Thursday, February 21, 2013


Recomposing Light, Texture, Form, and Shadow, 2013

I did considerably more work on this image. I brought up details in the shadows, and recomposed the actual composition. I think that the previous version had too much wall on the top. I included the fence on the right so that I could completely fill the frame. I am not sure if it detracts or adds anything to the overall image.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


The Old Safeway Building, 2013

I took this photograph this morning while I was walking in an area of town that I have never photographed. I had my little pocket camera, and took a dozen or so photographs of the interplay of texture and shadow.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Sacramento Valley Rice 03, c.1986

I am strongly drawn to the perspective that waist-level viewfinders provide. The camera I used in this series was a Rollicord with a 75mm lens. My all time favorite digital camera, the Sony R1 featured an articulating LCD screen and provided the opportunities for similar compositions to this.

Monday, February 18, 2013


Sacramento Valley Rice 02, c. 1986

This is another image that I always liked. The negative has a little room around the edges, but I straightened out the vertical lines, and that cropped the edges of the structure. I am learning these days to not crop so tight in the camera.

I understand that many folks will not appreciate these images, and I am fine with that. I am drawn to them, and I am thinking that I will go back soon and see if and how I will approach these structures twenty-five years later, and with digital technology.

Sunday, February 17, 2013


Sacramento Valley Rice 01, c. 1986

As a photographer, I have always been drawn to photograph large structures such as this. My eye was drawn to study bridges, towers, buildings, railroads, aircraft, and ships. I consider these elements to play major roles in the landscape, and as an artist it is my job to showcase the elements that I find create the composition that is most appealing to my aesthetic sense.

This photograph is one of many that I took on a week-long expedition to the valley. I think the trip occurred in about 1986. Back then I was using a Rollicord and for this series I used some of my stock of fine-grain Panatomic X film. I scanned this negative at 6400dpi to capture as much detail as I could.

Saturday, February 16, 2013


Tug Boats on Humboldt Bay, 1983

Prior to moving to Eureka in 1979, I had never lived by the ocean. The place where we lived was a little over a mile from the old Del Norte Dock. Occasionally I could hear the whistles from the tugs as they were going about there duties, and sometimes I would dash down to the harbor to watch them work.

I had a scale model of a tug boat when I was a kid. I think I always imagined that working on a tug would be a good thing to do. I think tug boats are of the same caste for the maritime world as are switch engines for the railroads. Tug boats like switch engines, play important roles in supporting there larger siblings, but are generally behind the scenes, and therefore do not have the glory that goes with large ships or long trains.

I scanned this the other night, and I did a little processing in Light Room. Somewhere I have a gelatin/silver print of this shot in storage.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


Marsh Sunset, February 13, 2013

I took this photograph this afternoon with five minutes to spare. The sun went behind the fog bank and we lost the afterglow. Nonetheless, I was pleased with this photo.

Monday, February 11, 2013


More Mysteries of the Forest, 2012

In some of my recent work I have been pushing my boundaries with color and composition. I realize   that in this photograph that the magenta is "over done" for the tastes of some. I would agree if this photograph was presented as an accurate or scientific study of the forest. My work is not intended to be "spot-on accurate". It is my intention to present an interpretation of what I perceive.

The work I often show in this space is work that is in progress. Indeed, I would say that all most all my work is in progress.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Line Drawing on Water, 2006

I love going back through my archives. I took this image just after acquiring my Sony R1 in early 2006. I still miss the articulating LCD that was so handy for compositions like this.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


Greeting the Sun While Heading East, 2013

I went for a bike ride first thing this morning. I am not riding the thirty-five and fifty mile rides that I did ten years ago,  but I still can make it up Fickle Hill. The hill forces me to get into an aerobic exercise zone. If I did not I would be going so slow that I would just fall over like the guy (Arte Johnson) on Laugh In used to do.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


The Illuminated Tree, 2012

I worked for years attempting to capture this particular quality of light. In the past, I often saw the glowing sunlight in these smaller trees. The lit branches and needles were in contrast with the darker trunks of the surrounding giants, and the shaft of sunlight usually was limited to a very narrow corridor.

I think that this type of lighting within the deep forest is very similar to that of stage lighting. It is as if there is a solo performer on the stage, and that performer is illuminated with a high-key light from behind and from above and off to one side. The angles provide the opportunity for the needles, lichen, and branches to glow. The illusion is that the tree seems to glow from within. Or is it an illusion?

I took this image last November while on an outing with David Mast somewhere up Lost Man Creek. I am very pleased with this interpretation of the lighting. This is what I see when I am in the forest and come upon such a scene. Until last night, I never was able to create an image that carried this particular essence of a back lit tree.

Monday, February 4, 2013


Redwood Bark, 2013

Fortunately, there are places still where one may retire to the deeper recesses of the forest. We have numerous places where to do so is possible, and many are within a one-hour drive from where I live.

I live in a redwood forest. Our property borders the Arcata Community Forest. It is mostly a second-growth forest, and ours is too. I go out there at least twice a week when I walk the dog. I go out there to photograph as well, and sometimes I go there just because I like being there.

As nice as our woods are, they pale in comparison to the old-growth forests. The differences are somewhat easy to grasp if one only considers scale. There is more to it than that. The old growth forest and its individual member trees give a sense of presence that colors one's mood. Loud voices hush to whispers, and a feeling of deep joy may arise within one's soul. At least that is what happens to me.

I hope that some of that comes through with these images that I share here.

Sunday, February 3, 2013


Secrets of the Forest, 2013

I am compiling a body of work that is thematically based on the revelations of the deep redwood forest. This work includes the subsets that I named The Spirit Tree Series, and Sacred Snag Shrines. It also includes my newest subset that includes the forest floor. The above image is from the latter set as was the image that I posted yesterday.

Saturday, February 2, 2013


Illuminated Snag, 2013

One of the things that gives the ancient redwood forest a sense of timelessness is that the monuments to the ancestors remain for a very long time. In this old-growth grove, most of the trees are mature, and it is these that capture the attention. There are younger trees, but I do not notice them as much. The sheer size and mass of the giants tend to overwhelm my senses, and rightly so.

The forest that we live in on Fickle Hill, is comprised of mostly second, third, and perhaps fourth -growth redwoods. We know of a few old growth trees in the community forest, but they are very rare, and are with one exception, living snags.

That is why I love going to the protected forests. It is there that I can get a sense of what these environments were really like two hundred years ago. I am grateful for those who fought to save what  they could, and it does not get any better than at Prairie Creek State Park.

Friday, February 1, 2013


Among the Giants, Looking Skyward, 2013

Here is another photograph from yesterday's outing.