February 3, 2007
As of this posting, the picture above is a pretty recent shot, taken during a long hike around a collection of lakes in Kalkaska county, here in Michigan. A thick layer of snow is keeping the ice insulated enough to prevent any trek much further than a couple of feet from shore so this was the best vantage point I could get. What worked to my favor was the grass coming up through the ice and snow at the shoreline here that I didn't even notice at the time because of the sunlight shining into my eyes.
Sunlight in my eyes is an issue at times because of my handy pair of sunglasses. When the lighting is opportune I often don't even wear the shades themselves because I'm utilizing them as a lens filter. I use them too often at times but I can't help myself due to the interesting effect they achieve. People have asked me a time or two why don't I just get a similar affect by playing with the photos on the computer. It's certainly a valid question and I feel like a completely pretentious jerk when I give my answer: I don't like playing with pictures much at all after taking them. If I develop prints in a dark room then that's a different story, but to me manipulating photographs on the computer feels like cheating. I get a rise out of being resourceful "in the field." If I can use the items or environment around me to better a shot then I'll do that in a heartbeat over capturing a standard frame and making it something it wasn't in the comfort of my own work station. As much as I love computers I can honestly admit that I get no artistic satisfaction from working on one (unless I'm editing a film together or writing a story).