Another scene from the first weekend of this month on the High Lonesome Ranch:
Canon 5D + 24-70mm f/2.8L + polarizer
4 seconds, f/8, 24mm, ISO 200
Last month I wrote about shooting the trees on the ranch as my main subject (www.texbrick.com/photo/blog/?p=109). That work was done in November. In December and early January, I made two more trips to the ranch and again focused on the trees.
The ranch isn’t a grand landscape kinda place. It’s cluttered with thick vegetation and the low, rolling hills don’t often open up to wide vistas.
Something I’ve been struggling with in the last year or two is resisting my wanting to shoot big (i.e. the grand landscape or BIG scenic), or rather, to stop putting such importance on shooting such scenes.
I guess when we start this love affair with photography, we get excited about the nifty gear. Then we get excited about “capturing” trophy scenes, typically great American icons like the Grand Canyon, the Tetons, etc. We “chase the light” and become what Mark Hobson likes to call “light stalkers”. All we seem to be after are postcard-worthy snaps to hang on the walls like trophies to impress visitors.
a grand landscape (i.e. a BIG scenic)
click for larger pic
Admittedly, I won’t pass up a grand landscape or a scene with vivid, mind-blowing light and color without at least a snap. Stuff like that captures my interest and I just cannot help it. But when I look for meaning in photography, I get a sense that something more profound must be present in a photo.
So I started shooting trees Well, it was really an exercise: pick one subject and stick with it for a while. A short project is a better term for this work.
What I was after was to learn and experience practicing meaningful photography when the usual attention grabbing grand scenes were just not available. I.e. more like shooting in your backyard when you don’t have the time or money to take a trip.
So are my trees more meaningful than the Grand Canyon? I’m not sure. They’re certainly an intimate look at life on the ranch, although the “life” is fairly ordinary and common.
As the short project wore on (I made four trips to the ranch between mid-November and early January), my interest gained. I enjoyed it. The thing that really stood out to me was that I started to see much more photographic opportunity than I had before. I started to notice all sorts of potential scenes as I wandered around the ranch, and I revisited many of them when I had time to photograph.
I did, however, encounter vivid, colorful conditions I wasn’t stalking the light, but I did make use of it
click for larger image