Wake up!

Sometimes I think my images have a dark sense to them, especially when I compare them to other blogs where photographers show bright, colorful images.  I don’t know if I’m underexposing (old slide habit to get better color saturation) or if I just see the world in a darker way.  Just something I’ve noticed.  Not that it really matters with digital processing since I can develop the image into any appearance.

Anyway, great to have a little color here in the middle of the winter grays…

Missoula, MT

Missoula, MT

Snow shapes

The last snow storm blew through with constant, strong winds.  No softly wafting flakes drifting down around here.  Snow was plastered against any vertical surface, clearly showing the direction it came from and revealing the power of the wind.  Trees looked like someone had taken a white marker and drawn a line down one side.

The snow is stuck so strongly to the trees that as it melts even a little it doesn’t slide off the trunk.  Instead, it gradually separates in various places, part holding firm to the bark and part curling down under the force of gravity.  It makes some interesting miniature sculptures.


Icy Moustache




Reverse coathooks

Not only was the snow blowing hard but the crystals were very small.  I guess water vapor moving that fast doesn’t have time to form large flakes.  Being so fine the snow was able to cover small objects, making small caps or outlines depending on the underlying surface.


Ice rimmers


Wind shield


Prayer cap

Save those images

I’ve been trying to be a photographer for quite some time, most spent as a rank amateur.  Still, I’ve kept the images I’ve made, if only to remind myself how much I needed to learn.  And every once in a while I turn back to those old pictures to see what I’ve seen.

Way back in the late 1980’s I took a trip to San Francisco.  It must have been an exciting opportunity because I took my camera with me.  Odd luggage for a business trip but I must have expected some free time to explore what was going to be new territory.  This was back when air travel was a little more relaxed and special because during the last part of the flight the pilot informed us the plane was flying over Yosemite National Park and we should all crowd over to that side of the plane to take a look.

Fortunately I was on the correct side and had my camera in reach.  Also fortunately, I had loaded it with Kodachrome slide film.  There was only time for a couple of exposures, two of what I call “you-were-there” pictures just to show people I’d actually flown over such a grand place.  Who knew, I might not ever get a chance to see it again.

The slides were processed, glanced at and put away for years.  Eventually I went through all my slides and scanned them so I could put them into my Lightroom library.  A few keywords and they were tucked away for more years.

Then this past week I ran across them.  And was surprised how much I could make out.  I’m sure we were flying over 25,000 feet and I was shooting through an airplane window.  Just a 50mm f/1.8 lens on my OM-1.  Probably an aperture that would give me a fast enough shutter speed to cancel out the plane’s vibration.  My first reaction when looking at them again was how much detail there was to see.  I re-scanned one at a higher level (Kodachrome slides contain several megabytes of data) to see what else I could pull out.  Impressive.  Not my photography ability but the decades old technology of slide film and film scanner.

So, hang onto your images, digital or analog.  You never know when a surprise may overtake you.

What was I so excited about?  Take a look.

Yosemite NP - from above

Yosemite NP – from above