A Few of My Favorite Photos
It has been awhile since I lasted posted ... my apologies. I ran into one of those rude, unexpected, life experiences that, once again, reminded me of my mortality! Actually, lying on my back for several days got me thinking about about which of the many images I've taken are my favorites ... really with thousands of images on file its nearly impossible to figure out. I decided, instead, to show you the ones I look at almost every day ... yes, the ones hanging on the walls.
In the beginning:
This image was taken with my first digital camera, a Nikon D1x, at Sunsert; from the hills above Berkley; looking West to the Golden Gate Bridge. It was certainly one of the best of my early digital images and has always had a spot on my wall!
My Business Card Photo:
I used this image of a Great Egret taken in Florida as the photo on a business card. As a viewer you can't tell, but this image is shown as it was taken ... with a large telephoto lens, and no cropping. Capturing a bird in flight using a large telephoto is an acquired skill and I managed to get this one right and that's why its one of my favs.
Years ago, I found Lotus plants growing in Echo Park and took this image of one of the blossoms on its last legs. I love the symbolism of the Lotus ... it grows up out of the mud; buds; blossoms; and then looses its seeds back to the mud to begin the cycle again. With great light, I used a large telephoto lens to isolate this plant. The image was accepted as one of a hundred for a juried competition by a curator from the Los Angeles County Museum about 6,000 images submitted for the competition that year.
The Big Splash:
This image was selected as the best amateur photo in an Audubon Society juried photo competition. I love the soft early morning light and the action of the brown pelican's dive.
Luck and timing are often major ingredients in creating good images ... one or two thousandths of a second either way, and you have a different image. That's one of the reasons action photographers want a camera that can take images at a high frame rate; and its one of the reasons professional photogs take so many shots of the same subject.
This image of a window was taken on the grounds of a Buddhist Temple in Kaw Law, Myanmar. It is really a simple picture but I love the symmetry of the lines; the soft pastel colors; and the wear and tear of various components of the window. Worn though it may be, there is a certain strength and durability reflected in this image. And, then there is the mystery of what's behind the window!
The Basket Lady:
Taken at a market in Myanmar, I knew almost instantly I had taken an image I was going to enjoy for many years! And, in a strange way, I knew, too, the trip would be a photographic success for me.
The chills ran up and down my spine when I entered this building where student Buddhist monks were studying and praying. The lighting was dark, and there was a certain solemnity pervading the room. Though we were noticed by the four monks, they did not react. I decided to focus initially on this lone monk in the corner. The red robe sucks your eye to the subject. Enlarge this image and look at the walls ... they were used as a note pad.
Ode to Ansel:
There I stood (at Tunnel View) staring at the full moon rising over Yosemite Valley. I was with a bunch of other photographers. It was an awe-inspiring view. Most were using a wide angle lens to try and capture the whole scene. I knew I'd see twenty essentially identical shots the next day... I'd already taken one myself!
How could I capture something different? After all, I was in Ansel's cathedral ... could I do something Ansel-like? I went back to my car and got out a large telephoto to isolate this shot of the Moon and El Capitan. It was a cool shot that got even better when one of you viewers upon seeing the color version, suggested it would look great in Black and White. Bingo!
I can't say in words how amazing it is to see, hear, and smell a thousand wildebeest hurtling themselves down a steep embankment to cross a river in which they might drown or be killed by a crocodile. It was a powerful example of the force of nature. The drive to continue living as the species was more than apparent that day ... it was palpable!
You don't always have to travel great distances to photograph the "exotic". I took this image at an local Buddhist Temple in Los Angeles a few miles from my home. The ephemeral nature of the incense smoke in this picture has always appealed to me emotionally. It can be seen and smelled but has no substance. An ideal representation of a spirit ... no wonder it has been used in religious ceremonies for centuries.
Oh, I can not look at this picture without smiling and remembering the joy and freedom offered by a machine capable of going wherever you direct it to go.
Right side up; upside down; sideways ... it doesn't matter. It is an awesome ride!
Professional photographers will tell you they are not trying to make pretty pictures ... they are trying to take photos that provoke the viewer's psyche in some way.
... And, I hope one or two of my favorites have done that for you!
As always, thank you for making the effort to look.
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