Lost Creek Falls is an isolated, primordial waterfall on the escarpment overlooking the south side of Lake Superior. The reflections on the water and stones, together with the light patterns in the foliage draw my eye inward to the waterfall and remind me to give Thanksgiving for having experienced this magical place.
Last night I went to the Dane County Fair to photograph the rides and lights under dark skies with long exposures. The Cherry on Top for my adventure is shown here in the photograph of the YOYO and Ferris Rides. The Cherry is the circle arcing around the YOYO. That circle shows the riders at the height of the ride and is when they’re having the most fun. Unless they’re scared out of their minds, like I would be if I actually took a ride.
Below is a photo of the riders caught by a faster shutter. Additional photos I took at the Fair can be seen in my blog post: Midnight Voyageur Journal: Nighttime at the County Fair at dmarieramsey.wordpress.com
A couple Saturday’s ago, I went to the Green County fairgrounds in rural Wisconsin to photograph hot air balloons. I planned to capture the glow and intensity of the balloons, using low ISO and longer exposures with a tripod, somehow thinking the experience would be like photographing, say lighted architecture at night. It never occurred to me that I would be vying for space with thousands of people enjoying the spectacle of the balloons.
As darkness fell, fires under the dozen or so balloons were blasted randomly, lasting only a few seconds. The crowds stampeded to each balloon as it was being lit, where they took selfies, drank beer and let the children run. It was a mob scene and I was fascinated. I made the split second decision to photograph the balloons as I had planned with long exposures to gain the clarity and brilliance of the night. And in doing this, I sought to capture the energy of the crowd by the blur of the individuals’ movements rather than through fast shutter speeds freezing each’s position. I think this represents the concept of “opposites” by not only light/dark and still/movement but also for the dynamics of the exposures required for these photographs.
A couple weeks ago we visited The Woodlands, a city in Texas. One night I hauled out my tripod and camera to capture the tunnels in the city center. Through the curves of these tunnels, a river runs and people walk. And through these curves we see beyond to a different world.
Saturday evening we drove through the rolling fields of southern Wisconsin to a Balloons and Blues Festival being held at Green County fairgrounds. We arrived to a hot and still night, and joined thousands of spectators eating corndogs, drinking beer and packing the dusty fairgrounds to see the launching of the balloons. Close-up, the balloons were much larger than I had imagined and required teams of people to inflate and hold them down via rope tethers. My photo shows the beginning of the spectacle. Once ready, the big balloons soared into the sky and returned just before sunset.
Once darkness fell, the fires were kept burning under the balloons while they remained tethered. I captured the balloons “glow” in a series of night photographs that I will publish next.
In the early 1980’s, I was living in an old broken-down four-flat house across the street from the University of Wisconsin campus. My upstairs neighbor was an engineering student who was trying to start a portrait photography business. So he practiced with the student residents of the flat in order to perfect his craft for paying clients. I remember well his various efforts at backdrops and drapes and lighting, some of which was more successful than others. I remember too that after a photography session, he would run over to the dark room at the student union across the street where he would develop the negatives. Over a period of years, we all individually sat for his portraits, and he would make prints for us to see what we thought of his work . I would ask him for extra copies of some prints for my mother, but I never did anything with my copies feeling that it was too vain to hang them on my wall. So I put the prints and negatives in a box that I would lug along every time I moved over the years.
Last week I was rummaging in our basement and discovered these portraits in a large cardboard box. Some of the photos were mounted and some were loose, and they came in all different sizes. Along with the prints were all of the negatives and contact sheets. I had long forgotten the existence of these photos, and the box had been left sealed shut in basements of my homes for at least 20 or 30 years. I am amazing that all of the photos are in perfect condition with only one, shown in the gallery, showing a smudge on the mount.
Now that I am doing photography myself, I appreciate my neighbor’s skill in taking these photographs and developing them in the darkroom. I am going to try to locate him so that I can extend my thanks again after these many years. My finding the photos coincided with this week’s topic of “Faces” and I felt it would be fun to post them as a way of thanking my neighbor Steve.
We spent this weekend in Colorado Springs, CO and I spent some time photographing Helen Hunt Falls, located high along a twisty road in Cheyenne Canyon. I hauled my tripod up the road to the Falls, where I tried to capture the light through the water as it fell over the jagged rocks. The sparkle and splash of the sun-lit water over the rocks are merged in this abstract image.