It is Memorial Day in the United States. This is a day on which we remember those we have lost. In particular of course we remember those who sacrificed so much to maintain our freedoms and our way of life, as well as our family members and friends. I don’t handle loss particularly well, but I am reminded on days like this that we have a great deal to be thankful for, so I’ll take it in that direction. Here’s a very short video I made recently of something for which we all should be grateful (or at least those of us who are lucky enough to have access to it) fresh drinking water. This is from Fever Brook as it cuts its way through the Federated Women’s Club State Forest in New Salem, Massachusetts. Fever Brook feeds into the Quabbin Reservoir, source of drinking water for much of Eastern Massachusetts. Our drinking water exists in large measure because of the sacrifice of those who came before us. Sacrifice, painful as it is, is what makes all of what we value possible. (This video looks infinitely better in HD, but if you don’t have a good connection, hit the HD button in the lower right and you’ll see it at a lower resolution.)
Tech Note: This video was actually shot on the new Panasonic GH4, in 4K believe. It is then down sampled to give a better looking HD video, at least that’s the theory. We’re still working on the implementation here I think but you will hopefully see some better work in the future.
Finally, it’s spring. For those of you for whom this relates, also let me wish you a Happy Easter. It’s still cold outside though and the flowers are only beginning to take a stand. As such, I retreated to the studio for some spring time inspiration. Nothing over the top, went over to Stop and Shop and picked up a Calla Lily. This plant though was a real trooper.
However, without realizing it, I have left myself open to a major charge of copycatitis. I am a regular follower of the blog of Stephen Gingold who is a superb nature and fine art photographer located in western Massachusetts, not far from the Quabbin. He just posted a stunning black and white flower image, something he has done before. I didn’t really copy him, but have sure been inspired by his by his use of black and white photography to capture the wonderful lines and textures of flowers. If you want to see Stephen’s incredible black and white flower work (among other subjects), click here.
Why black and white flower photography? Good question. This particular subject has lovely magenta petals.
I think every photographer would have to address that question on a personal level. I am in love with the design of flowers, much as I am in love with the design of the dam and dike at the Quabbin Reservoir. Flowers though are natural. Close to being perfect, but that wouldn’t be natural.
The flowers are alike, and they relate to one another, yet they each have their own identity. Nature really blesses us with incredibly appealing designs, flowers are among her greatest hits in my view. But we tend to think about the beauty if flowers (I should say I tend to think) as been largely related to their wonderful colors. But there is much more.
In this sense, I think, black and white (or in this case monochrome since these images are actually sepia) represent another window on one of nature’s most intriguing mysteries: the beauty of flowers. Enjoy the nice weather.
The snow is rapidly melting, and it is actually quite warm. I’ve been working on a variety of other projects, but when I come down to the dining room in the morning, there they are, those wonderful tulips. Each day, they present in such a different a delightful way. Perhaps Sandra and Alicia gave Chris super flowers. Regardless, they seem to be trying to tell us something.
Perhaps we’ve turned the corner.
Or perhaps we should just count our blessings.
We have had plenty of the stuff in Central Massachusetts, so far this year. Here’s a brief post to choices. You can get depressed by too much of this.
Or, you can make some lemonade, courtesy Chris’s wonderful friends, Sandra and Alicia.
It’s been a busy time around here, raising a young pup (trying to at least) named Teddy. He’s doing quite well, but can’t quite sleep through the night. If I only had the presence of mind to think of a good photo project for shooting at 4:30 AM, normally a good time in the summer, but alas, Teddy’s not into photography just yet. But, good news for flower lovers such as myself, the Lily’s have returned to brighten up the morning. Just a few images to get the blood flowing….
Working with the square format, inspired by the new D800, which can pack plenty of pixels inside that square.
Which is ironic, because as is obviously the case, I’m shooting here to capture the dream like feeling, of say, being up at 4:30 in the morning, a time when, let’s face it, very little is in focus.
But we press ahead. Come Teddy,,,Teddy? Where are you….