Welcome to the archives of prevoius Image for the Asking selections.

Click on a month on the right to see the images for that month.

Friday, 30 November 2018 19:41

When Sunrise Appears as a Layer Cake

The beauty of a Luftee Overlook sunrise is a matchless event in Nature. Looking over the headwater drainages of Beech Flats Prong, across the layered shoulder ridges of the Smokies Crest, the land of the Oconaluftee and its sibling streams is revealed, layer upon layer from the darkened depths of the valleys  to the wispy overhead cirrus catching the sun's light, while in between, the golden rays of dawn proclaim the magic of a new day - one that has never dawned before.

With a careful cropping across the bottom of the image, a focal length of 25mm gave me the wide angle-of-view I wanted. An aperture of f/16 provided depth-of-field, and a shutter speed of 1/6th second at ISO 100 gave me an overall very slightly darker-than-medium exposure.

With a dynamic range as great as the one here, it would be very difficult - impossible actually - to hold the tonalities as my eyes saw them, even with the aid of a 5-stop graduated neutral density filter; so I chose to allow the foreground details to go darker for the sake of maintaining the preferred tones in the rising sun and the blue sky.

 

Saturday, 24 November 2018 12:55

Stubborn as a Muley

It sits on the southern shoulder, the cliff shoulder, of Cedar Mesa, looking over the vastness of the San Juan River Valley and its famous Goosenecks, slowly sloughing off great blocks of stone into the chasms below, chipping away at the great uplift. Directly south is the skyline of Monument Valley, sacred to the Dine. To the southeast there is the Valley of the Gods, and to the west, the San Juan rumbles slowly to meet its destiny with the mighty Colorado. It is, or was, part of the disputed land of the Bears Ears National Monument; and one day may it be so again without an aura of contention.

A focal length of 63mm, the far end of normal, gave me the angle-of-view I wanted in the golden light of a setting sun. An aperture of f/22 provided depth-of-field, and a shutter speed of 1.0 second at ISO 100 provided an overall slightly lighter-than-medium exposure.

To rest into Muley Point at the end of a Red Rock day is to watch the light of the world slowly fade into the nothingness that is the beginning of everything.

Thursday, 08 November 2018 13:38

Staring Down a Feed Trough

What I had mistakenly thought to be the feeding stalls of a milking barn built by the Reeves family in Spring Creek, North Carolina in the early-1950's turned out to be the feeding trough of a beautiful barn used for beef cattle. Regardless of its purpose, the narrow metal container flanked by parallel rows of 2"x6" framing boards, designed with Robert Frost' fences in mind served their purpose for many years, and now have become reminders of a time when such wonderful farms were the norm and barns like this could be found in every cove and holler throughout Madison County.

The angle-of-view I wanted was found by a 42mm focal length, actually rather normal. An aperture of f/22 provided depth-of-field and a shutter speed of 3.0 seconds at ISO 100 provided a medium overall exposure. My point of focus to ensure that I maximized my DOF was toward the front end of the board nailed between the third and fourth studs on the left.

Many memories of being on both of my grandparents' farms came washing over me as I looked down this row. These are the memories that help us to remember who we are, no matter where we are.

Thursday, 01 November 2018 14:21

Color and White

Nearly a year ago to the day I was teaching a class at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts. The fall color was late - quite late - about like this year. A couple of cool nights set things in motion and sudddenly there it was; and just as suddenly there was snow on top of it. Little River Road became the Magical Kingdom and the season was upon us, two seasons at once.

A focal length of 170mm gave me a narrow angle of view and a bit of magnification /compression. An aperture of f/11, with the camera-to-subject distance provided depth-of-field, and with ISO 200 gave me a shutter speed of 1/8 second, fast enough to stop the slight breeze along the river and to create an overall medium subject.

It seemed like an impressionist sort of moment, which is definitely part of the magic of a Smokies autumn.

Friday, 29 June 2018 23:05

Relativity and Mostly Solid Rock

In all of the years I/we have been visiting Acadia, we had somehow never managed to find our way over to Schoodic Peninsula, a separate unit of the Park on the eastern side of Frenchman Bay, due East of Great Head about an hour away from Southwest Harbor by car, and actually part of the mainland. It is a geologist's Eden, a massive slope of pink granite, fractured by interval intrusions of black diabase - an igneous rock similar to basalt - which weather differentially and encourage fountains of spray to erupt from the creviced rock.

Schoodic is such a convoluted landscape that I wanted to play a bit with perspective.. The rise in the granite (mid-ground) above the shelf is only about 15", but by placing the camera even with the top of the step-up and being lower down on the shelf, the step up was rendered as a much more looming presence. A focal length of 24mm, solid wide-angle, gave me the angle-of-view I wanted. An aperture of f/20 provided depth-of-field, and a shutter speed of 1/20th of a second at ISO 100 gave me an overall slightly-lighter-than-medium exposure. Some of the balsam fir trees along the apex of the point top out around 50'.

I feel certain that our first visit to Schoodic will somehow not be our last.

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