First Light


10 Responses to “First Light”

  • Claude Monet’s poplar series immediately springs to mind. Have you read Roberta’s essay about the way some photos accidently mimic certain paintings?

    I have a big problem with the image quality; the light and colour are fighting one another instead of working together to create pictorial depth. This is the first time an iPhone image has bothered me in this regard, and I’m surprised it has happened in of all things, a landscape.

  • I am not sure where I should post this, so I will post it here were it will not take Kurt’s fantastic essay-in-progress Burn Diary off-topic for even one comment. I don’t mind taking David off topic. His exposure is endless, his place in photographic history secure even as it continues to evolve.

    Today I posted my second to last post and switched my blog from active to archive. I will make one more post during the holiday bowl game season. During my recent trip to Barrow I spent some time with a brother and sister who love and excel at both Eskimo dancing and football. I promised them I would put up a post, but it was impossible to do it justice while I was traveling and dealing with super-slow connections. So I will put that post up on logbook during the bowl season and that will be it. I got onto Instagram for the sake of my blog. I will stay on Instagram, but without a blog to make, at a less intense level than I have been doing.

    Anyone curious as to why I would do such a thing need only note the calvacade of school buses that have run through my blog these past couple of months and the protest they represented. I thought the resolution had presented itself and worked hard to make it happen, but in the end the nightmare that set those buses rolling through my blog (and Instagram) rose back up to cause me endless amounts of wasted time and aggravation and I just did not want to wrestle with it any further.

    Sooner or later, I want to establish a new site of my own, separate from Instagram. This may be another blog, it may be something else. I don’t know right now. I’ve got a book underway that I am doing for a client and I have a lot of research and writing yet to do for it. I want to get some kind of draft done before the spring whaling season begins on the Arctic Slope, which I intend to spend in a small village in the northwest corner of Alaska – assuming my upcoming surgery happens, goes well, and I recover in good time as I should recover. This did not happen last time or the time immediately after that. That’s why I face another, as soon as I can get some new insurance under Obamacare.

    I had intended to start up a new blog on the new Squarespace 6 platform and did in fact create my first post. I did not want that post to just go to waste, so I moved it into logbookwasilla and it is now the second to last post. It has 15 pictures, with little stories, and I know that is too much for David and for many of you, but it is not too much for me, nor for my readers.

    At the moment, I am, of course, a bit sad and discouraged. My wife and I will leave to begin a two week trip to Arizona, with a side trip of two or three days into Utah. We will spend time on her White Mountain Apache Reservation and in the Navajo Nation, aboriginal home of my daughter-in-law and will take our little venture into my ancestral Mormon homeland – the three heritages of my grandsons, who with their parents will meet up with us for awhile in both Apache and Navajo country.

    I had greatly looked forward to phone blogging this, but as some of you know the Squarespace 5 iPhone app I have been using went very, very bad and turned into a big nightmare. Squarespace originally promised to fix it and so I struggled on with the defective app – and I do mean struggle. It really put me through something. Then Squarespace let me know they were not going to drop that app and support for it altogether.

    The option left there was to go to the new Squarespace 6, along with its iPhone apps, which they convinced me would work much smoother and better. I believe this to be true, too, and anyone coming in to Squarespace with the ground floor being S6 is likely to have a much better experience than I did. But for me it all just got out of hand and turned into one aggravation after another, coupled with endless amounts of wasted time.

    Perhaps the answer is right here: Word Press. The only thing is to get the most out of Word Press one either needs to have the skills of Anton or be able to hire someone with those skills. The allure of Squarespace is that it supplies those skills, but…

    Anyway, maybe some good will come of it. Maybe I can get the draft done more efficiently and work on some of my photo books, too. No, the book I am contracted to do is not a photo book. It will incorporate photos but as those photos will span the entire history of the Alaskan Arctic as it is known, the majority will not be mine, but many surely will be.

    If anyone is curious to see my last two posts on just drop in. My final post also explains some of the motivation that has driven me to do what I have done and will continue to do until my body can no longer subject itself to the kind of rigors the Arctic demands. I hope this will be for at least another five to ten years. It could be next month. Hell. It might be tomorrow. Tonight, even.

    We never know.

  • .., going to drop that app and support…


    you really do not need an Anton to make WordPress work for you…and it is soooo flexible…anyway, we will follow you wherever you are…and don’t lose the Instagram connection….still the most likely place where i can see your daily “diary” which is always very interesting….

    all best with your travels and your health issues….

    sorry i don’t have any time to really write at this moment..i have managed (as usual) to get myself overbooked..yet i am always doing my best to keep up with you Bill….

    cheers, david

  • JEFF

    for me this was just 5 steps off my front porch….i am pretty lazy….not quite sure why you see a clash of color values here, yet i accept your interpretation..funny about pictures….this particular shot was somehow the MOST popular Instagram of mine recently…not my personal fav, but the fav of the “masses”…..go figure…

    all of us always must be the ONLY juror for our own work…we should always listen of course, yet never should any of us allow either the “popularity” nor the “unpopularity” determine where we stack the photograph up in our own minds….

    always love to read your comments Jeff…and hope our paths will cross again at some point…

    cheers, david

  • “we should always listen of course, yet never should any of us allow either the “popularity” nor the “unpopularity” determine where we stack the photograph up in our own minds…”

    I’ll say. Recently, an image grab I posted on Facebook/Instagram of a weather map showing the storm coming through here got more “likes” for me than what I think are a couple decent photos I’ve posted in the last few weeks.

    Of course, it’s entirely possible the weather map was, after all, better than my photos. :)

  • Well, count me as one of the masses because I like the image a lot. As is typical almost always whenever I view your work, I’m awestruck by the way you’ve seized the moment and the composition in the previsualization stage.

    My complaint has only to do with the technical quality of either the phone, the lens, or maybe the particular processing app that was used. There’s a general smearing of the elements, sort of like a colour print not quite fully developed. It’s a look that hasn’t yet achieved soft focus, so that the way colour and light can work to give us the impression of atmospheric feeling is absent for me. In that sense colour and light are fighting each other.

    I think it has to do with the way your picture reminded me of Monet’s riverbank poplar series, where the viewer gets a strong feeling of atmosphere, and a strong sense of being there. I like soft, rough and raw imagery for the way it places me in the scene, and for the way it places the photographer in the scene. So, it’s interesting how well received this image is, in the way photographer intent has so supremely trumped the technical follow-through. In other words (I don’t know if this will make any sense), it’s as if it’s no longer important for the viewer to sense the photographer as being in the scene…it’s enough to just sense the photographer’s prior intention. We’re able to view images so fast nowadays that we don’t have to wait to feel the presence of the photographer in the moment, but just the idea that the photographer will eventually be in the moment.

  • Thank you, David. And no need to write more right now. You did good with this much. Yes, I will keep posting on Instagram for awhile.

  • Jeff, when it comes to photographing photos of this nature with the iPhone, it works best when one accepts a new kind of aesthetic, one in which the vividness of large or medium format or even high-res digital, becomes something that is implied recognized as being just beyond what you see in front of you.

    Or maybe that is my personal justification for having taken so many pictures with the iPhone as of late of subject matter that in theory is beyond the technical capacity of the iPhone, but sure is fun to do and at the same time, one hopes, worthwhile to do.

  • Also, I might add that I forgot to bring my reading glasses on this trip. For some reason, images andj words still come across reasonably sharp on my iPhone but blur terribly on my laptop, which I am looking at right now and so I do not really see this image sharply and it is hard to address the issues you write of and it is a struggle to even read your words.

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