Nor’easter

January 29, 2015

BW photograph of Morgan Run after a light snow.

Copyright 2015 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

A major storm “skirted” (NPR’s term) New York City and is hammering the Northeast-the fact that 12″ of snow in the city is considered good gives a sense of perspective as to what had been forecast.  New England, though, is getting the brunt of the storm with several feet of snow and occasional hurricane-force winds.  The 3″ that fell locally hardly deserves a mention.

BW photograph of snow clinging to muddy branches at Morgan Run.

Copyright 2015 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

That 3″ though was enough to close some school systems and delay the openings of others.

BW photograph of a rock wall at Morgan Run after a light snow.

Copyright 2015 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

It truly is a matter of perspective and the kinds of weather to which an area becomes accustomed.  For instance, on the other end of the spectrum, the February 2015 issue of National Geographic contains an article about the danger(s) climate change is bringing to the state of Florida. The article is well worth a read as weather systems around the world are changing and with that comes a need for more highly refined problem solving.  3″ of snow is a nuisance.  3′ is crippling, but time-limited.  Ocean levels rising 5′ (I know I am mixing my forms of water here) is catastrophic.

No one, though, should be caught by surprise as the effects of climate change have already been apparent.

Take care.

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The Remains

January 24, 2015

 

BW photograph of an old yellow rose.

Copyright 2015 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

It is important to stay focused on the subject when working, whether making photographs or writing.  One of the fundamental elements of photographic composition is anything that does not add to the photograph is distracting and, therefore, needs to be removed.  There is no doubt that this is an old rose.  However, the original colour photograph was converted to B&W and the background dropped out so as to leave a study of shape and texture.  Colour can sometimes be a distraction all its own and is one of the reasons some prefer to work with shades of grey.  This rose was old and somewhat brittle, so when being moved about, some of the petals eventually fell prey to gravity and ended up on the floor.  They had, in fact, removed themselves.

BW photograph of petals and leaves that had fallen and were swept into a pile.

Copyright 2015 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

There were other flowers in this particular bouquet that had also begun to shed some parts.  While sweeping up the debris, it became readily apparent that what is initially discarded can often be used in another context and might be just as aesthetic and, perhaps, even more poignant.  It is worth asking the question, which image encourages more thought?  The photograph that leads the post is fairly straight forward.  The second photograph, I think, provides a bit more with which to work in terms of alternative narratives.

It is worth noting that the film used in the opening scene of Apocalypse Now was found in the trash bin as it had been cut and thrown away.

Take care.

Simplicity

January 23, 2015

BW photograph of a single tree centered against an overcast sky.

Copyright 2015 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

A quiet photograph with soft light while the next winter storm is moving in…

Take care.

Perspective

January 19, 2015

BW photograph of ice formations hanging from a rock ledge.

Copyright 2015 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

I have been working with normal to wide-angle lenses (50 mm down to 24 mm) and getting close to the subject matter for so long I felt a bit lost when needing to use the longer telephoto (100 mm and longer) lenses.  On a recent trip I saw a photograph to make and did not have near the focal length to do so.  Given that the intended subject was across a (very) wide river, the option of walking closer would have been impossible.  Getting closer would have altered the intended perspective as well.  (Wide-angle lenses excel for photographing from the inside of the scene outward; whereas telephotos work well for photographing from the outside of the scene looking in.)  As a result, a new telephoto lens is in the collection and it is an interesting experience to be out-and-about and re-activating those longer-focal length compositional neurons.

BW photograph of an ice-covered rock with fast water moving past.

Copyright 2015 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

This is also a metaphor for most things in life.  When doing almost anything for long periods of time, it is natural to settle into a comfort zone of perspective-that is, to have fixed way of seeing things.  While this soon becomes quite natural, it is also quite restrictive and tends to place boundaries on points-of-view.  It is only by stepping outside those restraints that growth is again possible, uncomfortable and hesitant though that may be.

While this message of changing perspective is nothing so profound that it cannot be read in any number of places, it is always an interesting sensory experience to feel it.  And that really is the point:  you can talk about and read all you want about change-yet nothing happens until the behaviour comes along and stays for a while.  How many New Year’s resolutions are still intact, eh?

Nothing profound, but very much worth keeping in mind.

Take care.