Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Keeping watch. Made on October 3, 2009.
Finishing off a retrospective of what I think are 12 significant photos I made in 2009. Ansel Adams, the dean of American landscape photography said that 12 significant photos in any one year is a good crop. The same lighthouse is featured in two of these photos. The one above is the lighthouse at Wind Point, Wisconsin as an autumn rainstorm approached. I'm rarely disappointed with a trip to Wind Point. Something always seems to happen that's camera-worthy. It was a cold and windy afternoon. A wedding party was getting their formal portraits taken in front of the lighthouse and having a miserable time of it. I aimed over their heads and got this shot. The clouds were just begging for some HDR to bring out the texture and menace.
Restless. Made on October 4, 2009.
The very next morning, I returned to see what I might see. What I saw were light clouds in the morning sun. I heard geese approaching and saw that their flight path might take them close to the light tower, so I quickly slapped a telephoto zoom on the camera, focused and waited. I processed the color picture into black and white with two Hue and Saturation layers in Photoshop to create a more dramatic range of tones. It's one of the first black and white photos I've made that I've truly been happy with. Rounded out with a touch of Orton processing.
Up in smoke. Made on October 18, 2009.
This picture makes me appreciate how much power resides in the hands of a photographer. There is a plume of smoke that rises just north of the Illinois-Wisconsin border off Interstate 94. My wife and I followed the plume to a coal burning power plant in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin.
In the context of its surroundings, the plant is not much to write home about. But when you zoom in on the funnel and make a picture of the billowing steam and smoke, it gets attention. This picture has since appeared on numerous web sites and blogs as a symbol of all things environmental, mainly having to do with global warming. It really wasn't intended to make any type of statement -- it's just a picture of a small power plant in a small corner of Wisconsin. People read into it what they will. Had I shot a wider view with all the pretty blue sky around it, I don't think the reaction would have been the same.
That wraps up my 12 for 2009. Already at work on the 12 for 2010. I wonder what they will be?
Photographs © 2009 James Jordan.