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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Nutcracker Access

I cannot remember if I have ever seen the Nutcracker, but I have photographed parts of it for years. This time I had a little more fun with it because, one, I was playing with that 50 1.4 again and I was interested in the process of the play, back stage and actors instead of the actual play. My favorite image is that of the toy soldiers watching the dress rehearsal from the audience perspective. It reminds me of a color Henri Cartier-Bresson, 1930s image. It has softness in tone and monochromatic setting in red uniforms and red seat fabric. The center girl’s expression of concentration takes the viewer into the moment. It makes me loose myself in the moment each time I look at it. The other shots are with the 14 at 2.8 and all at 1600 ISO on the Nikon D1h. P.S. a 14 mm on a Nikon digital camera is equivalent to 21 mm on a film camera.

Beautiful But Deadly

Stark Beauty: or Beautiful But Deadly. A trip to Surprise Canyon was just that, a surprise. I have traveled over much of the region specializing in the Mojave Desert and I only say deadly because places like these can bee if one is not prepared for the elements. This is one of the few places I have found that actually surprised me in its natural diversity and eco system in such a stark and generally inhospitable land. The other areas in the Mojave are: Afton Canyon, Round Valley and Providence Mt. State Park. Although, Round Valley in the Mojave National Preserve was burned during the Hackberry Complex Fire of ’05. I created a slide show of Surprise Canyon, which as I understand it, had a road through it at one time and Mother Nature took it back. The canyon is now the center of a national lawsuit by off roaders to be able to access the canyon again. I hiked in several miles with a little climbing up waterfalls with some water, trail mix and two camera bodies with a lens range of 14mm to 600mm and yes I used it all. The writer and I did not attempt to make the eight-hour hike to Panament Ghost Town at the top of the canyon.

Ballarat Ghost Town however is near the base of Surprise Canyon. With Rock the caretaker and his dog Potlicker, the grave of Seldom Seen Slim the prospector and Charles Manson’s ‘50s pickup truck. I started to use a 50 1.4 lens, see if you can pick out which images are from that one.

Suprise Canyon
Ballarat Ghost Town