October 15th, 2006

Stalking_Elusive_Photograph

Interesting Night

With the clouds rolling in, the wind picked up. Nowhere near gale, but a steady wind and strong enough to kick up waves on the lake. No surfing; but regular waves. There's still a strong breaze and I hear waves lapping the shore... but currently it look's clear out. Today's forcast increases the chance of rain from yesterday's, but there appears to be less haze on the lake, and as I mentioned, it looks clear. The Internet weather does describe Wenatchee (about a half hour's drive away and a fairly good sized town/small city) as Clear.

Huh.

Meanwhile, the camera on tripod is back out on the balcony. I'm continuing the theme of time-lapse landscapes. Included in this exercise on this trip is that I put into the camera a smaller memory card, a mere 96 megabyte card. Set on the RAW image file format these equates to a 16 shot roll of film. Why limit myself? Because that very limitation causes a slowing of work. With fewer frames to expose, thinking about composition and exposure becomes more critical. It's an exercise in Photography vs. Snapshots.

Now, there are times I kick into High Volume mode. It's one of the advantages of digital over film in that sense. With memory prices down, it's not terribly expensive to buy a 1 Gb card, or even a 2 Gb card. Even equating the expense to the equivalent number of rolls of film, it's not a huge expense. When the cost of processing that same number of film rolls is included, it's a savings. Particularly since the memory is re-usable. Film isn't.

On the other hand, film is still a more consistent archival storage than digital. My fellow photographers will recognize this dillema. On previous trips, I relied on memory sticks to back-up digital photos. So, the copy on the laptop's hard drive, and the copy on the memory stick. After all, hard drives fail. This is not quite the safety factor that several photographers I know, or corrospond with, employ. So I hiked up the paranoia a notch on this trip. Copy on the laptop HD. Copy on an external 40Gb HD. Copy burned to DVD. It helps that the new laptop includes an internal burner drive.

But High Volume mode also means that there's a high probablility one will sort through that high volume of images and discard many. Not a worry when it is so relatively inexpensive to make them. Still, time consuming on the processing end. Spending that time on the production end, thinking about the photo, is one of the lessons taught in an early stage in photography classes. Might be going a bit to the wayside with the increasing use of digital, but still a very important lesson.

Think about your message. It may be a simple message, eh? "Lake Chelan Is Beautiful." But think about it and capture the best rendering of that message possible.

Light.

I love the light here, and as mentioned yesterday even when it's raining. How often one may hear the comment when someone looks at a photograph in overcast, wet, rainy conditions, "Oh, it's too bad it was a rainy day."

Why too bad? Would someone say the same thing if a painter rendered an image of "Rain On Lake Chelan"?

Yes, it is currently clear. And very cool. I can see clouds on the Other Side, so I expect they will be heading this way. I believe that forecast for rain; and depending on say the wind, I'm willing to work with it. Whatever talents I possess as a photographic artist, are gifts from the Creator. (Do please note the gender-less reference, and I'm not forcing either the belief or the Name onto you; it's my choice.) Whatever images I render are merely reprodutions of the work of the Creator. Who am I to argue with the conditions imposed on my by that teacher?

So periodically I either load up my film camera, or put in those smaller memory cards, and I work at a slower pace. Digital is much easier to travel with by air these days. I've not travelled by rail in five years or so, and that in a place which was much less paranoid than were I live now. Even the cruise ships are x-raying items brought on board, so digital plays in there as well. Film requires some attention, and knowing things about it mean travelling with it to the standards I hold is less convenient than digital. But that limitation of the number of frames, which slows down the contemplation, which heightens the planning, that's an exercise worth doing regardless of the 'format' the work is recorded on.
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Stalking_Elusive_Photograph

Sunday Post Conference

We wrapped up on schedule, about 10:30. Check-out time from the resort is 11:00; I'm here one more night then leaving, so no hurry for me. I helped pack a few things up for some colleagues, visited a bit with another before she left, and headed back to my room to start packing a bottle of wine. Getting it ready for shipping. I don't trust it in my luggage. Not because the luggage won't be locked, but because it's soft-side luggage, a folding garment bag. I also phoned up Herself and enjoyed a good chat with her.

Then, not completely packed on the wine, my reminder for an appointment sounded. Ah, yes, to the River Room Spa for a deep, theraputic massage of nech, back, and both legs but primarily the right... and old friend, the right leg. Verified for me yesterday evening that the weather man's predictions for today were accurate.

So I straightened up a bit from the packing (the housekeeper hadn't been through yet), picked up the camera and tripod and put on my rain jacket and walked over to the River Room Spa. An hour and forty minutes later, in a state of bliss, I started a tramp about town photographing Chelan in the Rain. Some very good shots, and I should be processing rather than LJ-ing but the camera is out on the balcony again doing some more panorama's... did I mention how much I like the light here?

When I got back to the resort from the photo tramp, I first wandered up to the Veranda Pub for either a late lunch or an early dinner, take your pick. I may go get more food later, we'll see, but I didn't want food in my stomach during the massage. A good place to sit, and dry out a bit (particularly the camera), and groove on the playlist. There are aspects of the Pacific Northwest which just don't seem to exist in North Central Baja Jorja, and I don't mean the light, or the rain, or the resort. It's the attitude about Art, I think. Really good tunes, and it put me in mind of some of cmpriest's comments about working in one of the cafe house-Internet cafe places on the Other Side in Seattle. The local environment encourages it.

I could, in fact, pack up the laptop and wander back over there to do this. Or work on photos. There's wireless 'Net all over the resort, so that's good too. But I'm hanging in my room, at least for a bit, because of the photo opportunity out on my balcony.
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