July 21, 2009
This is the first “good” image that I created after a 30 year absence from photography. It was photographed in 2004 using my new Canon Digital Rebel with its amazing 6mp sensor! Waaaaaay back then digital was not accepted in fine art circles, but I felt differently about it’s ability and potential.
I had just dropped my friend off in Nebraska and was heading home when I came across this sight. It was a magnificent scene with the snow covered ground being illuminated by the near-full moon, and with a delicate fog hovering over the valley.
I wanted to stop, but it was late, I was tired and it was cold. So I drove on.
But after a minute I remembered a promise that I had recently made to myself; I would never again pass by a shot. If I kept going, those conditions and that opportunity would be lost forever, and so I turned around.
Hiking back through the snow, I was rewarded with an unbelievable scene…and then my battery died. I took out another and soon it was lifeless too. It was so cold that my batteries lost their strength and I would have to warm them up with my body just to get a few more shots.
The lighting was also a challenge, the moon was so bright that to properly expose the foreground, the sky washed out. Properly exposing the sky left the valley in darkness. My solution was to shoot one exposure for the foreground, another for the sky and later combine the two halves in Photoshop (using cut and paste, and not HDR).
The result was “Windmill in Moonlight” and a great experience that reinforced my commitment to always stop.
People often say to me “This picture reminds me of ….” (I’m not going to say which artist or which image). Back then I was flattered by such a comparison, but today I find it embarrassing.
That will be topic of my next blog.