I've done a "best of" selection at the end of previous years ... but this year I'm opting for a favorites list. I didn't realize there would be a disparity between the photos I consider my best technically versus those I hold close to my heart. There appears to be only a loose correlation between the merits of an image and my feelings about it. With that in mind, here's my list of 2013 [...]
Albedo is the reflectivity of the earth's surface. Ice, white and bright, has a high albedo, reflecting back the sun on itself, whereas water draws the solar radiation deep into its hues. Water is always in flux, mutable -- liquid, vaporous, frozen -- evaporating, condensing and expanding. This fluidity of form and purpose fuels life with its hydrological rhythms. And, it stores life, even as deep as 4000 meters below the East Antarctic ice [...]
Update - November 1, 2016: I get many emails and comments related to this post -- from people interested in micro four thirds (m43) and mirrorless cameras as a wildlife format. I've been shooting with Olympus m43 gear exclusively now for three years and haven't been tempted to switch. In the interim, the gear I'm now using is the OMD E-M1, with my original E-M5 as a backup body. The lenses I've used in the [...]
Long-billed Curlew photographed at sunset, on the dunes at Morro Strand State Beach in California. These thoughts are an extension of the discussion that began under my piece on post-processing. Thanks to my blogging friends who shared their methodologies and perspectives, initiating some thought-provoking explorations of realism in photography. I heard a lecture recently where Picasso's view of photography was described this way: For Picasso, "photography was never an exact registration of a scene, but [...]
A friend linked to this story in her Facebook feed today: Why do Photo Contest Winners Look Like Movie Posters? Post-processing is obviously not a new topic ... and it's one that's been evolving alongside digital photography and darkroom skills. This particular piece questions the lighting on the winning image in the World Press contest, citing photojournalistic ethics in the critique. (The World Press winning image and other entries are here: World Press Photo.) I've [...]
The first time I witnessed a blast of Snow Geese I described it this way: The sound of flocking snow geese is sometimes described as a “cacophony,” a “symphony,” a “storm” — a “baying of hounds,” a “noise blizzard.” The sound, in fact, varies. There’s a comfortable warbling of goose grumbles and calls as the birds graze, punctuated by escalations that bubble up in sections of the flock. Then, there is the silence — a [...]
"Under the brine you won't notice the dark Can stone and steel and horses heels Ever explain the way you feel? From Scapa Flow to Rotherhithe, I felt the lapping of an ebbing tide Oh the heavy water how it enfolds The salt, the spray, the gorgeous undertow Always, always, always the sea Brilliantine mortality." ~ British Sea Power - from the song Carrion :: A solitary stem in a mini kelp forest that invited [...]
My husband Hugh and I always joke that each of us should have married a business manager. We're two happy campers when our heads are clouded with fonts and pixels ... clearly reticent in the task of self-promotion. So, up until today, I hadn't even included my website URL on my Facebook page. But, I did want to mention this new, colorful, and intellectually diverse magazine out of Chico, California called Empirical. It's a current [...]
If you work with or care about animals, the nonhuman ones, eventually, someone will say something like, "shouldn't you care more about what happens to people?" That question doesn't faze me anymore. Given our predominantly anthropocentric world view, I'd actually be surprised if people didn't ask it. I have plenty of answers for why it's a good thing to care about species besides our own. But my top four [anthropocentric] ones are: What happens to [...]
I have a few terabytes of backlogged photos I've never posted -- many of which should probably stay archived. But, I thought for sure I'd published this one. When I searched my blog archives, it appears this image never touched the pages of The Quark. This is a banner I created last year of a Belted Kingfisher in flight (Ceryle alcyon). I shot these frames off Elliott Bay in Seattle, and layered them in Photoshop [...]
Today, I came upon a contentious thread about bird banding on my local birding listserv. This thread made me think of the emails I got in response to my Snowy Owl post -- the post which criticized the photography field ethics we witnessed up at Boundary Bay. On today's listserv, a member birder had concerns about the effects of banding on birds like dippers. The subsequent conversation veered toward some strong opinions, and someone posted [...]
Today seems like an Itten's Contrasts kind of day, with rainbows reflected in puddles as the sun dances in and out of Seattle downpour. I started an Itten's Contrast series on the eve of 2010 -- finishing just eight of my twelve promised posts. I'm tallying up the final four today, two years later, with a link back to the two posts that inspired the original project: It's Not Imbalanced -- It's Itten and The [...]
"Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places where other people see nothing." ~ Camille Pissarro. I can't see the world the way Pissarro did, let alone paint it. My own mother creates watercolors like Georgia O'Keefe's, but I can't draw a stick figure in proper perspective. In other words, were it not for the camera, I'd have no way of executing my visual intent. Through the lens, nothing seems impossible, the mundane [...]
Here's a great way to make a photographer happy: After viewing her photos, say something like "wow, you must have really great gear." Everyone knows photography is not about the gear. Right? Well, it isn't . . . but sometimes it is. Artistic vision is definitely not about the gear. And you'll rankle a lot of artistic people if you say it is. I know a few people who are stocked to the gills with [...]
If I could find more faces in food, this would be a regular series.
That means 59 minutes of lunch hour when I could have been eating, drinking, working, napping but was instead, roaming a garden with my FZ50 and Raynox in hand.
Composition is complex. It's not that the simple rules -- like the Rule of Thirds -- are so tough to grasp. It's that the learning curve from first applying rules to then breaking rules is one chocolate mess of subjectivity.
The biggest bennie of attaching a Creative Commons license to your work is the unanticipated adaptation of that work in a share-alike universe. What? That is to say, I love the chain reaction that ensues from a single act of licensing -- seeing the places your work travels, usually with proper attribution and adherence to the license. One of the reasons I post some of my images under a Creative Commons license (Flickr) is to [...]
This might be what I love most about my camera: it makes something interesting out of the most banal objects. Here's where I started . . . with a lonely and neglected patio table getting pummeled by hail. Finding the Angle That's obviously a mundane shot. Just like any written piece, a photo should tell a story or have an angle on the subject. When I was first honing my craft, I bought [...]
"This country ain't big enough for the two of us. So I'm giving you 'til sundown to get out of town." ~ The Virginian