One very cold day in January in Wisconsin, I took a walk in a local park where many people had trod over snow a few warmer days before. At first, I couldn’t figure out how these shapes were caused. The compacted snow had melted a bit, then froze into interesting patterns where they stepped. A little bit of upping the contrast and deepening the colors made them more mystical. Six of these images were featured in Seeing In Sixes 2017, a book published by LensWork magazine (lenswork.com).
I was hiking in the Shawnee Hills of Southern Illinois near the Garden of the Gods. The hike passed by this small muddy pond, an impoundment really, made for watering cattle in prior times. Compared to the striking beauty of the Garden of the Gods (including the one in Colorado), this pondscape was rather muted, yet there was a lot here to see. The trees and the bright cloudy sky made an interesting combination with the sepia-colored water, bringing out some subtle colors and a sense of depth. It was the gentle ripples that really caught my eye though. I shot mostly into the sun in order to get a lot of contrast with the trees and branches. On the return leg of the hike, I took more photographs in a somewhat different light. The feeling of the place was quiet brooding branches softened by the placid, murky water and diffuse light.
In 2017 we were on the Big Island of Hawai’i, fairly near the currently erupting Kilawea, on the Chain of Craters Road. After a walk out to the Pu’u Loa Petroglyphs, I noticed some white tree skeletons amongst the lava beds down the road from the parking lot. A bit of careful scrambling got me to them. Some of the shots were hard to frame because I was trying to eliminate visual distractions while trying not to fall onto the rough lava! There were two things going on: the stark contrast between the bleached trees and the dark lava, and the different patterns of the trees compared to the lava patterns. In post-processing, I tried to preserve the detail in both the highlights and the shadows. As it was mostly a monochrome landscape, I converted the images to black and white, and this afforded some help in bringing out the textures by dialing up or down the blues and reds.