Yuccas Whisper

Yuccas Whisper Among Themselves

The Big Bend National and State Parks are treasures that are largely unvisited. They are remote with few amenities that people find necessary for comfortable vacations. Conditions are hot by day, cold at night with some of the darkest skies in the lower 48 states. It frightens some people because there are only moon and stars for light and the sounds of nature. That is exactly why you might want to explore the thousand square miles of parkland for yourself. There is no other place where you can hear the Dagger Yuccas whisper in the breeze.

Download the latest Phototrice calendar in PDF format. Direct download links – No signup required.

The North America calendar
Weeks starting on Sunday.

Phototrice Calendar No. 42 – North America

The International calendar
Weeks starting on Monday.

Phototrice Calendar No. 42 – International

Black and White and Color

The eyeWhat follows is a revised and extended version of comments I made recently on another website.

For close to ten years I have processed digital raw photos into black and white images nearly every day. Somehow digital black and white just suits me and I enjoy spending time doing post processing. This is unusual for a couple of reasons, not least because I never shot film in black and white or color.

Deciding to pick up a camera is easy. Becoming a competent non-professional photographer is difficult. Like everyone else I started out reading and following whatever advice I could find. There are thousands of books and millions of experts on every website just waiting to help out. Following formulas and emulating the work of others got me started but that didn’t last long. My goal was always been to produce unique personal work. So for years I have attempted to educate myself while following my muse.

Phototrice.com which is an integral part of my photography went online about fifteen months ago. It gives me the opportunity to publish pictures, create useful software and most of all communicate with a wide audience. A hobby with a purpose you might say. One thing it is not is a vehicle for making money.

Phototrice has presented a few challenges along the way. Certainly I want to maintain minimum quality standards for words and images published in the blog. The first challenge is that I’m a software developer by profession not a writer. My languages of choice are for instructing machines not writing English. Second is the requirement to publish mostly color images online. My personal interest is in digital black and white photography. That is exactly opposite of what is required for the blog.

I only use digital cameras and capture technologies. Even if my finished images are completely true to the original raw photos they are not what used to be called straight photography. Digital images are manipulated right from capture to conform to the look of historical materials and processes. In other words they emulate analog photographs by design. I see this matter-of-fact processing bias as an unfortunate limitation.

Much of the potential of digital imaging technology is squandered by confining oneself to an emulation of analog photography. That is why I regularly explore techniques that are simply not possible with analog film capture. For me the camera and digital capture are source material for finished images that may or may not resemble classic photographs. I understand that some people will find my attitude annoying but I see no reason confine my work to a standard that ignores the potential of my tools.

Night Speed

Night Speed
Night Speed
Staying with the darkness for one more post. This image is a riff on work done by West Coast artists such as Ed Ruscha. Long lines and exaggerated perspective appeals to me. Having been born and raised at least part of the time in the American West, I tend to see landscapes with a certain color, sweep and depth. The result of saturated golden hour hues from dust in the atmosphere and deep blue high altitude light. It became imprinted in my perception as a child. That is my story anyway. Regardless of where I live I can close my eyes and see the Wasatch range topped with snow and glowing in golden light.

Download the latest Phototrice calendar in PDF format. Direct download links – No signup required.

The North America calendar
Weeks starting on Sunday.

Phototrice Calendar No. 41 – North America

The International calendar
Weeks starting on Monday.

Phototrice Calendar No. 41 – International