There’s not much prairie left outside preserves and parks, despite the region’s historical enormous stretch of grassland. Images of prairie landscape are intermingled in this gallery with those of agricultural land. This is an area of my own work that I’d explore more deeply in the coming months and years.
Along U.S. 2 in Montana, between rain showers. I had a long drive ahead on this early evening, but couldn’t keep driving past the compositions with the power lines and highlights.
In a rural landscape, you can see elevators from miles away. Charles-Édouard Le Corbusier, after looking at grain elevators, noted that the form of the structure followed, maybe was dependent upon, its function. At least that’s a story I heard somewhere. “Form follows function,” became the concept associated with modern architecture, or maybe one of the concepts. I’ll acknowledge that I’m not an architect. But the execution of a form that serves its function well plays out beautifully in these old elevators.
My home is in the middle of North America, maybe a couple hundred miles from the officially designated geographical center of the continent. It’s a long way of saying we’re about as far from significant bodies of water as you can get. While the region is considered semi-arid, there is water here.
Some thoughts and observations about wetlands are included below the image. Scroll down to see them.
Tamarack National Wildlife Refuge, Minnesota.
Tamarack National Wildlife Refuge, Minnesota
The images in this gallery were captured in August 2017.
A number of fires were started by lightening strikes a few days before I arrived at the park. During my visit, smoke was almost always visible. Sometimes, if my eyes didn’t notice the smoke, my nose did. A few times the fine ash suspended in the air discouraged changing lenses! But the smoke also provided another visual element to the images made during the trip.
Approaching this from the east, out of the incredibly flat Red River Valley terrain in Eastern North Dakota, to the rolling farmland and prairie west of Bismarck, and then… this?!! What are we to make of this? Maybe what Jim Brandenburg said of the Boundary Waters region of Northern Minnesota applies to this landscape too:
“It’s bigger than you are; it’s older than you. And there’s so much mystery, don’t even try to understand it.”
This is a relatively small formation, almost a miniature of the larger landforms that occur in the badlands. Hence the concept and the image title.
Last time I visited Lake Superior’s North Shore, I was intrigued by the uncertain boundary between the rock and water. There are number of relatively flat sheets of exposed bedrock off Artist Point. The water was moving, but not so much that there was a risk of being swept into the lake. The ambiguity carried a sense of mystery that day.
East tip of Artist Point, Grand Marais, Minnesota
East tip of Artist Point, Grand Marais, Minnesota
This gallery includes photographs that I've worked on recently, although the images might have been captured in the past. Where my other galleries are thematically consistent, the subject matter in this one varies.
I’m not positive that these structures are used to store potatoes, but my wife’s uncle referred to structures that have a similar shape as “spud houses.”
This ongoing series includes pictures that could fit into other categories, or that don’t seem to fit into any category.
As a photographer. I photograph all kinds of things, including things others wouldn’t necessarily think were interesting or workable subjects for pictures. But seeing how the light falls on some ordinary object or scene, or really noticing something that we use or interact with regularly, can yield some of the most interesting pictures. We are aware enough of the objects we live with to navigate around them, to find them, and to use them as we need to. But that doesn’t mean we really see them.
When these pictures work, they can be among the most satisfying images I make. Yet there’s nothing that special about them; they’re just a moment in time.
From a doorway in Moab, Utah.
Some photographers are known for capture many images. Despite some travel opportunities in the first half of the year, It appears that my output was less this year than it’s been the preceding few years. The numerical count probably doesn’t matter, but it seemed like an interesting, and possibly worthwhile , exercise to distill hundreds or thousands of images to an arbitrary ten images that might have been worth the effort. So here they are.
I’m not sure how best to go about this. I looked through the photographs that I’d some post processing on and selected a small subset of those. That brought me to about a hundred images from which to choose the final ten. On another day, I might well have selected a different set of pictures, although a few would probably make into any selection of ten best or favorite dozen for the year.
I’ll elaborate on this more in a blog post before the end of the New Years holiday.
So simple really. I would think that it either resonates with you, a lot, or it doesn’t at all. Either you think, “Yeah!!” or it arouses a thought like, “this is why I hate (so-called) art!”
For me, if I let go of the all the comments of all the editors and critics that are screaming at me in my own thoughts look, without judgement or preconceptions, and just accept the pleasing arrangement of shapes, the simple but pleasant color, I find that it’s a pleasing picture. Sometimes, we get gifts.
Along the border of Minnesota and Ontario, between Lake Superior and Lake of the Woods, lies a region of forests, lakes, rivers and hills. It’s a midwest landscape, not particularly beautiful, full of bugs, difficult to make your way through. Something about it is magical. National Geographic photographer, Jim Brandenburg photographed it for a project titled Chased by the LIght. In a video documenting that project, he said of this region, it’s bigger than you are, it’s older than you are, and there’s so much mystery, don’t even try to understand it. I hope that I’ve captured something of that sense.
What a horse was to a cowboy in the Nineteenth century, a canoe is to “a tripper” in the BWCA. Our two-person Sawyer canoe has been the essential tool for experiencing this landscape.