The pond of the Cascades in my hometown has been an iconic landmark for decades. Lots of people around the city and parts of the state come to this peaceful spot for relaxation and to fish for whatever is swimming down below. I think that spewing fountain across the pond is what solidifies this as a landmark for me, plus the houses nestled comfortably in the trees. A remarkable sight that needs to continuously be cared for and free of pollution.
The last time I visited Lake Huron was in the summer of 2010. This photo and the one below taken on the rocks by the shore is a kind of landmark in my mind since the view out over the lake is beautiful and breathtaking, especially with the howling winds coming off of the chilly water. The coastline of the upper peninsula can be clearly seen on the horizon.
The sprawling acres of this empty cornfield in early April is a landmark because I see it everyday as well as anyone driving by it on the main county road near my house. I observe it every season, as the first stalks of corn start shooting up, to when they are lush and green, to when they are harvested, and to when the stalks start to wilt and everything is mowed down.
And finally, this tall sign with names of important cities in Michigan standing in the small town of Hell, Michigan is an iconic landmark (literally) for anyone visiting the city. A cheesy and very sleepy town as I can remember it but there were lots of things that I had the knowledge to frame with my ever skillful eye and snap pictures of, editing them later on and making them look like real good artwork.
Thank goodness I have cats because otherwise the assignment today would be a little difficult. I’m very shy about just walking up to people and asking to take their picture and even taking pictures of random people or even my family feels a little awkward. There’s nothing like two cats who have a certain connection to one another. My two felines are known to wrestle, fight, and run like wild horses after one another through the house, but, as is evident in these pictures, they love each other and seek one another for company and comfort. Because what else is there for these cats? Their worlds are so itty bitty small and having they being related to one another by species helps clear up some of the loneliness. I realize this assignment asked for more of a human approach but the ideal image for today was my cats, who also share a connection with me in a way (and they weren’t fussy about having their picture taken). Two animals of the same species – that’s my interpretation of connect.
This is solitude to me. There is nothing around in the dark field and the trees are still and barren. While riding along on the highway a few nights ago, I noticed how beautiful the sky looked and was glad I had my camera phone with me, snapping a number of pictures as the car rushed on by. After a series of blurry pictures of no particular value, I finally got this one that captured this pink, purple, and blue canvas in fine detail. This picture seems so peaceful. There are no disturbances. As the cars on the highway rush by, people busy, busy with their lives, this field under a dreamy sky remains quiet and in solitude.
This is an even better example of solitude. The lone grave marking, a cross commemorating a war veteran of my town. The idea that no one else has been laid down to rest here is so poetic. The trees in the background against an all white sky paint an image of heaven for me. So tall and graceful. Solitude could not be described any better in my mind than having a cemetery all to oneself, undisturbed by other souls. There is always a cold, chilly feeling that goes through me whenever I walk by this. I can almost imagine the ghost of the war veteran rising up out of the grave, gliding over to the fence to speak to me, or just staring back at me from afar as I walk on by. The thought of walking into this field of peace and tranquility intrigues me. There are no sounds in this area except the soft whisper of the wind.
The innocence of youth is bliss, as is clearly being shown in this picture of a young girl gazing out over this bridge over untroubled waters. This shot was captured quite unexpectedly; I was just going to photograph the bridge simply and have a pleasant nature shot but then enters this child in front of my view. The creative side of me instantly showed a great opportunity to make an even better shot. Anytime there is a subject in one of my pictures, whether young or old, a message can be formed and deeper meanings can be accessed. She had no idea she was photographed; I don’t believe I was being a sort of creep while taking this, I just saw the perfect opportunity and ran home with it. I believe I heard her mother calling after her to come back or be careful. Someday this child will grow up, go on to do whatever is destined in her life, and might stumble across this photo one day and say “Hey, that’s me, but who took that picture?” She will never know it was me and that is the blissful innocence on both sides of the lens. Though her mother might still remember, in her old age, might remember seeing a young man in black snapping a picture with a small camera as the girl stepped onto the bridge and then going back to his daily life. I never saw the mother, only the girl who formed the Bridge of Youth and Innocence.
The third day of this fun course centering around the basics of photography asked me to interpret water. I chose one of the most beautiful places to take pictures of hydrogen and oxygen, the Cascades in my hometown. The blue phase of the electric waterfall was captured with fine detail. My hand was steady with this shot, making sure the water streaming down was not blurred. I framed this shot by stepping back a few paces, getting all three levels of the falls and the water rushing down below. I can still hear the beautiful sound of the water churning, splashing down in tidal waves on all three levels.
The yellow phase is a little more up close and personal. I see what looks like lacy curtains in the solid looking water. It reminds me of lemon flavored popsicles for some reason, maybe because this shot looks so delicious I can almost taste it. This shot, strategically captured from the side, incorporates elements of the evening sky with black smoky clouds floating by, the blinding bright light looking like the entrance to some higher world, and the lowly flowers in the turrets. Ahhh, now we have arrived in a hellish land, an oblivion. The mad, ferocious red and orange of this timely phase baths everything in a hot glow as if it’s a furnace. The water looks strikingly like hot magma, boiling, bubbling, flaring up as the stream splashes down. The fountain in the top right corner shooting red water high into the sky adds to this hellish scene. And now things cool down to an icy chill with the soothing dark blue phase of the Cascades. The white meshing with the chilling blue in the second level is so frozen looking, I literally feel ice forming in my veins. I captured everything in perspective with this wide angle shot, getting the rippling of the glistening pool with the luminescent green reflected on its surface.
I missed the first day of Photography 101 because I signed up late, but no bother: here is what I call the house of my dreams, taken while walking alongside a busy road one day. I love the shadow that is being cast by the tree in front and how all three trees and the shrubberies seem to guard the house.
And here are my pictures for the second day of Photo 101: the boulevard of my mobile community dressed in its annual snowy white and a monstrous overcast above the main road in my hometown.