Category: Abstract

The Thing

McCormick-Deering Grain Drill
McCormick-Deering Grain Drill

I saw this thing, which I now know is a McCormick-Deering Grain Drill and thought it might make an interesting abstract for Cee’s photo challenge this week. I attached an L-Bracket to my camera to shoot vertically and set up my tripod.

The light wasn’t cooperating so I sat there and waited for a while when the first guy walked up and asked what I was doing. I gave him the short version and asked him what this thing was which he somehow knew.

Ten minutes later a second guy walked up and said: “One mans junk is another mans art right?” I liked his attitude but he was casting a shadow so I asked him to move. He stood there patiently apparently waiting for a response.

I told him I felt there were too many postcard type photos theses days and I like to photograph ordinary things in unusual ways. To see something like this close up and out of context you look at it differently.

So was it worth getting up early, using a tripod, waiting for the best light and processing the files? I’d say yes, it’s much easier than taking up golf and the last thing I want to do in the morning is spoil a good walk.

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Anything with 1, 2, or 3 Wheels

The Last Samurai

September Sunflower
September Sunflower

“With regards to the way of death, if you are prepared to die at any time, you will be able to meet your release from life with equanimity. As calamities are usually not as bad as anticipated beforehand, it is foolhardy to feel anxiety about tribulations not yet endured.” Yamamoto Tsunetomo, Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai

Sunshine’s Macro Monday

Still Life with Questions

Pumpkins 8-31-19
Pumpkins 8-31-19

I pulled into the parking lot of a huge farm stand to try to get a good photo of pumpkins. I tried different angles, apertures and focus points with both of my cameras. Suddenly a smiling Amish guy comes out and asks me if I’m with the newspaper.

I told him no and continued shooting while the light was good. A minute later he was standing right next to me. This time I decided to enlighten him to what I was doing and why. The conversation went like this:

Q. “Are you a photographer?
A. “Well I guess that’s a matter of opinion.”
Q. “Why are you taking so many pictures?”
A. “I’m trying to get one good one.
Q. “What do you do with these pictures?”
A. “I have a website (I figured saying I had a blog was too confusing).
Q. “How do you make money doing this?”
A. “I don’t, it just gives me something to do.

This went on until the clouds burned off and it was too bright. I took a chance and actually asked him if he had a computer to show him some of my stuff but of course he didn’t.

I wanted to explain to him what that great philosopher Charlie Brown once said: “If we could see the miracle of a single pumpkin stem clearly, our whole life would change,” but I thought his head might explode.

I said goodbye and got into my car and he said Beheef dich! It sounded like he was calling me an insulting name in Pennsylvania Dutch but it turns out that the phrase just means behave yourself.

Boom.

RDP SATURDAY : ENTHUSIASM

In Search of Abstract

Fire (obviously)
Fire (obviously)

I’ve been trying to do more abstract images as well as more black and white. After getting my coffee this morning I was driving though farm country and saw a fire in the parking lot of an Amish tourist site and pulled in.

I watched the dancing flames and then started taking photos, waiting for the decisive moment. A farmer came over and asked if he could help me. Usually I answer that with “Are you a Psychiatrist?” but I didn’t want to be rude.

I told him I was trying out a new camera rather than explain the concept of abstract photography to him and he just looked at me. “Kinda strange isn’t it,” I said. “Yes it is” was his reply and he walked away towards his children of the corn.

Color your World: Brick Red

Hang Em High

Tobacco Leaves
Tobacco Leaves

The amount of time I spent trying to get a black and white abstract image of these tobacco leaves bordered on obsessive compulsive (oh yeah). You might think that since a photo is abstract that sharpness and composition don’t matter but they do, to me at least.

I’m not sure exactly what I was trying to achieve but I think I succeeded. Kirk Varnedoe, author of Pictures of Nothing wrote: “The less there is to look at, the more important it is that we look at it closely and carefully. This is critical to abstract art. Small differences make all the difference.”

Damn right! And photography also keeps me out of the bar.