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Thread: Images in our mind - just words - no images

  1. #1

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    Images in our mind - just words - no images

    Sometimes we pass by a place and think I will take a picture of this one day. But one day never comes and the scene is destroyed or changes or we never return.

    So this thread is one of words only, no images. Try to describe that image you should have taken , intend to take, or missed. This is not for staged fantasy but real life places/objects, and the emotions they evoked. You can get poetic if you wish in the description and try to convey a sense of place.

    Example
    The old gas station is a landmark just off a corner crossroad near my home. it was once a local country gas and convenience store in the middle of an area with thriving horse paddocks and cow pastures. Suburbia has encroached on this area and filled it with subdivisions, strip shopping centers, and big box stores. I pass it every afternoon around 5:00 which allows me to see it in different light through out the year. In winter the sun will emit a light orange hue on the white stucco and the old rusty pump turns a brilliant orange brown. A crepe myrtle that was once lovingly pruned and tidy now stands 10 feet above the roof line but its twisted base casts intricate shadows on the walls. Recent road work has torn up the old parking area and even the roof that once covered the pump has now collapsed and been hauled away. Construction debris, broken concrete, and staging materials now clutter the stations surroundings. Grass has grown high in the now broken sidewalk. I had planned to photograph this station one day when clouds would tower above it, but it has lost its nostalgic charm and will likely be torn down and replaced with another strip shopping center.

    vs
    There is an old gas station I want to photograph.
    The mountain waters of North Georgia call out to me, I visit and leave only tripod holes behind. The Appalachian Trail is my treadmill and gym.
    http://www.esearing.com

  2. #2
    Jac@stafford.net's Avatar
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    Re: Images in our mind - just words - no images

    Your post is appreciated, and with no disrespect it reminds me of how very difficult it is to write of moments of literature of place which also have an economy of words. Don't stop, but improve. Brevity is a virtue.

    A general comment presuming the case: the image of the evaporating gas station and general store - have most of us not already seen pictures of the same? I do not know, but I suspect your description could be carved from those images. Does not the literature benefit from another kind of description of what we have seen?

    http://static1.1.sqspcdn.com/static/...YREDMIvXIbY%3D

    (Photo by Drake Hokanson)

    With great respect for the creative process,
    Jac Stafford

  3. #3

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    Re: Images in our mind - just words - no images

    This may seem obvious. But properly done, words and photographs complement each other and create something greater than either part alone.
    I'll suggest to you the work of Wright Morris, novelist and photographer. He was a pioneer (and master of) the genre; his concerns were with just what you're writing about. Such a talent and accomplishment as his is rare, but worth trying for.

  4. #4

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    Re: Images in our mind - just words - no images

    Please limit responses to what was asked for. I don't want to turn this into commentary on someone elses working method or whether this is a good idea or not.

    this came about due to a discussion I had with Corran on a recent outing. We both commented on locations we plan to photograph and I came to the realization that sometimes the place becomes romanticized due to our future plans more so than the actual photogenics of the place. Or that we become fixated with what we think we initially saw.

    Another real example of a missed opportunity:

    Up where GA 400 becomes a 2 lane road just north of Dahlonega, there is a farm owned by folks of Cherokee heritage. They have several painted ponies that wander the fields next to the roadway. At one time there was an authentic looking teepee that sat in the middle of the field. One fall morning as I was rushing to beat the sunset at a particular spot further north, the horses were standing in a line facing the teepee. A slight fog was in the air just above their heads which would have blocked the messy ragtag forrest behind them. What a nice shot that would make, if I had not already planned to be elsewhere. A month later the teepee was taken down, and the field rarely has the same appeal or quantity of horses.
    The mountain waters of North Georgia call out to me, I visit and leave only tripod holes behind. The Appalachian Trail is my treadmill and gym.
    http://www.esearing.com

  5. #5
    Jac@stafford.net's Avatar
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    Re: Images in our mind - just words - no images

    Quote Originally Posted by esearing View Post
    Please limit responses to what was asked for.
    Good luck with that.

    Imagine posting in a writers' forum 'post pictures of what you fail to portray in writing.'

  6. #6

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    Re: Images in our mind - just words - no images

    Quote Originally Posted by esearing View Post
    Please limit responses to what was asked for. I don't want to turn this into commentary on someone elses working method or whether this is a good idea or not.

    this came about due to a discussion I had with Corran on a recent outing. We both commented on locations we plan to photograph and I came to the realization that sometimes the place becomes romanticized due to our future plans more so than the actual photogenics of the place. Or that we become fixated with what we think we initially saw.

    Another real example of a missed opportunity:

    Up where GA 400 becomes a 2 lane road just north of Dahlonega, there is a farm owned by folks of Cherokee heritage. They have several painted ponies that wander the fields next to the roadway. At one time there was an authentic looking teepee that sat in the middle of the field. One fall morning as I was rushing to beat the sunset at a particular spot further north, the horses were standing in a line facing the teepee. A slight fog was in the air just above their heads which would have blocked the messy ragtag forrest behind them. What a nice shot that would make, if I had not already planned to be elsewhere. A month later the teepee was taken down, and the field rarely has the same appeal or quantity of horses.
    This just emphasizes the point that you can not return to make an image. If you see one, make it then, i will not be the same later.

  7. #7
    Randy Moe's Avatar
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    Re: Images in our mind - just words - no images

    So true, you never see it again. Time changes space.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Noel View Post
    This just emphasizes the point that you can not return to make an image. If you see one, make it then, i will not be the same later.
    TIN CAN COLLEGE

  8. #8
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: Images in our mind - just words - no images

    Photographing along the same creek for 40 years, I see change constantly. In the cities change seems to come in fits and jerks.

    The camera is set up 25 feet above the creek -- on top of a steep almost vertical bank of ferns and berries. The clear creek, perhaps 15 feet wide, forms a large sweeping curve, creating the bank we are on and an unusually wide, flat section of creek bottom. If it was mid-winter, there might be salmon spawning...but it is early October and the maples still have some of their golden leaves...those leaves shine, and a yellow filter will zap those leaves into brilliance.

    Surrounding the flat, millennia-old redwoods stand tall...300 feet tall and more. Occupying the far side of the flat, in playful defiance to the domination of the redwoods, are the six matriarchs and patriarchs of the maples. Big-leafed, they do their best to stretch and reach up to half of what the redwoods boast. The redwoods may surround this small flat, but they can not keep the light from raining down into it, filling it like water into a redwood bucket.

    One can not see the maples' bark. Moss and lichens cover all the branches and trunks -- ferns have taken root in the moss. They are reaching the end of their mayfly-like life span of a mere 300 years. One particular redwood towers over the creek from on top of the bank -- over-looking this generation of ephemeral maples and enjoying this wide place in the creek. But the flat seems a little out of sorts. High water had violently swept much of it clear of shrubs and small trees not too long ago...a decade or two or three ago, perhaps 1964. The maples occupying a slightly higher section of the flat were not touched, the ground below them covered with years of leaf litter. There is a little grass and flowers growing on the gravel beds between the creek and the maples, but the feeling is that there is a large empty niche, waiting to be filled.

    The scene needs a wide angle lens on a 4x10 that I did not have until recently. I have a FujiW 180mm (inside lettering) that might do the job if the lens is carefully centered on the 4x10. But it is far too late now. Most of the maples have died of old age and have fallen over the past twenty-five years. The open flat along the creek is now choked with fir and alders (and blackberries, huckleberries and several others). From the camera position, the brush below top of the bank has grown to where I would need a 12 foot ladder to get a clear view. Even an ancient redwood has fallen, but across the upper end of the flat and out of view of my mental image.
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  9. #9
    Corran's Avatar
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    Re: Images in our mind - just words - no images

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Noel View Post
    This just emphasizes the point that you can not return to make an image. If you see one, make it then, i will not be the same later.
    Yes

    I am trying to be better at that. Sometimes when I am very tired, after a long day of shooting/working, I just don't feel like it and think "I'll do it next time," and sometimes that day doesn't come.
    Bryan | Blog | YouTube | Instagram
    All comments and thoughtful critique welcome

  10. #10
    Les
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    Re: Images in our mind - just words - no images

    Totally missing out and possibly a 2nd chance ?

    Several blocks from me is a red house. The paint is fading and there was plenty of evidence of dilapidation and that no one lives there....urr unless there was a tunnel. Much like the house I saw (and not photographed) near the BC border, as the 10 feet high (appx) blackberries pretty much overtook the house's entrance. At some point, the one in BC was bulldozed and new structure was build, the red house is still standing tho. I kind of feel for the owner, since the property is right at an entrance to a bridge and there is plenty of vehicle acceleration and noise. Did I mention fumes ? Yes, back to location, location....

    Under certain light, at least that was the idea, the photo would have its humor and contradiction of sorts. Most folks whiz by the place as if it doesn't exist....perhaps it's the familiarity thing. I've contemplated to stop by and bring my LF gear for this, and the best place to photograph would have been from the top of a building, which is across the 4-lane arterial and obtaining appropriate permission could be a hassle. Perhaps a tall ladder would have done the trick.

    Hmmm, few days later I noticed workers cleaning up the berry's on that property and exposing the foundation and none of that was part of my plan. Either way, it could have been a great time lapse project. Few months went by, all activities stopped (for whatever reason), and with optimism in mind, the blackberries seem to be taking over the house once again.

    Les

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