Sunday, September 07, 2014

Published 8:08 PM by with 3 comments

Postcards from the Road

One of the many things I love about photography is that it just gets me off my butt and makes me interact with the world. I honestly don't think my life would be as rich without it. It allows me to interact with people, notice the sunrise and sunset and see the beauty that's present in the world every day, be it in an urban or rural setting. Living on the road in a motorhome now affords me more opportunities to do all of these things like never before. The sheer variety of photographs I have captured in the last month is staggering to me and I feel very fortunate. I have some long-term projects in mind but they will have to wait. For now, I'm happy to immerse myself in whatever comes my way.

When I was in Portland with my friend Glenn, we collaborated on a photography project and I took the opportunity beforehand to do a separate portrait shot of our model, Grace. I wanted to create a vintage feel with a low key lighting setup. The strong shadows and single light worked perfectly for black and white.

One evening, while Linda and I were hanging out with Glenn and his wife Kris at our campground, I noticed the beautiful evening light. Glenn and I jumped up, pushed through thorny bushes to the huge adjacent illuminated field. Always adventurous and playful, Glenn posed for this semi-serious superhero pose. 

The repetitive patterns and sense of height made this an interesting composition for me. We were on the way to the top of Beacon Rock in Oregon. It was a mildly strenuous ascent but the views were quite rewarding.

While on an early morning walk, I noticed this sculpture and thought it would work great as a silhouette in black and white.

There are certain subjects that look great in black and white and others that fail but this is one of the good ones. The strong sunlight, the timelessness of the woman's clothing and the somewhat whimsical "Juice Bar" made this a favorite for me.

When we were in Florence, Oregon recently we stumbled upon a classic car show. It was a challenge to get some shots without people walking in front of my lens. I wanted the photo to look like the same vintage as the car so I tried to omit anything modern.

On Haceta Beach near Florence, these crows were curious about something on the ground. I liked the contrast between their dark bold shapes and the distant fog and people walking on the beach.

I noticed these dunes behind, of all places, Fred Meyer (a grocery/home store) in Florence. What drew me to the scene was the weathered fence. I love contrast in black and white and the relative purity of the sand with the dark textured wood worked really well. When these two people walked into my frame with their sandboards, it was a lucky accident. They not only added interest to the composition but they also gave it a sense of scale.

Continuing on the sand dune theme, I spent one early morning at South Jetty near Florence walking on the beach by myself. It was truly amazing. There are actually 40 miles of dunes in this area so I guess I could have walked until I literally dropped. My preference would have been to shoot the dunes with low sunlight to accentuate the ripples in the sand and the strong shapes but the cloudy sky made everything pretty flat. Still, I felt a lot of gratitude having the freedom to walk on that vast beach and breath in the fresh air.

Although living on the road has made it possible to see all of these wonderful places and people, my passion for photography, in turn, makes it possible for me to appreciate it all on a profound level.

Stay tuned.


Fred Wishnie said...

I look for your posts every day. It's going to be such a treat to see this country through your eyes, thanks so much for sharing.

Laurie and Odel said...

Ditto what Fred said. Not only do we get to see wonderful parts of the country, but we get to read your thoughts on what you like, what makes a photo work. Very interesting to me. The Juice Bar photo was so much more interesting in B&W than it would have been in color (my opinion), yet I never would think of photographing I B&W. I might try something new!

Steven Dempsey said...

Thanks Fred. Laurie, I'm glad I have inspired you. Looking forward to seeing some monochrome :)