Beginnings (the start of a visual journey in 2010)

Many widely recognized yearly photographic efforts are made by the likes of Jim Brandenburg, among others, but I decided to undertake this series for many reasons. The first spark occurred when I came across a collaborative daily blog turned written documentation, A Year of Mornings, which appealed in a human way. It was a part of the photographers' daily lives, a document of the passage of time, as well as an aesthetic effort.

This project is designed to amass a series of related and unrelated images as they flow and feed off of each other, creating a vision of a whole year of experience.

A larger reason to shoot so much was to force myself to continue to push images. Some days I have projects in mind, other days I'm inspired with a flash of insight, and some days I think, "damn, what am I going to create tonight?" Either way, I've kept going.

When this series began I thought of it as a 365+ project because the goal was to have the equivalent of a year's worth of daily images that would follow and reveal twelve months. But, because I'm also working and a full-time graduate student as well as a human being with other interests, I gave myself the leeway of not photographing every day, so long as the final number of images surpasses 365. When I began posting on a social network site, I started by sharing an average of two photographs a day; by the end of January it looked as though the quantitative goal would be reached halfway through the year. I tend to work in series and like to show context, so a challenge has been paring down daily posts to just one or two images. With this blog I will try to be more particular and share no more than two photos per day.

Thus far, we're 1/12th of the way through and not a day has been missed. More importantly, though, I feel the tendrils of inspiration not previously imagined, and for that reason, this already feels like a success.

Please enjoy, contemplate, comment and share with your friends.


March is drawing to a close, which marks the completion of 1/4 of the year and this project.

Reviewing the images I'm pleased by some and bored by others. Many photographs would not make the cut were it not a daily regimen. But, though I missed one day due to illness and, technically supplanted one day's picture amongst its vacation brethren during the week and a half of Alaska photos, the gears are still rolling.

The images I've been more pleased with have been the light/color compositions, although projects such as the water droplets, reverse lens macro, smoke and TTV photography were also highlights. Where I seem to grow stagnant are with images relating more directly to documenting me or my life, especially the mundane, but perhaps that's personal perception. April will be kicked off with a weekend in Chicago.

Keep on checking in as I keep on keepin' on. Recent layout goodies includes the ability for you, oh honored viewer, to rate posts and vote on imagery types.


As June winds down, 365+ nears its crest. Counting back, however, just over one hundred images remain to be posted.

These past few months I've embraced the loose design of the project and shifted into a relaxed schedule of posts. In favor of sharing greater context and more consistently solid imagery while maintaining an eye on the year as a whole, I may not shoot or post every day, but continue to translate the spirit of the time. Early July marks the beginning of the descent and holds the promise of visual adventure as I head back to Alaska.

Please be aware of new links on the right column noting Artists, inspiration and intriguing ideas or commentary.
*Clicking on most photos will enlarge the image*

Friday, July 16, 2010

July 15 - 31 ~ Alaska overflow

It would be pleasant to announce the full editing of all the recent Alaska trip photos, but, alas, that may take a few days. 1000 images need to be culled and, depending upon ideas, blended or otherwise adjusted. Because there are so many there should be plenty to cover the next few days as well as the two weeks during which they were made.

In the meantime, here's a taste of subjects:

Birch Hill
a forested area near Bobb's cabin
TTV photography galore
panoramas (should that be panorami?)
an area about 85 miles north of Fairbanks ("12 mile road"?)
Angel Rocks (in Chena Recreation Area)
abstract light and color play
macro (nature)
faux fisheye
a cat's kill
a bit of area around UAF (Botanical Gardens and Large Animal Research)
the road from Fairbanks to Chicken
the road from Chicken to Valdez
the road from Valdez to Fairbanks

Overflow of imagery~

I particularly enjoy the shades in this shot. The full color version didn't strike as much as it does reduced to quieter elements.
Remember to click on pics for an enlarged view.

These plants were everywhere, and the magenta color kept catching my eye. I've contemplated removing the water drop to increase movement around the composition.

The plants' softness worked wonderfully with evening light.

We happened upon Valdez on a very nice day. Not shown in this image was the amazing amount of--what appeared to be--cottonwood fluffs floating around. Our lunch waitress referred to them as "fairies."

While traveling, I was thinking of some ideas for future series. Some of them have been mulling about for a while. Staring out the window of a moving vehicle, watching the road approach and recede, clears my head. They have not all been implemented, but will be.

What marks a person in a place? What do we know about someone from where they've been or what they've left? Conversely, what can be inferred about the place in which the remains wait? Images of these fragments will be a series of Remnants. An example of this series may be viewed here. At least one more will likely be uploaded this month.

Seeing a place takes time. I make pictures of many landscapes simply because the vast sublime is so appealing, but a vista of hills and mountains does not describe the whole. While visiting Alaska for the first time, two and a half years ago, a stark contrast emerged between the glossy tourist facade and the quieter, hidden environment. Often, such areas appear neglected or completely abandoned. These images will be the blend of the real with the ideal. I would rather they be an exploration than an exploitation, documenting what exists within an environment.  In some cases these photographs may overlap with the Remnants series, where clues about a place may be inferred from casual remains.  At other times, these images may be portraits or something completely different.  They are not limited to the sad and lonely, though those facets may be uncovered.  Imagine a rusted car growing out of the corner of a scenic view pullout, looming in the foreground against a mountainous backdrop. The background is what many observe, but everything has its position in describing a place—its whole history, present and future.
How much of your tourism experience is your own, and how much is it directed by someone else? Who decides what's scenic, worth viewing? In the words of Bobb, as we passed a sign indicating a pullout in 1500 feet, "oh goody, finally something pretty to look at." I like the signs that are just camera icons and distance, as they're a great shorthand for the message: ideal picture, just around the bend (or, here's the spot where it's been decided that you can safely pull over to make the picture you've been itching to create for the past few miles). This series will document scenic view indicators paired with the site one is supposed to appreciate.

1 comment:

  1. are so brilliant! Can't wait to see your work.... :)