Monday, July 13, 2009

Twilight in Joshua Tree (and an Instructive Site to Visit)

All that I have achieved are these dreams locked in silver. - Paul Caponigro

No special background story to go with this one! It's a rather alien-looking scene (the kind I love) shot at twilight among the boulders in Joshua Tree National Park, which I have mentioned before here, in a February post. If I remember correctly, some smoke from a distant wildfire contributed to the nice colors in the sky at the horizon on an otherwise pure blue day. The granite formations in this area are very unique and interesting as you can see, but no Joshua trees appear in this shot.
In addition to mentioning as I go along here some of the classic photographers or artists that have influenced and inspired me, I want to occasionally point out a site that is especially interesting or informative. Therefore, for my "tip of the day", I give a big thumbs up to Georgia-based photographer Craig Tanner's video series "The Daily Critique". You can view it directly on the website where he is the principal contributor: The Mindful Eye (after a free sign-up), or find the entire archive easily here on YouTube. Each day, he takes a viewer-submitted image and analyzes it in a very informative and positive way, discussing composition, color theory, processing techniques and the general thought process behind art and photography. I'm pretty sure that no matter what your skill level, you will find it quite fun to watch. He has a very pleasant manner and more importantly, is excellent at articulating the concepts of visual language. A nice byproduct (to me at least) is that at the end of each segment, you will have spent 6-8 minutes really studying an image and getting a feel for what the photographer was thinking and trying to accomplish, as opposed to the quick few seconds glance we typically allow when cruising blogs and websites. His essay, "The Myth of Talent" is quite inspiring, also. Please check out a video or two and let me know what you think.

11 comments:

Mook said...

Just popped by, this looks a stoater again!

But I'll need leave a proper comment until later:( only had four hours sleep last night... up at five AM and it's now 00:30 a whole / a full/ fourteen and lets not forget the half ;) hour later. And I'm wabit (exhausted) as me old grandfaither used to say.

However the foreground local contrast looks emasculate!

Michelle (artscapes) said...

This is one of those images where I am just struck by so many elements - hard and soft, smooth and rough - and the colour... That is such a cerebral description for a photo that is full of a feeling I can't quite pin down... Love it!

And I love the post on Talent. Just proof that inspiration is a small part of it - hard work is the rest. After all - I was told I shouldn't waste my time painting. But I just had to do it!

storybeader said...

It's a beautiful image and does make me think of something other-worldly. I listened to Craig critique one of his own photographs. He was talking about rule of thirds, which I didn't understand completely. Looking at your image, I see large foreground boulders, a setting sky (I would think, without the fire) and a moon scape. Rule of thirds? I had to laugh, because I only use the rule of thirds in my jewelry designs and grouping items on a shelf. Things just look better, "odd"!

Poetic Shutterbug said...

There is just so much texture and vibrant color to this shot which makes it so spectacular and unique. Very creative.

Patrick said...

Mark, I guess you know that with this kind of hues i can just say "Bravo" !

I'll have to check your links, hope to find a little time before the end of this week.

Mook said...

Managed to get back at last and read your article. I'll endorse everything you say about The Mindful Eye and thanks for letting me know about it the other week, it's been a great help. Especially helpful for me just starting out using RAW, along with the more obvious advice on offer at that site.

Love the texture in the foreground and those two rock lead the eye in fantastically!

ps the Russians are coming your way... well the dust from a volcanic eruption in Russia :)Which should make for unusual colour schemes in the sky. Don't know if that's any use to you just thought I'd let you know :)

Amy Lilley Designs said...

alien looking + twilight= beautiful

Mark Alan Meader said...

Thank you all very much! I'll be off (and off-line) on my expedition to Arizona and Utah until mid-next week... hope I can come back with some interesting new work to talk about. See you when I return:)

betchai said...

this is why i love the desert, surreal yet so beautiful. hope you have a wonderful trip in arizona and utah.

JACQ said...

I've always been a silent but loyal reader of your blog, and I just gotta say, your photos are absolutely stunning! How I wish I could produce something like this too! Looking forward for more of your photos! :)

Lynda Lehmann said...

Mark, thanks for the great tips! Will check out and bookmark these sites.

Your photo is lovely. I adore climbing around on rocks and exploring their otherworldly configurations. I can't wait to travel one day, with my camera, to all the places in the West and Southwest that I've missed.

I'm glad to be back visiting my blogging friends!