Covid 19 continues to keep us all firmly ensconced in our homes and there is only so much TV we can watch. So, why not get enthusiastic about photography again by planning some trips you're going to take in the future. It doesn't have to be an immediate thing directly following the return to normal, but anything you want; your photography bucket list.
It could be a local day trip to a park, desert, or mountains, it could be a world tour, or anything in between. But as part of your planning, ensure you work out where you will shoot, the time of day and all the equipment you'll need. Think about how you'll get there, and back, will you take a friend or loved one along to enjoy the day with you, or will you go alone. Will it be part of a larger holiday where you steal a day for image making, or will it be a specific photography day or days.
For me it will be a road trip, and , if the border with the US is open it will most likely be south, initially toward northern California and the stunning redwoods there (see todays image). Then onward across the deserts and prairies toward the east coast, calling in on friends in Oklahoma and Tennessee along the way.
If the border remains closed, I will take a Canadian road trip through Saskatchewan to Manitoba, this time via the northern areas of these two provinces. From Manitoba I may just keep on going to the east coast, there's so much to see and do along the way and I've always wanted to see Newfoundland, what an epic trip that would be.
That's it. I'm heading to the maps right now and I'm planning both, and before this year is out I will have made one of them, or perhaps, joined them together to make a mega trip. I can already feel the pull of the highway and the excitement of the next image along the way.......where are you going?
In October 2017, on a road trip to North Carolina from my home in Calgary, Canada I made an overnight stop in 'small town America'. I had considered stopping in Kansas City, but I much prefer the small towns so I carried on for an hour or so heading south east until I reached Clinton.
Once I had found a hotel and refreshed myself from the journey, I set out to locate a venue for dinner and was pleasantly surprised to find the most picturesque town square. The red brick buildings were adorned with awnings fighting a losing battle with the setting sun, their colours so vibrant against the cobalt blue sky. I really enjoyed the moment of just being there, and I made a nice shot capturing the extended perspective of the shop fronts leading down to the town water tower.
I have always enjoyed the shot I made here, I enjoyed this little town, the warmth of the setting sun, and the vibrant colour of the buildings. But, as the Covid 19 lock in continues and I trawl my hard drive for images to share, I decided to try a black and white conversion which I think turned out well. I don't really have a preference for either one, I really do like them both, but more than that, I like the memory of this little town and another fantastic road trip.
Still in self isolation as a result of the Corvid 19 pandemic, I'm raiding my image stores to find something interesting to share on the blog. Today I have selected this shot of an old cannery on the waterfront in Astoria, Oregon. I chose this one to share a 'miss'. It's easy to share our good or best shots but there are lessons in a 'miss' that make them almost as valuable.
Taken during a storm in October 2016 I was perfectly placed when the sun broke through the cloud. The high bank behind me cast a long shadow onto the water which combined with the storm clouds overhead to make a natural vignette of sorts. The sun caught the top of the grasses clinging to life on the old foundation pillars, before bursting onto the cannery and bouncing back off the beautiful red and rust patina.
I remember I had moved several times, attempting to make leading lines of the old foundation timbers, but somehow it didn't quite work. I did have some reasonable rule of thirds going by crouching low to the ground, and an almost perfect colour palette with the splashed red/rust onto a blue/grey canvas. The foreground of pillars and accompanying grasses was not quite as close as I would like, but I thought at the time that the middle ground of the cannery, and background of mountains were strong enough to carry the shot.
Ultimately, I was wrong. It's a nice shot, perhaps even suitable for a local news story or magazine but as a stand alone image it's not quite there. I have no doubt that if I lived locally I would be here many more times, the location is great, access is excellent, the topic is strong and it's situation almost perfect. I'm sure there are some wonderful shots to be had here, unfortunately, as is often the case this one didn't quite make the cut.
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