I composed the shot. I was thinking that my musician cousin Claire might appreciate this.

The details: Fujifilm X-E2 with Fuji XF55-200mm @200mm. 1/680th @ f5.6, ISO 200

2018_Sept

September 2018

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To set as your desktop wallpaper, Edge users can click on the link so that it opens to full size. Right-click on the image and select “Set as background”.

Chrome users should click on the link so that it opens to full size. Right-click on the image and select “Save image as…” select a folder and click on “Save”.

Grand

Quick trip to see family in Idaho this month with a side trip into Grand Teton National Park. The weather was perfect for our picnic.

The hardest thing for me about editing this photo was trying to get the horizon straight. The trees rise gradually from left to right and they also seem to lean slightly to the right, so between the two it was a bit of a struggle to get it to look right.

The details: Fujifilm X-E2 with Fuji XF18-55mm @21mm. 1/320th @ f5.6, ISO 200

2018_August

August 2018

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To set as your desktop wallpaper, Edge users can click on the link so that it opens to full size. Right-click on the image and select “Set as background”.

Chrome users should click on the link so that it opens to full size. Right-click on the image and select “Save image as…” select a folder and click on “Save”.