Stark.

It’s been a cold, white winter. Many people have been complaining about it, and I suppose I can understand this intellectually even if my own reactions to winter are drastically different.
Sorghum resizedThe way some people speak of snow and cold is the same as how I talk about glaring sun and heat in the summer.
Tree and bench resizedI took the Mamiya 645 out to play a couple of weeks ago. The sun was bright and it was very very cold – exactly the kind of weather that invigorates me. The camera, however, had other ideas and the cold made the shutter operate slower than I was asking it to do. I ended up with very overexposed pictures that seemed at first to be unusable. The shots above were somewhat ‘salvaged’ with adjustment of shadow, midtone, and highlight levels, the same way some people try to wring some kind of enjoyment out of an otherwise unpleasant situation.

This next one, however, seemed resistant to any efforts to ‘improve’ it.

Blown out trees resizedThen I realized that I didn’t even want to change it. I love everything in this photo that most people would say was wrong with it. So instead of fighting it, I embrace it just as unapologetically as I embrace winter.

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Semester Eve.

I’m almost ready.

My outfit is planned, the alarm is set, and my books are in order, though I can’t put them in my book bag just yet since Mrs.Parker has settled herself in on top of it.

No matter how many times I’ve done this, the night before the first day of school is always filled with excitement, dread, anxiety, and hopefulness. This semester will be a bit more challenging than usual; in addition to my teaching duties, I am still studying and will be taking two classes. I’ve also accepted an internship where I will be twice a week. When I think of what is on my plate, part of me wishes I could go to bed and wake up in May.

The rest of me, however, is ready for the challenge. I work well under the pressure of a loaded plate. There will surely be times when I will want to quit or slack off. More than once I’ll cry out, “When will this semester be over?” of “What have I done?” But I hope at the end of it, I’ve done what I needed to do and that I’ve done it well.

There’s nothing left to do now but go to bed and rest up for the start of the journey.

Tracks

Day 365: The end of an era.

It’s hard to believe this is my last post of 2013’s Project 365. I was planning a post with the ‘Best of…’ slide show, but I then I decided against it. I’d rather just post a final picture with little fanfare and give myself a few days to reflect on the Project, choose my favorites of the year for the slide show, and finish any withdrawal symptoms I may suffer.

For now, I leave you with one last new image. Or in this case, a different version of an image I’ve already posted. Here’s the set up:

Do we remember that I had two cameras with me at the Vanderbilt Mansion?

Day 361 - C330 and Konstruktor

In the background above, you can see part of the scene I shot with the C330:

Day 363 - House on river

I also took a shot with the Konstruktor:

Day 365 - Tree on river colorSo now we have three views of those trees and the house on the river: first in digital taken with a cell phone, second in medium format taken with a massive 50-year-old TLR, and finally in 35mm taken with a novelty do-it-yourself plastic toy camera.

At the start of this project, I never would have thought I’d be making such a comparison, but there it is. Modern, then Dinosaur, then somewhere in between. How apropos!

These are some of the ideas I have to chew on over the next few days. How has this project changed my photography? Where has it led me? What have I learned, not only technically but philosophically?

While I’m chewing and digesting, I will also be wishing all of you a most wonderful start to the new year. I appreciate the company on this journey of mine, and hope you stick around to see where we go in 2014.

Happy New Year!

Day 363: 6×6 goodness.

The Mamiya has been tested and it is good.

Day 363 - House on riverThis was taken from the bank of the Hudson River on the grounds of the Vanderbilt Mansion in Hyde Park, NY.

Day 363 - ColumnsThe columns, the wide vistas…the Mamiya was just eating them all up!

Day 363 - Tree on riverI think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.