Archive for October 20th, 2013


Photography: A Sideways Perspective

train station ceiling SB

Ceiling Union Station, Portland, Oregon waiting on the Amtrak Cascades arrival.


Fly Fishing: Discoveries and More to Learn

SBPart of the enjoyment of fly fishing, for me, is discovering what I have yet to learn. It is not frustrating, but rather adds energy to the hobby. It never gets old. Recently, I was fishing a lake and discovered something I had not observed before in the Fall. Micro Caddis, probably size 20-22 (related to hook size for a fly pattern) were flitting about and the trout were busy on the surface. 

Somehow, I had assumed, with the exception of October Caddis (much larger fly), there were no other Caddis species out there this time of year. I am not sure what I based that upon…other than never having noticed them before and not studying up on the hatch cycles. I new discovery. I a new strategy for the future to be better prepared. This is something to also study up on.

There are many nice, basic sites out there that do a nice job explaining entomology. A good one for stillwater fly fishing is Mike Gorman’s Site (used with permission). Trout Caught/Released


Cemeteries: A Profound Dissertation on Plastic Flowers

Photography at a Cemetery: For me, the older the better. Given my locale, older is pioneer cemeteries that manage graves from the mid 1800’s and forward. Settlers, transplants and adventurers who pushed out West. 

I love the older, less cared for cemeteries because they seem to meld, in my mind, with the history, the rugged times, the harshness of it all.

So, when we go to photograph these spots I prefer views that show a progression of terrain, markers and trees that depict old, weathered, forgotten history.


Cem natural

But try as I might to take these shots of the perfect blend of old, historical cemeteries, something intrudes that conflicts as much as carnival ride plopped down inside the cemetery…gausch plastic flowers!

cem plastic 2

I mean here is a perfect example of an old, historical grave and plopped down square in the middle of the grave, right in front of the marker are pink plastic flowers. I attempted to use the fence in front to partially block the colors.

plastic flr collageI understand the practicality of bringing plastic flowers to a cemetery, so you only have to visit once a year perhaps…tsk…tsk.

Dead Flr collageI also understand the frustrations of bringing fresh cut somethings to the cemetery only to have them turn into dry floral arrangements.

Cem Dead flrs 5

Of course, you might combine the two: dried floral arrangement + a bilious blue plastic that really stands out against the natural tones.

Ok, I could go to a city cemetery and observe all the plastic flowers, green artificial turf, whirly bird windmills and mylar balloons if I want a funtastic impression of a graveside. Or……


Or, I could just stand and contemplate this mound of dirt above the remains of someone named Sophie and contemplate the why’s and how’s.

Little Angel Sophie


Photography: Artificial vs. Natural (the unexplained conflict)

So much of what steers me toward photographic composition is intuitive, unexplained, impulsive and without much ability to articulate the why’s. Perhaps it is the toll of life’s passage, but I have a hard time explaining my reasons for certain things any more. Burned out, tired of thinking, resentful of the whole justify your beliefs…I just do it…I just am…I just like it or don’t like it. Here is an example…………..

artificial red swittersBNature, not your garden mind you, but out away where greens, browns, tans and grey blend into a rugged color palate. The introduction of red into this visual must be real for me. Hence, the red plastic flowers in a rural, over grown cemetery seemed abrasive (more on this soon).

Oh, I understand the why of plastic flowers at a cemetery…kind of. But, remember I can’t articulate this understanding very far out in my mind. It’s more like I like it or I don’t.

Berries Briars SBThis oddity of a briar sprouting in a remote parcel of land was unique and the red berries seemed perfectly natural to me even if the briar seemed out of place in a rugged canyon.

red flower lake BThe backdrop to this shot is so typical of the natural hues. And the presence of this plant standing in the water and blooming was pleasant with the natural reddish pink.

The natural, that seems normal to the terrain seems acceptable. The artificial that is inserted seems a violation of something……remember, I can’t really explain it. 

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October 2013

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