When the Rain Breaks, the Concrete Pours

October 23, 2009 – Fall felt like winter to me in North Dakota during the month of October. The weather influenced daily life more than I was accustomed to and I soon learned that best laid plans for getting lots of work hours in that month was dependent on how dry the ground stayed from rain and snow. Yet the pace kept on with shoveling, leveling and tying rebar through days of mostly light sleet and rain and wind-chill factors that had me reminding myself of how fortunate I was to not be in the hot and muggy south. The orange tubing in the photo is for hot water that will circulate throughout the whole 50′ x 50′ slab, making for a nice warm floor and a more efficient heating system throughout the home. Finally towards the end of the month on the 10th or 12th workable day, the soil on the property dried out enough to get a concrete pumper to the site where the magic took place in all of just 4 hours.

Imagination – What do you see?

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There’s a children’s picture book series out on the horizon called the “The Cloud Seekers”, written by Robert L. Calixto.  It’s still in the early stages due out next year but the concept is about a group of friends who explore the possibilities in what takes shape in the clouds.  A simple concept, reminiscent of a time I remember and certainly fun to share with little ones.

Curiosity Mirrored

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A light snow flurry started on this day in Walsh County, ND and as I was passing this area of farm land I noticed this beauty grazing on her pasture.  It was a solemn, much laid-back scene with the snow falling around her and I was curious to see if I could compose a shot.   As I started to snap off images from about 50 yards away, the sound of my camera had sparked her curiosity.  As she came my direction, I continued to take images of the cautious approach which led to this shot.  It’s funny because what started out as an attempt to get a single scene composed for a still image ended up as a face to face visit from a beautiful creature, a totally different final composition and an experimental short motion clip, not to mention, being able to give a friendly rub on her face before I left.  Nature’s spirit is pretty profound and it tends to pop up and say “hello” when you least imagine.

The sequences of the images are put together in this short called “The Visit”.

http://www.vimeo.com/7178930

There’s a long ending after the fade out.   To replay it just move the slider back to the beginning.

Shadows & Highlights

_MG_2354_1I’ve always been fascinated by how much a print technician can do to bring out dynamic range in prints from film through basic “dodge & burn” darkroom techniques.  The collaboration between a printer who usually has never been to the locations photographed but can interpret what the photographer saw is a creative process many photographers depended on.  Now with the digital process a photographer can experiment with dynamic range in images that bridge to the surreal.  This image is tweaked with an exaggerated Shadow/Highlight & Contrast layers in Photoshop.  There is software that will take images to the creative extremes like in this blog site:

http://www.stuckincustoms.com/hdr-software/