An intimate view of Fall color
An intimate view of Fall color
Fall is not quite at its peak still, but I ventured out this morning to hunt down some colors. I stopped at Minnehaha Park, but it failed to inspire, so I made my way to Fort Snelling State Park. Once I wandered away from the trails, I found some pockets of light and wonder. The Fall colors are there, but these photos were more about solitude, emergence and discovery. I am rather fond of them. All were shot with Olympus OMD-EM10 in 3 exposures and processed with Photomatix and Lightroom
I had originally intended to get up earlier to take advantage of the fog, but it just didn’t happen. I still headed to Theodore Wirth Park and wandered the trails. Fall is certainly not at its peak, but its beginnings are scattered all about in the metro right now.
Interestingly, one of the strongest examples of Fall color I found was in the form of some intense orange fungi. I hurried in for that shot, since it was a hotspot for mosquitoes apparently. They are relentless!
The remaining shots were bracketed and processed in Photomatix to obtain a fuller range of tones. I am very pleased with the color in these shots. Just a hint of “magic” in them!
At the Mall Of America this weekend, food shelf donations take center stage for Canstruction 2014. Engineering and design firms donate time creating these orderly sculptures from donations, adding an inspirational and magnificent slant to the unpleasant subject of hunger.
Of course, my focus here was on the visual element created out of something ordinary. The exhibit continues all weekend!
Filoli, a set on Flickr.
My second set of photos from my California visit were all taken at Filoli, a lovely historical estate and garden.
The gardens are vibrant and immaculate. I tried my best to overcome the harsh midday sun, in many cases with exposure bracketing (all handheld) and Photomatix. It really is worth the extra work to me. Completely black shadows are nothing but wasted space in photos like these, and I simply couldn’t squeeze out enough from a single shot.
I can imagine the wealthy residents and visitors of Filoli going about their lives here. What a life of leisure! The interior shots of the house itself required much higher ISO ratings (10,000 to be exact). I certainly wouldn’t blow them up to large sizes, but it is good to know that my EM10 is capable of producing something usable in those circumstances.
Filoli is a must-see if you are ever in the SF Bay Area!
Castle Rock State Park, a set on Flickr.
I was in California this last week visiting my family and was able to spend some time at Castle Rock State Park. What a magical place!
The forest was well-shaded, leading to the incredible cavernous rock formations pictured. It saddens me at times when I realize how much more I could have seen growing up in the Bay Area, but I quickly remind myself not to dwell on such things. After all, I probably wouldn’t have captured it so nicely then!
Minnesota State Fair 2014, a set on Flickr.
I have lived in Minnesota for 16 years and have always declined the State Fair. I imagined nothing but crowds and greasy food. This morning I was in a strange mood after sleeping poorly from the loud storm we had, and had this urge to go do something new. After realizing that the fair was opening that day, I quickly decided that I would make the best of it as a photographer.
In all honesty, I was feeling rather overstimulated and annoyed before I got there, simply by riding on the express bus to the fairgrounds. These kinds of routes are often very loud and chatty, and I have such a hard time turning off all of that background noise. Once I got into the fair and had a beer, I quickly realized that I could refocus on all of the color and activity. It wasn’t at all about participation for me, but observing and capturing the aesthetic to produce an experiential record.
Later in my visit, my mood changed significantly as I visited the various animals. The mood of the photographs changes accordingly, from color and energy, to the juxtaposition of beauty and sorrow I see in the animals. It is difficult for me to accept that right outside, people are eating them, while children are being endeared by them indoors. It is so dishonest. To think that the cages and pens at the fair are probably luxurious accommodations compared to the way animals are kept in factory farms make the whole thing seem like some sort of mythology and distraction. I recognize the food chain of the natural world, and I find it naive to make judgment about species killing other species, but it is the gratuitous and cruel nature of our attitude towards animals that bothers me. The animal photographs I took today will always be empathetic reminders for me.
As I was leaving my day job at the Mall Of America today, I came upon this lovely display of color and spirit presented by the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community Wacipi.
I had to rely on luck, as most of the time I just held my camera up over the audience and used the movable LCD screen to try and get an idea what I was capturing.
It was a fun departure from the focus and discipline I put into my floral photography.