What came first The kites we control Or the ones without strings?
After fifteen years of chasing the art of photography impressionistically, I am finding myself just making photographs of “things”. In 2016 I started investigating serious video production and realized quickly the adventure that it is. Moving images with appropriate sound is a huge task if it is to be done well. Funny, making video was what got me into serious photography back in 2004. I make these declarations because the artistic journey is a muse who must be treated like a spouse. Pay attention, or you will find yourself lost, and alone. So now I am looking to just make some nice photos of birds. It was part of the journey some fifteen years ago, but now there is a lot of “stuff” to unpack to get there. I grew to not care for the details. Now, the details are everything. Yesterday I walked about with an old Nikon 400mm 4.5 with the AU1 focus and my D750. The cover photo was NOT made with it. I wanted to try it out after letting it sit for about a decade (or longer). I made the rookie mistake of forgetting by monopod so everything I made was handheld. The total package is about ten pounds. I had to throw it over my shoulder like a sack of potatoes just to carry it. Making a frame required even more preplanning than usual and a shutter staying at 1/1000 or faster My thinking was that even if the work was a little shaky, I could at least get an idea of the lens’ capability. When I opened the files, I realized why I stopped using this lens. It has a terrible rendering of strong light. The purple fringing is atrocious. My plan to sell the lens has changed. I cannot in good faith sell this old beast. It is a good lens to manually learn, but the results are so spotty it doesn’t make sense to sell it. I’ll give it to Goodwill and maybe a newbie will pick it up for $50. Don’t get me wrong, impressions are not off the menu.
We live at the bottom of the mountain Demons in our living rooms Dining with us They push our carts at the grocery store
They enter the soul And blindfold our eyes So we may watch television The ultimate brain wash Cleaning out all those nasty thoughts With the broom of dissatisfaction
Never enough, Of anything Including self worth A perverted truth be told That bleeds From seductive tongues
So we must prove ourselves And look to the mountain For worth and achievement It mustn’t be the mountain in our village. No We must climb the highest peak To be worthy
Embarking on our quest We make the journey alone Oxygen bottles and Sherpas Lie frozen dead on the trail And they build our camp So we can sleep on the ground And impress ourselves With our own bravery
Finally We reach the pinnacle After many days of hardship Alone, we have mastered our own destiny We view all we have conquered And feel the rush Of accomplishment
Surveying our world The wind singing its notes of approval We meet eyes with the Sherpas Their ruddy skin eating the wind for breakfast They smile and raise their hands in celebration And fill us in this singular moment
With so much more speed We find ourselves back home At the bottom of the mountain In our living rooms Changed little Save for the mountain top selfie Hanging on the wall
Alone at the top.
Accomplishment is rarely achieved without a support system. (2) multiple exposure photographs stitched for a wider view
In the early 90’s I was up on a swing stage with a forensic leak specialist. Not too high, maybe only six stories. We were documenting some sealant failures, performing tests and recording results. Then came a distant squawk and screech from behind us. it became louder and the sounds resonated off the building glass. “Stan, check this out,” I interrupted, pointing at a flock of about fifty birds. They were thirty yards out and their noise became eerily loud as they passed. Stan shot me a look, “are those parrots?” “Yup, no one is sure how they got here, but there are several large flocks throughout the county,” I exclaimed. As much as I have tried to discover how these birds got here, apparently, no one is sure. They are indigenous to northwestern Mexico. There is much lore about illegal bird smugglers releasing them to avoid getting caught with evidence. That has never been proven….though there may be some truth to something like that happening. Even if it was something as uneventful as two escaping a home, I’m glad they’re here. I’m not supposed to be glad about it, but they’re here and I like ’em! They are loud, obnoxious and very entertaining. This year….just last week, a pair cased our garden. A couple of days ago, they came back, and feasted on our two remaining sunflowers. In the opening clip of the video we see two species, but only the pair of red crowned returned. They came by three times and finished off the sunflowers. I was stoked, and got lots of footage.
The last two weeks have been very stressful for many reasons. This morning, I slogged into my office knowing how compressed my day would be. I found that one of those main sources (a deadline) had been pushed out seven days! I had been a recluse in my office, closing the door to the outside world so I can concentrate. Then….this reprieve! Woo Hoo!