DRAFT: We found this amazing camp up in the Coral Canyon area. A surprisingly little used OHV area in CA that is stunning on nearly every side. It had rained recently bringing out the winter green, but our days here were beautiful and warm and when we weren’t exploring the landscape we we’re drinking good coffee or lying out on a blanket with the kids, looking up at the blue sky.
I spotted this on our first drive the night before but sat on it for a day. Going back, I let the kids play in the road (it was more of a trail and mom was watching them), while I climbed up the hull onto a mountain of boulder for a stunning view of the valley and the unique shape of the Morena Reservoir. I waited as the sun sank and the light begin to sing.
This was about a year ago now, during our Fall 2010 road trip and my visit to the Twin Cities to teach an HDR workshop. I was walking with my group downtown, crossing over a bridge, the name of which escapes me. It’s big city here. industry and concrete. But flowing water always mesmerizes me. I took my time setting up, feeling that if I hurried I would get little more than a snapshot. In the end my effort paid off in this long exposure just between St. Paul and Minneapolis. The structures of the city meeting with the awesome power of the water and doing a dance right in front of my lens.
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It was one of those Sunsets. The ones with stunning clouds and radiant colors that seem to last forever. Like a great song that keeps on playing. I was on a road trip to the Oregon Coast with Ken Whitmire, the renown portraitist. Ken was working with a family on the beach in Pacific City and I assisted, while getting images and video for a project we were working on.
About halfway through Ken was on his ladder, having this family of five walk down the beach. I just stood back and watched. A bit envious of the amazing portraits he was going to take home. It was a stunning evening. I took in the incredible ocean landscape with some awe. In between video clips, I decided to go vertical and try to illustrate Ken as the working professional in his environment. I hoped for a sort of memorable feel that that artists and photographers could relate to.
This has been really well received. I admit, I did not realize it would strike such a chord, but I’m glad it did. To me this says something about creative craftsmanship and taking your time. It reminds us to take the extra steps up that ladder to make an image Great. That’s what Ken Whitmire has done for over fifty years and I’m glad I got to be a small part of that.
Our road trip was a memorable one in more ways than one. In fact by brother and I wrote a short short story about this trip. You can read that here on the Brothers Seim blog.
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Water. Once we sink below the surface of its shimmering waves, we enter a foreign world of untold beauty. A silent land of bending light, murky depths, and unknown dangers…
Whew, did that sound enough like a nature show for you? Good, now let’s move on. Seriously, though, I working with water and I loved making portraits under it. I did it for the first–though probably not the last–time during a portrait commission for Jenaia. I learned a lot about working in the water, and we brought her home some beautiful images, but this is my favorite piece.
It took some trail and error, but my visualization was a calm ethereal portrait, and I think I managed it. I love the color hues and the way the light streams from the surface. We’re in a lake, not a pool, and it’s around 1500 feet deep, making the light fade into infinity. Just don’t drop anything that doesn’t float, or it’s gone for good. I lost a fin during the project, and once it was out of sight, there was no way I was going after it. It’s truly dark down there.
While my fin has joined the aforementioned murky depths, I’m very satisfied with this work. It taught me a lot and it helped make Jenaia’s portrait collection a real success.