I made time to head to Venice (Italy) in what I can only assume is the time of year with the least amount of foot traffic. And still, the crowds in mid-January were sometimes overwhelming for this space-loving, quiet desert kind of girl! Once you understand the flow of the crowds, it is quite easy to avoid them. Be out the door well before 6am (an hour before sunrise) and the streets and plazas are empty. Once the church bells ring at 7am, the day officially begins and the commuters are arriving and bustling off to their jobs in shops and hotels. Likewise at the end of the day, once the sun goes down, the crowds magically disappear and Venice at night is quiet and calm.
I have a favorite podcast that I listen to entitled At the Movies with Arch and Ann ... In a recent episode, each came up with a list of their top ten movies released during the first half of the year, hence "The Halfsies." I have adopted that title for this long-overdue blog post to share what I've been up to for the first six three months of the year.In essence, the first six months was a lot of travel and lectures, scoping out places for potential b+w infrared workshops in the US around the same time of the year as they would be offered in 2019.
Working my way back to where I left off writing the blog, back in August (yes, this year)... I joined a workshop group in Badlands National Park (South Dakota) the second week in September. We had mostly bald blue skies, daytime temperatures constantly over 90F, and smoke from the wildfires in Custer State Park that eventually made its way to us the last couple of days...
A long time ago, I read a blog post by Joe McNally, Nikon Legend. His schedule freed up that fall, and he took Jay Maisel’s 5-day intensive workshop in New York City. I tried to find the post on Joe’s blog site to share with you, but I just couldn’t unearth it. The take away and point that comes back to me every so often was a comment that Jay made as he walked behind his students as they were processing. He stopped at Joe and said (expletives removed) “Move your feet, McNally” as apparently the on-screen contact sheet of thumbnails that Adobe Bridge provides showed that Joe had not moved off his “spot,” as he worked the composition and subject.
few times a year, I leave New Jersey and (usually) head west. This spring I got to a bucket list location: The Palouse in eastern Washington state and western Idaho. It is a geologically fascinating area of the country. In the spring, rolling green (wheat) or yellow (canola) hills are the norm, with scattered farmsteads (think red barns) or abandoned farms of weathered out buildings. By August, the harvest leaves the fields a patchwork of browns and very interesting geometric compositions created by the remains of the crop.
Continuing the images made from a recent trip to Grand Teton National Park (WY), the morning after I arrived did not offer the sunrise I had hoped for. Instead, a storm was brewing and by dawn it looked like snow. I shot a little in (gasp) color, but disappointed in the very dark skies overhead. I headed for coffee as the rain came down. Within a couple hours, the rain had moved across the Tetons and was working its way through the valley. I stopped at the Mount Moran turnout on Teton Park Road to practice creating a panorama image.
My demise has been greatly exaggerated! I’ve been very fortunate to visit seven states during August and September while on the road photographing for a total of five weeks. Here is an image I made late September in Grand Teton National Park. The aspens were golden, the elk bulls were calling and gathering their harems, the air had that fall early-morning edge requiring hat and gloves, and there was plenty of space for all the photography groups I saw lined up at the traditional spots.
It’s been a struggle getting back to the blog. Not writer’s or photographer’s block; very full days working on new projects and trying to keep all the balls in the air! So far, so good. Thanks for your patience. I am in the midst of a three-week trip through the coastal areas of northern California, Oregon and now up into the islands of Washington’s Puget Sound (Whidbey Island to be specific). It’s been a terrific trip so far. Connected with friends along the way, oddly enough those from the east coast who happen to be out here at the same time. Small world.