You can now follow the blog at www.visiblelightphoto.net/blog/.
The Museum of Glass in Tacoma has an amphitheater in its hot shop. Or maybe that’s a hot shop in its amphitheater. Either way, it makes for some mesmerizing performance art, as half a dozen folks twirl, carry, blow, shape, and try to stay out of the way of molten glass on the end of a long pipe. It’s finely tuned choreography and great teamwork set to whatever raucous music the hot shop team is listening to that day.
There are two furnaces full of molten glass at 2400 degrees F., and a couple of ovens almost that hot where the pieces are rewarmed while they’re being worked on. You can feel the heat from the ovens 30 feet away, even with the gigantic ventilation system in place trying to keep things cool.
While the work itself is done on the floor of the hot shop, the ovens create a dramatic visual effect. The camera compensates for their intense light by making the rest of the area appear dark — although it’s perfectly light in real life. As a result, not only is it possible to pull some shapes out of the darkness, there’s also more detail in the bright parts of the image. I love the concentric circles of different shades of orange that you can see in this picture. (Click on the photo for a larger image and you’ll be able to see them even better.)
Yes, I know — I’ve been neglecting the blog, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been busy. In fact, I’ve had two more photos accepted into juried exhibits that will be shown during the month of April. I would love to hear feedback from anyone who’s able to see them in person!
The photo below was accepted for a show called Nostalgia at PhotoPlace Gallery in Middlebury, Vermont. (I also submitted the image in the previous post, which I personally thought was a stronger contender.)
Submitting this photo gave me a chance to focus on the processing rather than the composition. The bones of this photo are good — a strong diagonal and shallow depth of field. But the original (below) seemed a little too bright for the “nostalgia” theme.
I tried turning this into a sepia print but I wasn’t happy about how it looked. (Maybe I need a little more practice?) So instead I desaturated the color, leaving a little hint of green in the background.
One of the reasons I enjoy photography is that it makes me really look at what’s around me. Especially with the things we see every day, it’s easy to miss out on the details of texture or form.
On the other hand, I occasionally get so focused on one aspect of a thing that I miss other pieces of it entirely. To be fair, sometimes processing brings out parts of an image that were hard to see in “real life.” Both of those were the case with this picture.
There’s a house at the entrance to Ballston Beach in Truro. The weather has played havoc with its shingles, creating a bit of chaos where surely all was once highly ordered. The rectangular panes of the window made a nice counterpoint to the mess of shingles. But it wasn’t until I started processing the image that I realized there was something just behind the glass: an old toy horse and rider. It turned this image into something entirely different than what I’d originally intended.
There’s a Japanese maple outside our front door, and it’s just waiting to burst forth with new leaves. The branches have turned bright red, and when the sun shines on the tree it glows. When there are raindrops clinging to those branches and the sun is at just the right angle, it’s positively dazzling.
The trick has been getting sunlight and raindrops and the right angle…
Here’s my first attempt. It all seemed pretty straightforward ’til I actually got out there with my camera and tried to frame a shot — and realized all those little tiny branches make for a cluttered image.
Still, it’s a nice reminder that spring is in the air.
Along the southern coast of Kauai, just east of Poipu, are the lithified cliffs, an amazing formation of sandstone that is gradually (and in some places, not so gradually) being worn away by wind and waves.
There was one part of the cliffs that reminded me of the hoodoos we saw in Bryce Canyon last spring. So I thought I’d see what would happen if I put photos of each back to back, as it were. (Disclosure: I had to flip the lithified cliffs photo so it faced the right direction.)
I’m not quite sure whether this works — and would love to hear your thoughts on it. Do I, as the viewer, bring something to this because I saw both these formations in the same calendar year? Is it just that I like saying “hoodoo/Poipu”? Or is there really something good happening in this image? Comment away…
(As always, clicking on the image below will take you to a larger version of the photo.)
The sun came out this afternoon and it seemed like a good time to prowl around the neighborhood looking for something to shoot.
This puddle couldn’t have been more than a couple inches deep, but it felt like you could dive right into the reflection.
Consider this a work in progress. There’s something going on in this picture; it’s just not quite done yet…