Sunday, October 28, 2012

Part 3 of 9: canyon at sunset

Click here for Part 1 of the series
Click here for Part 2 of the series

Hopefully, when you first looked at this image, you wondered what it is, or at least asked, "Is that a sidewalk?" Yes, it is, and thank you for asking a question about it. Landscape photography is a popular theme in the photo world. Everyone takes landscapes, from professional fine art photographers to tourists - some better than others.

I've dabbled in landscape photography, and taken some images I like but too often the images I capture look just like everyone else who's taken the same/similar image. "That's a nice picture of the Snake River Canyon Chris. My grandmother has one just like it, so does my 4 year old nephew, and my neighbor, and the postcard at the gas station ..."

But the vast landscapes, on which I've too often focused, should not be the only targets. Look at these two beautiful trees. Taken late in the day, the light is wonderful. The texture of the desert leading up to the canyon creates some long, dark shadows. The trees cling to edge, growing out of the darkness to find the light. Yes, the trees are less than an inch tall, but the emotion is still there.

I like the pattern of diagonal lines in this image. They create repeating and expanding triangles, which can be a dynamic element in a photo, especially when contrasted with such a static subject matter. I also like how the image seems almost b&w, except for the wonderful greens of the two trees, showing how life can overcome even the darkest, drabbest circumstances.

This photo carries varied themes: hope, perseverance, invisibility, recognition.
There are people in my life who go unnoticed, every day. They're there, but like the two small plants in the crack of the sidewalk, I walk right by them, or over them. I ignore them or maybe walk around them, but I don't engage them. I wonder how much beauty I've missed because I didn't see these invisible people. So this photo is also about recognition. Photographing these two floral characters, I spent several minutes laying on the sidewalk. I'm sure passersby were wondering, "Why is that guy laying on the ground? What's he taking a picture of?" (more questions about my photography - I love it) But those few brief moments captured some fun images for me.

This photo is also about perseverance and hope. Some would call these weeds - they grow everywhere and sometimes seem impossible to stop. But I try to take lessons from that. The circumstances of my life are not always easy. Sometimes it seems that life is conspiring against me. But even in the darkest days, I can still grow. In fact, I can't be stopped from growing.
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