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European Vacation 2015

Will it be shocking to admit I’m a uni-dimensional photographer? Yeah, I can hear you all gasping and muttering that it can’t be so.

It’s not as if I don’t admire or appreciate other forms of photography, like the shots below, but that I really don’t enjoy cities. They’re loud, crowded and smell awful. Lots of people thrive on the possibility of the unexpected you can have in a city, like some jerk on a bicycle almost running you down and then yelling expletives when you stepped into the bike lane to go around parked car (thanks Amsterdam!), but it’s the kind of stuff I just hate and can do without.

So what possessed us to go on vacation in three different European cities? Well, partially it was a great fare to Brussels. Partially it was the fact that we never leave the country. As great as the US is for its diversity of landscape, ecological environments and weather, we felt a bit insular about just traveling here. So off to Europe it was. And for the most part we enjoyed ourselves. We had good weather (damn was it ever hot – over 90 degrees F on several days), saw interesting sights and ate in some really good restaurants.

Photographically speaking, it took me a while to feel at all connected and in tune with what surrounded me. Mostly lots of other tourists, canals, bicyclists and tiny cars. I totally embraced the tourist thing, too, btw. No being coy with a camera, pretending to be unimpressed. No hiding my joy and amazement over something we’d never see in the US and hadn’t seen before. Nope, I went with it and took the camera almost everywhere.

When I first saw the bike and the fountain it was blocked by a parked car and then, when I was at the end of the street I noticed the car moving away and so pretty much ran back to get the shot before anyone else could park. Spaces in Brussels are coveted and really hard to get sometimes and competition is fierce. The space wasn’t vacant long.

That’s an underlying theme of my photographs – the bicycle. European cities are, by and large, not suited to cars, buses or trucks. Bikes are much more practical and nimble for the crowded streets. Cheaper, too.

Although there were scads of bikes for rent, we didn’t dare. Everyone is in a hurry, the streets are unfamiliar and we needed to really look at signs to translate them for meaning. Walking was enough. lol.

But then there’s the architecture and it is too captivating to zip by on a bike.

Brussels

Bruges

Amsterdam

Bruges

 

Bruges

As you can see, I had to work with some intense light since we were out in the daytime. Because my husband has to put up with enough of my camera, I don’t go out a lot at night and I don’t interrupt dinner time even though it usually occurs during the best light. Call me lazy, but it isn’t that much of a sacrifice. We have so much fun wandering and exploring.

Bruges alley

Bruges window

Two Fiats in Bruges

Bruges

One of our favorite habits we picked up was going for afternoon frites. This was our favorite shop. It’s in Brussels near our hotel.

Oh are the fries good in Europe. So much better than here, where we fry them in rancid industrial oils instead of beef tallow.

On the whole, I think I could have done better with the camera. I wasn’t as able to adapt to new surroundings as I wanted to be. I’m used to being able to control the shot and take my time with set-up. With urban or street photography you have to be fast. The chaos was a bit overwhelming for us, too. A few times in Amsterdam I got really overstimulated and had to shut down…read, head back to the hotel for a glass of wine! It wasn’t so horrible that I wouldn’t repeat it though. I’d even go back to Brussels and Bruges one day, and not just for the fries!

My new homebase

Back when I lived in NH, I could and did spend hours in my yard photographing tiny things of beauty. It was barely 1/2 an acre of sand and weeds (for the most part), but it kept me occupied and occasionally intrigued. Now I’m in the northwoods of Wisconsin on a bit more land and I have a feeling I could be spending a lot of time finding more of the same. Way more.

So what are we dealing with? An acre and a half of hardwood forest with 150 feet of waterfront (we’re looking into buying the lot next door which will bring the total to about 3 acres). Here’s the big picture –

That’s a view of the dock with a slice of the backyard and the house. I was in the kayak, I didn’t wade out there. It’s probably far over my head anyway. They say the flowage is 20 feet or so at its deepest point.

This is what we like to do best! Beverages on the dock when the water and winds are calm. It doesn’t happen too often; it’s pretty windy through here and the water is often choppy and full of life. Luckily it’s mostly a southern wind, which would be coming from the right in the picture, downstream.

Here’s a view from my chair across the river to Billy’s house –

So that’s some of the big picture, but there’s always a small one for me. The unseen and ignored. Like this liverwort and the sporophytes it makes, like little palm trees.

And then there’s the flowers. Wildflower central. In May the wooded part of the yard (which is most of it) is awash in trillium which comes after the masses of bloodroot bloom. I’ve seen catnip, daisies, tiny pink ones that I don’t know what they are, indian paint brush, spotted touch me not, heal-all, evening lychnis, water hemlock, spring beauty and various kinds of aster, like this rattlesnake root –

And to my utter delight, my favorite, indian pipe –

And of course mushrooms. The yard is loaded with them as are most of the nearby forests (warning, warning, many mushroom photos soon to come).

Being so remote, we have a lot more wildlife than is present in southern NH. I’m not a wildlife photographer, but I may have to become one. We’ve got a loon that lives very close by and that I see or hear almost daily, bald eagles, too. Waterbirds nest in a nearby inlet that is quiet and host to a resident great horned owl that I’ve scared twice now while paddling (previous post). One time a ruffed grouse and I eyeballed each other from mere feet away when I was in the kayak – so different from the other times where we scared each other to death in the woods; me by making one explode out of the undergrowth with furious wing-beats. I had the privilege of watching a family of pileated woodpeckers dining on some stumps and logs right next to my driveway. There are frogs and toads galore and we even have a resident gray tree frog like we did in NH. I hear it singing frequently from the gutter on the roof and others respond back. Oh and then there are the spiders –

That big momma is a fishing spider and she lives on our dock with a few sisters, each 3 to 3 1/2 inches including those marvelous legs. They’re nursery web weavers and that’s what she’s done here; woven a protective net for her hundreds of babies. They’re between the metal frame and the wooden dock segments themselves. I’m the only woman in the world that would be happy about this, I think. And of course there are other kinds and my spider ID book rarely stays put.

So my adventure begins in my own backyard once again.

It is wonderful, but posting is going to be a problem. I have really terrible internet here at home. There is no cable or any other high speed connectivity and so a cellular connection with 20gb per month is all we have. Not nearly enough to upload high res photos like I’ve always done. So I need to go to the library and use the wifi there and that will only be once a week or even less. If you tap into any of my online galleries like Flickr or Smugmug, it will be a big batch load instead of a trickle of a few photos per day. Just the way it is. I think I’ll go down to the dock and cry about it. ; )

Rumors of my death

have been greatly exaggerated.

The move to Wisconsin is complete and we’re good and settled in. We love our house to bits. The country is really beautiful, the lake is a lot of fun and the neighbors we’ve met have been great. There’s even a local coffee shop where we hang out for some local color and have laughs with other folks who live on this section of river. It’s the Wisconsin river and particularly the Grandfather Flowage. That’s the part of a river between 2 dams, this section has the Grandmother and the Grandfather, both of which make electricity so the water is always moving a little and the level never gets too high or too low; hence the name flowage.

Anyway, being where we are has some challenges. The biggest is the internet. It sucks. There is no cable at all and so that leaves satellite or cellular. For now we’re using cellular, but are limited to 20gb per month. Yep, that’s it. So given that the images I work with are so large, I’m going to batch upload to my photo sites when I get to the library and can use the wifi there. Luckily we have a pretty great library system up here in the Northwoods so it shouldn’t be an issue. It will be weird though and I won’t be able to post nearly as often to those sites. At least I can upload high quality images though. You should see the crap that comes from keeping jpegs under 100k. The horror, the horror.

Here are some shots that are processed and uploaded. They’re from a kayak trip upriver. I really need a longer lens for bird photography. This little green heron was very patient and let me drift rather close, but eventually it spooked and off it flew. We also have a resident loon that I see or hear pretty much every day. It seems to hang out within sight of our dock quite a bit.

Little greenie hunting

Because the flowage is fairly large (750+ acres) and there’s a lot of wind, the chop can be merciless. When a still day comes around I jump on it though and believe me, it’s nice being able just to be able to walk into the backyard and put the kayak in the water.

Clouds in the flowage

Eventually I’ll strap it to the car and explore other areas, but for now this section of the river will do. There’s a great little side channel (where I found little greenie) about 40 minutes up river and it looks like it shelters a lot of nesting birds. I found a bunch of sites that are no longer used since the babies are so much older now, but it’s still got a lot of ducks, mergansers, herons and I think, a great horned owl. I’ve scared off a really large, silent bird twice now and that’s what I think it is. Maybe one day I’ll be able to photograph it instead of scaring it. Gonna need a longer lens though. Next time that 100-300 Panasonic goes on sale, I’m grabbing one.

Anyway, some more shots will be coming when I can get back to the library and wifi. My new yard is a haven for macros and other photography, so there’s plenty to keep me busy. Plus there’s tons of abandoned stuff around here – houses, barns, farms, cabins…it’s crazy. Stay tuned and thanks for waiting for me to get back to the land of the living. European vacation post coming soon! Brussels! Amsterdam! Bruges! We’re not in the woods anymore.

 

Elusive wildflowers – Part 16 – Clintonia

Another that is not elusive in the sense that it’s rare, but that I’ve always had lousy timing with it and this year was no exception. I think given more time I’d have found lots of it blooming at once, but as it was I found one single flower among hundreds of plants. It was pretty funny actually and I endured the mosquitoes at Bradford Bog in order to capture its solitary loveliness.

Smiling all the way

Clintonia is also called bluebead lily (for the longest time I thought it was bluebeard lily and couldn’t figure out for the life of me why it would be called that, then I put on my glasses). Bluebead makes a lot more sense. Lilies produce seed pods after the flowers are pollinated and the ones this flower makes are apparently true blue; a relative rarity in the natural world. Its other name is in honor of DeWitt Clinton who was governor of New York from 1817 to 1822 and again from 1825 to 1828. The Erie canal was built during his terms. I’m not sure what he did to have a flower named for him, but there are worse things.

Solo

I wouldn’t have even noticed it had I hadn’t gone off trail to photograph a painted trillium, which despite their ubiquity, I cannot resist. Lucky for me since this single flower was just yards away. Seriously it was the only one. I looked and looked. Nope. Just one early bloomer.

In the same moment

One of these days I hope to photograph a mass of them since that’s how they grow. The trouble is they bloom during the most intense part of mosquito season and the onslaught is really vicious. They have a quiet beauty though. The petals are pale yellow and rise gracefully from a pair, or sometimes a trio, of large, light green leaves which are similar to trout lily and sometimes people mistake them for lady slipper. Trout lily leaves are smaller and mottled with brown or tan, while lady slipper leaves are fuzzy and ribbed.

Not ready to declaim

Despite the horde of bloodsuckers who tormented me all the while I shot, I enjoyed being there and like the results. Mostly it was from the changeable light and the fact that I was in an Atlantic White Cedar swamp, one of my favorite ecosystems and one I will probably not encounter again for a long time.

Tucker Brook; a farewell

Since my time here in New Hampshire got short, I have revisited a few favorite places to say goodbye and experience them one last time. I certainly don’t have time for all of them and my photographs and memories will have to serve. One I did return to is Tucker Brook. I went to shoot the big mill far upstream of the falls, but that didn’t really pan out. Luckily there is plenty else to capture.

The trees were almost fully leafed,

The Vertical Meadow

the fringed polygala were blooming,

Well-wishers

the brook was running,

Tucker Brook reflection 2

which of course meant the falls were falling

Tucker falls in mono

and it had some friends.

Farewell falls

I know there will be plenty of beauty in Wisconsin and I’m sure my camera (and my kayak) will keep me busy, but I am sad to be leaving home and all my old familiars.

Elusive Wildflowers 15 – Nodding Trillium

While out photographing ferns in their fiddlehead stage, I noticed that some trillium were up along the trail as well. No flowers yet, but I figured they were the usual purple or painted varieties that I’ve photographed before. Returning a week later I was a bit surprised to find they still weren’t blooming. Being the smarty pants I am, I went in for a closer look and wow, another elusive wildflower is elusive no more.

Who needs the moon?

Nodding trillium gets its handle from its Latin name – Trillium Cernuum, the root cernuus means drooping or nodding. That’s the biggest challenge to photograph these beauties – getting low enough. The plants aren’t nearly as large as purple trillium so getting under them without digging a hole is hard. Lucky for me some of the flowers were growing on a slope leading down to a brook and I could get the camera well below them.

Bow before the beautiful

I first found them in the afternoon and while the light was ok, the breeze was a major pain. So I went back the following morning around 7. The sun had just crested the trees and the air was quite still as it usually is that early. I really should get into the woods early more often. It’s quieter than during the busy part of the day (apart from the heavy construction I could hear across the river in Merrimack) and the light is magical.

Stand Silent

I keep meaning to put some friction tape on my beanbag and boy I really needed it for this session. The slope I was on was pretty steep and I had a hell of a time getting the camera still. It kept sliding and slipping off the plastic bag. With the aid of sticks (a great tool and always to hand in the woods) I managed to get the camera where I needed it, which was basically on the ground with only the lens propped up at an acute angle on the beanbag. My flippy-swively screen is my best friend in situations like this. A fixed screen would have been flat to the pine needles.

Shy beauty

For most of the photos I used my trusty vintage Olympus 90mm macro, but when I found this tall plant with really great leaves I put the wide-zoom back on. I just love the perspective and the sheltering quality those leaves have. Plus there’s some sensitive fern in the lower left. Bonus!

Come cover me

Up from under isn’t the only angle though –

Sails for the sun

So that’s it, one of my last posts from NH. We close on our new house on June 1. Movers leave the current house on June 9. The funny thing is, my yard in Wisconsin is blanketed in white trillium so next year I’ll have another species for the trillium files!

While Rome burns

Ferns are some of my favorite things in the world. They are one of the major reasons I love the forest so much. Their presence is sometimes lush and is always vivid and varied. They are some of the oldest plant life on our planet and some varieties, like sword fern in the Pacific Northwest and Christmas fern here in the east, lend a primordial feel to the landscape. Their shapes, heights and colors are so diverse because they’ve been around so long, filling different ecological niches through the millennia.

As a photographer I love them because they’re intensely photogenic. Especially when in the fiddlehead stage. Right down the road from me is a small nature preserve that has a dense concentration of ferns. I counted I think 6 varieties along a few yards of trail. I have photographed the same section of trail with the ferns fully leafed-out and standing tall. They’re amazing and literally stopped me in my tracks, but before I show you that, here they are when they’re just starting out, braving the frost and the devouring insects.

Surprise package (Royal fern)

Evergreen fern

Cinnamon fern (and Canadian mayflower)

Just like in their adult state, the fiddleheads all have distinct features and characteristics. Look closely at this next one, can you spot the texture change at the heart of the spiral? Those are spores, the way ferns and other ancient plants reproduce and spread their genes. Only a few Christmas fern fronds carry the spores per plant (I love turning the fronds over to look for them, like Braille they are raised dots). I was just lucky that this gorgeous little fiddlehead was one of them.

Christmas fern

Some ferns come in more than just green, like sensitive fern. Its leaves are green, but the stems are red.

Sensitive fern

Most people have heard of fiddleheads as something to eat. A seasonal item that shows up in some grocery stores. From my reading those are ostrich ferns and the only ones absolutely safe to eat. A friend of mine told me that par-boiling them before sauteing will leach out the bitterness and make them much more delicious. I keep meaning to mark a big grove of ostrich fern and collect some fiddleheads in the spring, but I always forget. They’re some of the earliest that fully unfurl and they are some of the most beautiful.

Ostrich fern

Interrupted fern gets its name from the specialized leaves that interrupt the pattern of the entire frond. Instead of tucking spores underneath the tips of some fronds, this species hosts them on all the stems and locates them in the middle instead. I love evolution.

Revelry (Interrupted fern)

Here’s the trail shot I promised. Cinnamon fern dominates, but now I’ve explored it in the early stages, I know they share with interrupted, evergreen, royal, sensitive, ostrich and wood fern.

This side of paradise

For more ferny goodness, visit my gallery.

Elusive Flora

So this isn’t a wildflower, but I’m going to put it in my Elusive Wildflowers category because it’s got to go somewhere. There is also some irony in this little story, too, and that’s always fun.

As I said in my last post, this will most likely be my final spring in New Hampshire. When we move from Wisconsin in 10-15 years it will be to our retirement home which most likely won’t be anywhere east of the Mississippi. Funny that Wisconsin just squeaks by being east of it as its boundary with Minnesota is the river itself.

Springtime is wonderful for many things, but high on that list is the ferns. I love them in any season, but spring is especially great for photographing them. That fiddlehead stage is hard to beat. The unfurling is graceful and enigmatic. Especially when it’s a fern I’ve been hunting for years. In New England I’ve only ever found it under cultivation and in the wild only on the Pacific coast; northern California and Oregon. It’s maidenhair fern. One of the most ethereal and barely-there ferns I’ve ever encountered.

Stir of Life

I went to the Plainfield Wildflower Sanctuary, a property owned by the New England Wildflower Society and while it’s not a traditional nature preserve (no trails) it has an abundance of ferns. Flowers, too, of course, but it was early yet (the hundreds of trout lily had all gone by though). While I was crouched down photographing a purple trillium and waiting for the endless breeze to cheese it for a second, I did a double take. Is that? Could it be?? OMG!!! A solitary maidenhair plant. Jaw dropped. You would have had a good laugh at my expression and how fast I abandoned the pedestrian flower.

A slight trembling

Actually I was on my way out of the sanctuary. There wasn’t much blooming apart from some early saxifrage and the purple trillium, so I decided to head back home. That’s when I came upon my Moby Dick of the fern world. Then, like so many other plants in the under-story, once I saw one, others began materializing out of the landscape. Soon I found myself amid a very large swath of the plants. In more directly sunny patches, they were further along in their growth, but none were fully unfurled.

Sursurrus

Patience is not my strong suit, but I exercised it to the best of my ability for these images. Even breathing stirs the delicate leaves of maidenhair fern. The spiral structure of the plant itself seems designed primarily to catch the least stirring in the air. It sets them fluttering, muttering in their own mysterious dance. Even low down amidst dozens of plants the ethereal, feathery quality lingers and they seem to slip sideways and disappear from view.

Hopefully they don’t continue to elude me in my new home. Ironic though that I finally find them and have to say goodbye so soon.

 

Fate and the Irony of Bloodroot

This post is going to be dual purpose. To showcase these beautiful flowers and to announce that this will probably be a short wildflower season for me here in NH. And probably the last for the foreseeable future. I’m moving out of New Hampshire. Out of New England too.

Wisconsin.

That’s where I’m headed. Husband took a great job out there and it happened so fast that it’s been really crazy for me. And on an even more unbelievable note, we found the perfect house.

So with the hook set, let’s talk about bloodroot. It’s another in my Elusive Wildflower series and it has a strange history with me. Well maybe not strange, but difficult. I’ve combed the woods for it in spots where it is said to grow, but like pinesap, it would not show itself to me. Once a photographer I know slightly posted some photos and when asked, refused to tell me the location. A flower. Riiiiiight.

Then another photographer I know slightly did reveal the location where he shot and I got to see these beauties in all their strange glory. But they were closed up. Not fully bloomed. I went back to the place the next day and shot them again. Better luck, but it was only that one time. I’ve never found them again outside of the cultivated beds at The Garden in the Woods.

But it was there that I recognized some leaves I photographed once back in 2012.

There Will Come Soft Rains

And wouldn’t you know it, the plants were in a bit of conservation land about a minute’s drive from my house. Seriously. The trailhead is just a tad over a mile door to door, so to speak. Unbelievable. And I remembered there being masses of these leaves on both sides of the trail. So with that in mind I put a reminder in my calendar for the following year. I knew right where to look.

The first time I headed out, it was a bit early and I didn’t see any sign of bloodroot anywhere. That is until I almost trod on one.

First blush

In my limited experience, pink isn’t a usual color for these flowers, but another photographer on the web mentioned he sees them blushing like this fairly often when they first emerge. The color doesn’t stay though and that makes me doubly glad I spied this little beauty. Plus look at the colors in the leaves!

I meant to get down to this location often to record their lifecycle in more depth, but I got sick as a dog and couldn’t (I was when I shot this image, all those to come and I’m still sick as I type this…the cold that won’t die!).

Welcoming Warmth

Luckily when I did return, I caught them at their fullest blooming. The petals catch even the slightest breeze and after they’re pollinated, leaving a seed pod, they blow away in drifts of white.

Just how beautiful you are

This time I found so many it was hard to walk among them. Hard to find nicely arranged little groups and even harder to find isolated specimens. I had time though. Lots of time and I found some in sun and some in shade. Some with friends and some alone. Enjoy.

Singular Stance

in black and white

Lowdown highlights

The place is blanketed in them and they were wonderful. Ironic huh? That the mother lode turns out to be two minutes from my house. They were hiding in plain sight all along.

But it doesn’t end there. In exploring the wooded lot of the house we’re buying in Wisconsin, what should I discover right next to the driveway? Bloodroot. Welcome home.

 

 

Spring Cleaning

I don’t know about other photographers, but usually once I evaluate and process a batch of photographs I close the door and rarely look at them again. What I picked and processed was pretty much the worthy shots, but recently someone on Google+ (oh I wish I could remember who) mentioned that she has hundreds of images in her hard drive that have never seen the light of day and should be shared. It got me to thinking, but it’s my new project that has me digging into my archives. I’ve surprised myself by finding some decent images that got overlooked, rejected or ignored. They may not be the most amazing photos I’ve taken, but looking at them with fresh perspective has been interesting. This forest scene for example. I labored over it when I took the picture and loved the leading lines of the logs, but didn’t have the skill to process it well. Going over it again took just a few minutes and I knew exactly what tools and techniques would get this off the reject pile.

Dodge Your Sorrows (Fox State Forest 2012)

With digital it’s really easy to take a lot of shots of almost the exact same image. Ditto for taking a lot of shots at a particular location just for the sake of documentation, not really for any artistic reason. I find myself doing some of that, but mostly I take a lot of nearly identical images when I’m doing macro or microscapes. Adjusting the focus point, removing debris, recomposing the background, managing the depth of field – there are many reasons, but it ends up just being a lot of images to sort through and frankly sometimes I get weary of it. Evaluating and comparing each frame is time consuming and sometimes my patience just runs out before I give enough attention to the collection as a whole.

You go your way (Martha’s Brook/Sam’s Trail Preserve 2013)

Another reason some images fall through the cracks is because when I shoot a lot I get distracted and caught up in a new batch of work before devoting enough concentration to yesterday’s. It’s the oooh, shiny! syndrome I think. Slowing down and really appreciating and thinking about each batch of images is something I don’t do enough. Finding the story within the pictures and putting it together.

Sometimes I reject a photo because I can’t process it the way I want. It’s amazing how many new features and capabilities arrive with each version of Lightroom. Things like lens correction, better spot removal and the new radial filter (two of which I used to make that wall and trail shot work the way I want). It’s not salvaging a picture that I’m talking about, but creating a final image in line with my vision. A bad shot is a bad shot no matter what I do with it, but sometimes there’s a quality that needs enhancing or minimizing that I just can’t do. There are a couple of reasons for this.

One is not understanding how to effectively use the tools that I do have to get what I want. I’ve learned so much in the last few years that going back through my work has been kind of fun. Looking at an old image with new tricks in mind has really helped me identify what I originally liked about the scene I shot and how to emphasize that with processing. These days creation doesn’t stop in the field.

Another thing I find myself doing is confining myself to certain tools in post processing and not branching out and trying different things to see how it affects the final image. Take the clarity slider. I don’t abuse it much in either direction, but lately with my ice photos I noticed that if I really crank it, the picture is better. Ditto with going in the other direction, some photos just need that softness to bring out the best in them. Being stuck in a rut can lead to repetition that contributes to that sameness factor that can make looking at, developing and playing with pictures very boring.

Occasionally though it’s just being down on myself. Whether a location failed to capture my fancy or I failed to capture what I fancied, I can often be disappointed with photos once I take a look at them on the computer.  It’s even worse if I’ve taken a lot of time in the field on the shot. This negativity sometimes causes me to overlook what I did capture, no matter how technically good it is.

It’s the whole didn’t meet my expectations thing, too. You can psyche yourself out of a location while you’re there, but also after the fact if you didn’t get the shot or shots you envisioned. Take this little waterfall as an example. It’s not the most perfectly lovely, symmetrical and pristine waterfall ever, but it is what it is. Because there were prettier flows on this brook, I put this on the reject pile even though it’s a lovely and intimate view of a classic New Hampshire cascade. Plus ferns!!

Songs for the Deaf (Martha’s Brook/Sam’s Trail Preserve 2013)

And as if I need more reasons to reject photographs. What about ‘Oh I’ve taken better shots like this’? Is it a valid way to purge photos? Does it help me grow as a photographer? Improve? I don’t know. Sometimes I’m out to just document my surroundings, not create Great Art. So because I’ve taken more compelling or interesting trail photos, I toss this one onto the reject heap and forget about it. Does it deserve to be there any more than it deserves to be labeled Great Art? And if it doesn’t deserve the latter, does it need to be on the reject heap? Obviously it depends on the photographer and her goals, but for me, I need to freakin’ loosen up.

Merry go bye (Russel Abbott State Forest 2012)

Yes I need to be discerning and separate the good from the bad and hopefully even skim off a few great shots now and again, but I reject far more than I pick for publication or sharing. If it’s for a good reason, I can stand by that decision, but I think revisiting older work has validity. Especially if your processing tools have improved a lot, or your skill with them has. So I guess Spring Cleaning is a good habit to get into.

Love at first light (Mt. Uncanoonuc 2013)

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