Monthly Archives: December 2009

Happy New Year:

The new year begins in a snow-storm of white vows. 

 -George William Curtis-

 

Advertisements

Anger and Time:

Like fragile ice, anger passes away in time.

-Ovid-
Publius Ovidius Nasco was born March 20th, 43 BC he died in 17 or 18 AD and was known as Ovid.  He was Roman poet who wrote about love. sedcution and mythological transformation.


Christmas Gloves

The road is patched with thick ice from the day’s snow and freezing rain, making every step one to be mindful.  I reach deep into my coat pocket for my new Christmas gloves to ward off the cold wind while moving slowly down the hill.

Cutting a small stream on the east side of the road is the frigid waters from the rain and snow melt.  It’s a soft beautiful sound of water moving slowly over rock; across driveways and through the drains. It carries just enough force to start cutting under the asphalt road.

The family seven houses down at the fork in the road are working on their chimney.  It was time to take the cover off and check the draw. With wood plentiful in this area it is a better value than the cost of heating oil.  I wave towards the roof peak making sure he is ok and does not need a helping hand; hoping that he does as it is nice to meet new people.

You can become isolated on the mountain.

After rounding the corner and about a quarter mile down the road another neighbor is unpacking a small trailer with wood, attached to his quad, stacking it with care just below his house.  I wave and hope he doesn’t need help as it does not look as much fun as walking on the roof.

The wind is cutting deeper into my coat, sweatshirt and flannel as I crest the hill toward the cabins and on to home.

I never tire of looking at the cabins, thinking of the stories they hold.  The weather bleached wood I’ve now watched through almost three seasons.  With each they take on a new wardrobe; a hat of summer moss, a blanket of autumn leaves and a coat of winter snow.

The thermometer on the porch reads sixteen degrees and I feel the wind driving through the tree limbs is pushing it lower.   As I kick the snow off my shoes, reaching for the door, I’m that more appreciative for my Christmas gloves.


The Clouds that Float into Life bring Beauty:

Snowflakes are kisses from heaven.

 -Author Unknown-

 


It is Christmas in the heart that puts Christmas in the air. -W.T. Ellis-

May Peace be your gift at Christmas and your blessing all year through! 

-Author Unknown-

Perhaps the best Yuletide decoration is being wreathed in smiles. -Author Unknown-

 

 


Fire and Ice:

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

-Poem by Robert Lee Frost-


The Crack of Ice:

Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust, and hostility to evaporate.

-Albert Schweitzer- 


The Kitchen Window:

Nature's Winter etch-a-sketch displayed on a pane of glass.

A lot of people like snow. I find it to be an unnecessary freezing of water.
-Carl Reiner-

Ice crystals form on window screen.


The Weight of Winter:

 

 
 

Earth teach me to forget myself as melted snow forgets its life. Earth teach me resignation as the leaves which die in the fall. Earth teach me courage as the tree which stands all alone. Earth teach me regeneration as the seed which rises in the spring.

-William Alexander-

 


No limitations but your own:

The subject matter is so much more important than the photographer.
-Gordon Parks-

Many years ago, in an attempt to have my photography staff understand that just about every element around them can produce an interesting photograph; I challenged them to take a look literally in their own backyard and produce a visual that was compelling and unique.

As I remember the majority met and surpassed the challenge with one individual laboring over a macro image of dog poop.  I’m guessing it was more an editorial comment on the assignment than taking the journey to elevate the way one sees simplistic objects commonly found within our daily reach.

The wonderful thing about photography is that you don’t need to travel far to see the beauty of light and how it can transform every day objects into a worthy subject for the lens.

Two of my favorite photographers when I first picked up a camera were, and still are, Elliott Erwitt and Gordon Parks who both had a different, yet unique ways of viewing a still life.

At some point in everyone’s life they have a period of time while recovering from a physical or financial challenge and find they have too much time on their hands and need a focus.  I can only suggest picking up a camera and turning to the light.  The only limitations you’ll find are your own.

Dog  poop?  Just the fear of failure.

You can find pictures anywhere. It’s simply a matter of noticing things and organizing them. You just have to care about what’s around you and have a concern with humanity and the human comedy

-Elliott Erwitt-


Photo Cropping…a good thing:

Crop for Content and Impact – Not Convenience!” 

Early snow on Hook Road

Cropping for Clarity and impact

Cropping can enhance a photo’s message by removing elements that divert the reader’s attention from its center of interest.  Cropping also can harm irreparably a photo’s ability to communicate when done indiscriminately.

Any photo worth publishing has an intrinsic shape that best communicates its message. Both photographer and picture editor should agree on the proportions and size that will enable a photograph to speak most effectively.

If a photo is cropped well, everything within the crop marks should be essential to the message.  The photo’s shape, therefore, should not be changed to avoid harming the message.

When photos and words compete for space, photos are too often relegated to second-class status because they area perceived as easier to trim than words.  Photos in journalism too often are thought of merely as elastic blanks that can shrink or expand to fill spaces left by words.

The most serious kind of photographic abuse occurs when a layout is made before considering the shape and size of the photos.  Photos, then, must be cropped to fit the spaces assigned to them, usually with serious harm to their content.

Photos worth publishing should never be hole-fillers in arbitrary layouts.

Self-restraint is a valuable asset for an editor who is deciding whether or not to crop a photo.  We should realize that it is not necessary to put crop marks on every photo that crosses his desk.  It is important to understand what a photo is trying to say, then, to evaluate how well it is said.  If the message is clear, a sharp editor will keep hands off.

PICTURE EDITING AND LAYOUT   A GUIDE TO BETTER VISUAL COMMUNICATION    ANGUS MCDOUGALL