Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Unexpected Pleasures


Sometimes at night when I am returning from walking Chico I see this image on the front doorstep and it always fascinates me - the shadow of the eagle projected on the wall right by my front door, the intersection of the steam pipe and the shadow, the harsh yellow of the sodium lights contrasting with the midnight blue of the late night sky.  I have a coffee table book called Beneath the Roses by Gregory Crewdson where the photographer has gone to enormous lengths to stage scenes to photograph, to great effect, but to me the best scenes will always be the ones you stumble upon when you least expect it.  

What kinds of everyday images make you stop in your tracks and wish you had your camera in the area where you live?

12 comments:

Suzassippi said...

Outstanding, Steve. I once went to a workshop on "Street Photography" and this image captures the essence of that skill. It is the juxtaposition of those intersecting elements that makes it perfect--and something one could never stage. The mirror image of the eagle and the shadow, the angles of the roof and the beam, the roof and the handrail, it is perfect. You really have the ability to create an image, not just take a photograph.

Bren said...

Suzassippi is right. Your ability to put into words what you see is an amazing gift which I have always admired.

verybadcat said...

Beautiful. I drive over the same gap every day to and from work, and as I crest it and come over the county line, there is a stunning view of the valley below. It's incredible in all weather, except fog. ;)

alaskagal98 said...

Nice picture! I watched a fly on a dandelion yesterday for about 2 minutes (until a big fat bee came buzzing by, then I got the heck outta there!), but I wish I had had my camera. I was fascinated watching this fly so closely doing it's nature thing. Sucking pollen or doing whatever it was doing.

Alena! said...

You should print that out and have it matted and framed...I see a great community art show submission.

Elizabeth Douglas said...

That's a wonderful observation Steve and this post reminds me why I fell in love with your blog in the first place. The colors, the juxtapositions of the light and shadow...wonderful, and of course, your description. I agree, the staged will never usurp the pure beauty of the stumbled upon.

I am constantly amazed by the lushness of the trees here. I was driving the other day and the mountain sides were absolutely bursting forth in verdant majesty. It was as if the trees were straining to capture every bit of earth and sky. I was literally mouth agape. I wish I'd had my camera!

Bloviating Zeppelin said...

A great railroad photographer named O. Winston Link used to set up black and white scenes at night, using relatively elaborate lighting techniques producing quite exquisite results. My favorite railroad photographer, however, is Richard Steinheimer -- who took photographs in what I call the "old fashioned way" -- he climbed, he hiked, he waited, he waited, he waited and he waited.

"Set up" shots are nice; I respect a "caught" shot just as much if not more.

BZ

mamawas said...

great shadow. I afree with my fellow blogger friends that your photographic skills are top notch
DOnna

Alaska Steve said...

Thanks for all the kind comments, especially considering each and every one of you take great photos. I think I always look at things in terms of framing a picture but I've also learned it is sometimes best to leave the camera at home and just pay attention to life - sometimes you have to just throw a leg over the motorcycle and ride hard for Morris Cove with "Welcome to the Jungle" on repeat . . . . there is no bad day that can't be cured that way . . . .

Gigi said...

Love your photos and your philosophy as well. And who can resist some screamin' GnR?!

cary said...

Awesome shot. I am so jealous.

In answer to your question, in downtown Phoenix, at sunset, with a storm sky above and the last rays of sunshine spotlighting the flag on top of Chase Tower at full blow with the storm wind doing it's best to take it off the pole... I'll never forget the moment, and I will ALWAYS wish I had the camera with me at that time.

Lori said...

Amazing! I especially love the color of the "midnight blue" sky. I am on my way to AK in less than a week and I can hardly wait to see the sky at midnight.

The beach sunsets here are amazing; although, I get tired of taking the same pics over and over. I love a threating sky and lately the skies have been, how do you say it "pink at night, sailors delight"?