Saturday, June 23, 2012

Extended Exposure

Sliding smoothly over the enduring, he considers an extended exposure, of staying in one place for more than a 60th of a second. He imagines putting stakes in the ground, the way one does for a tent to keep it from blowing away. He will tie his wanderer's shoes to a weather balloon and let them drift with the clouds until they land on someone else, no longer his storm. He'll have a kid, he thinks, join Costco, shop for washing machines at Sears, attend t-ball games, go with the flow.

I've been looking at this picture for a couple of weeks wanting to do something with it using the concepts of extended exposure photography. With long exposures, time is used to take your subject further than it appears to see what it can become. For example, this photo was taken with a shutter speed of 30 seconds. Looking through the pictures from that afternoon, I became interested in what it means to be rooted, to remain in one place, one relationship, one job, one house for years, and what it takes for people to stay.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Brightwood, Oregon

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Northern Solstice

Last night, just before midnight and the end of the longest day of the year, I rushed outside with my camera and tripod in an attempt to harness the last of the year's long light before we in the northern hemisphere begin our great tilt away from the sun and the promise of fertility. Beneath the stars, fumbling with the knobs and buttons on my camera, I hoped to capture the midnight sky still lit from earlier in the day when the sun stood still.

Although I couldn't see, I knew I was visible. The nighttime noises were especially spooky as they dangled from the trees swaying in the warm breeze. A rustling sound quite audible, but barely perceptible hours earlier when having dinner on my back porch now crept slowly up my spine, along my neck, and into my head where it found that most vulnerable place in the brain, the one that controls the speed of the heart. Unnerved, I turned toward the sound- what else do you do- and laughed at myself when I saw its source. A beetle, a small one, stirring her wings as she carried about her midnight business.

Intrigued by human instinct, I often wonder how it fits into today's world. During the daylight hours, we humans are noisy; in fact, deafening at times, hardly listening to the sounds around us. At night, that changes. At night, we're quiet. We strive to hear yet not be heard- an ancient instinct deep within our evolutionary process that once aided in our survival, and still might if we were to heed it better.

Last night, like four million nights before it, the earth continued her tilt and the beetle continued her work. A comfort can be had in that kind of precedence, and slowly, the trees began to take shape, as did what's left of the woodpile and a paintbrush forgotten on the porch from an earlier project. I was glad I left my headlamp inside. Feeling like a badass photographer, I set the shutter speed wide open, adjusted the aperture not for detail, but for the last of the solstice's late light, and took my picture.

Ah, but sometimes we dream something bigger than we are. None of my pictures turned out well. They lacked light, composition, interest. Well after midnight, not knowing what I needed to do differently and hearing what was certainly much bigger than a beetle over by my car, I picked up the tripod and left the night to those who know it best.

Inside, my 15 year old dog, my best buddy, gave me a look that said, "Are you finished? Can we go to bed now, please?" as if she knew all along that the solstice is not something to be captured, but to be beheld.

Reason enough to take the camera out
just before midnight on the longest day of the year

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Brightwood, Oregon

Friday, June 15, 2012

Turned Loose

Some fun as I walked off my steady job today... 

                                                                            May a leave of absence mean a return to presence.