Saturday, 16 February 2019 19:39

The Joys of Oxidation

The wonderful Appalachian farmsteads of Madison County, North Carolina are treasured repositories of beauty. Often that beauty shouts at us from every angle we behold: the land, the structures, the beings - each sentinent in its own way. Sometimes, however, it is more subtle and must be uncovered through exploration and discovery, almost as if it were there just beneath the surface of our awareness, waiting to be brought to our attention by a look in a certain direction or the glancing reflection of a beam of light. What appeared to be old, or cast aside, now draws us with a depth that we must appreciate on a level that often has no words at first, only feelings.

When you read what I am about to say, you may, perhaps, be tempted to swear that I have gone over to the dark side; but consider this: I regularly use my iPhone to document locations to which I intend, or at least wish, to return with my DSLR. And usually I do return, but during a recent Appalachian Barns workshop, I was strongly attracted to the peeling paint and rust holding forth on an old mower at the Tom Brown farmstead in California Creek. Once one of the showcase residences of the county, the old home is now slowly falling under the spell of entropy and returning piecemeal to the earth from which it came. I have not yet had the opportunity to return, but in looking at what I had created, I realized that the work was sufficient to process and share as an Image for the Asking. The main camera on my phone is a 12mp device with a wide-angle (28mm in 35mm equivalence; in actuality 3.99mm) lens. It has a maximum aperture of f/1.8 and optical image stabilization (OIS). I did not engage the 5x digital zoom feature, but I did engage the auto-focusing sensor in the middle of the frame and released the shutter handheld from about 8" above the surface of the metal.

Perhaps I will manage to return with my D-810 and dedicated macro lens to work this place of beauty with a different technology; and perhaps I will share the outcome of that work, as well. The essence of the feeling will not be changed regardless of the device for capture; that awareness lives in my heart as a wordless reminder of the beauty that dwells within.


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