A Drive in the Countryside

A Drive in the Countryside

And the two photos, as a result

Three images were combined to create this expansive photo.

Three images were combined to create this expansive photo.


A friend of mine, who is also a photographer, had the whole week off from work between Christmas and New Year's and wanted to go somewhere to practice making photos. He sees the world differently in terms of color and tonality than most people, and I benefit from his unique eye. Besides, he can hold up his end of the conversation so hanging out is always pleasant.


As you probably know, California has been getting hit by storm after storm. This cycle started the week after Christmas with clouds moving in from the Pacific Ocean., My friend and I decided to travel to an old mining town turned tourist trap east of here. The idea was to photograph the puffy clouds moving in contrasted with the rugged look of this mountain town. How busy could it be with a major storm moving in on a weekday? 


Everywhere we turned in that tiny town, there were cars and people. Not just a few cars and a couple of people - there were hundreds of cars and lines of people everywhere, even on the side streets, cars parked on lawns and in every available space. It was a bust, so we left.


On the drive out, we passed a spot that is primarily ranches and an Indian reservation. We turned off on a side road to explore this wedge of earth that isn't visited very often. The area is large enough that we could drive on backroads for several hours looking for photographic opportunities. 


The two photos you see here are a result of that backroad excursion. I made a total of 58 exposures that afternoon and, from that, got a couple of images that I think are great. Even if we had come up empty, I am grateful to be able to get out and explore the world just a little bit that day.

The photo at the top is a composite of three images to achieve the expansive space on either side of the tree. The first exposure has the tree on the far left side of the frame, the second has the tree in the center, and the final has the tree on the far right. The three images are blended together in Photoshop, and I work on them as one image from there on out. There is a road in the background, which you can see if you click to enlarge the image. I removed the road signs, power poles, and farm buildings to clean the photo up. You may see this one in a monthly giveaway sometime in the future. I think it is an excellent image.


The photo below is of a gnarled old tree on the side of the road. We pulled into a rancher's access road to park and photograph this tree. It was quick work, but I always worry that someone will come along who needs to use the road, and I will be blocking the way. I didn't expect much from this image and made it primarily because the clouds looked so awesome. As it turned out, the clouds provide a lovely background for the tree to stand out against. I used a relatively long lens for this photo, 85mm, and the separation between the foreground and the background gives it an almost three-dimensional look. This image will probably not be offered for sale. There is a good chance I will print it for display in my studio, though. I think it is a fabulous photo in any case.


This poor old tree is a survivor in the high desert of California

This poor old tree is a survivor in the high desert of California 


Thank you for being here. Otherwise, I couldn't do what I do.