Growing up my hero was Sandy Koufax who pitched 12 seasons for the Dodgers. I've never been much of an athlete, but I did like to play baseball and football. I didn't for any high school or college team, but out in the streets and fields. I wanted to be a pitcher, throwing ball after ball to my dad. It was the dream of a young boy who had spirit but lacked in coordination. These days I'm creating portraits of people. Recent jobs found me photographing high school athletes aspiring to perform well in their chosen sports. Shooting athletes is fun because it gives me a chance to be a little edgy in my creativity. Most if not all of these boys will not go on to play college or professional sports, but for now they are enjoying the game. My desire is to capture them in a serious way, depicting their concentration when they play. They look tough in these portrait because they are serious about what they do when they do it. In fact had to work on a few of them to get that expression because off the field they are all smiles and about having fun. Creating these images took me back to another time when I went door to door collecting my friends for a rousing game of baseball at a neighborhood lot where I imagined the crowds as I threw the ball across home plate wanting to be my hero, Sandy Koufax.
The GPS in my phone was lost. It was still showing me a ways to go down route 45 when I saw a sign by the road telling me to turn left for Fantasy canyon. I did what I figured I should do and turned left. Now I wasn't sure where I was and the GPS was giving me erroneous information . My daughter who I designated "Keeper of the Map" had left it in the hotel room. Fortunately I met a van coming the opposite direction. Waving him down, he stopped and gave me directions. A lucky break seeing as we were out in the middle of no where surrounded by desert sand and oil rigs. We continued down the dirt road finding signs about the time we were ready to give up and finally pulled into a small sandy parking area with a sign warning us about pygmy rattlesnakes. Time was short so I immediately unloaded the camera gear and went to work exploring and looking for photographs to create. I was already wishing I had come out earlier. I should have known "canyon" meant I needed to be there when the sun was higher in the sky, but I had to deal with what I had to work with. There was an extreme ratio of light and dark, nice for silhouettes, but I wanted foreground detail in my shadows so I resorted to High Dynamic Range photography. Done properly it gives me a 32bit file to work with in the computer. That allows me unbelievable options and image quality. Unfortunately I did not have a great deal of time to explore and make decisions so I had to move fast. Here are some of the results of my efforts. I wanted to stay a while longer to capture the residual light and color, but I needed to make my way out of the area before total darkness set in. Did I mention my GPS was lost?
I’m always dreaming about some exotic land. Several years ago I hopped on a plane and began a three week trip to New Zealand, a place I found filled with magic. going to somewhere new makes it easy for the creative juices to flow. Yet I live in a beautiful place too. Utah is filled with beautiful scenic vistas that exceed the imagination. The problem is a live here and much of it I see every day.
I think that we sometimes take the everyday for granted making me wonder if New Zealand would be so magical if I lived there. I have embarked on a self assignment that takes me little further than my front door. For some time now I’ve been photographing the same scene, over and over again. What I’ve discovered is that it’s not always the same. I change lenses, the clouds are never the same, sunset and sunrise colors very from subtle to spectacular. The light changes, the moon sometimes rises at just the right time to change the look of the peaks, and very often I change my point of view. I know if I go on a vacation to an exotic place I’ve never been I’m going to take my camera and shoot hundreds if not thousands of images. But when you are tooling around the local area make the effort to carry your camera. You just might find something extraordinary among what you thought was just ordinary.