Roadside Memorials

Black And White Photography, Photography, Steven

Roadside Memorial © Steven Willard

I have no idea how many roadside memorials I’ve passed in my travels. I’m seventy-two years old, and I’ve driven all over America, and some foreign countries too, so the number must be pretty high. Some were probably too small to notice while traveling at highway speeds, others such as this one, certainly caught my eye. Some clearly mark scenes where accidents took place, dangerous curves or poorly marked intersections. Others are placed on perfectly straight highways, begging the question of how someone managed to run off the road. I rarely stop, they appear too suddenly unless it is on a section of road I travel frequently. I don’t think the mourners expect us to, it’s something more personal than that, or perhaps more desperate. A cry for people to notice that a friend, or child, has been take away from them. It’s something for us to think about, at least for a few miles.

 

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Inversion Therapy

Black And White Photography, Photography, Steven

Inverted, © Steven Willard

We have a tendency to look at things from the bottom up. Generally we scan buildings from the ground up, and landscapes from near to far, which usually means bottom to top. Of course there are exceptions; dramatic images of clouds or mountains for instance, or portraits where we usually are drawn to the eyes first regardless of where the eyes are in the frame.

As an exercise, I’ve been trying to make photographs that turn things upside down, that draw the eyes first to the top of the frame, then work their way to the bottom. It produces a tension we aren’t used to in seeing in images. Finding these images is not as easy as it sounds, and I offer it as a challenge.

These bare branches hanging down from a clump of pine needles reminded me of roots working their way deeper and deeper into the earth; the textured wall in the background serving the visual equivalent of earth. While this image was photographed as presented, it works almost as well when inverted. Try looking at it that way.

Olympus OMD EM5 file processed in Snapseed and Stackables on my iPad Air.

Spring meadow

Black And White Photography, Photography, Steven

Spring wildflowers and hay bales © Steven Willard

I had driven past this spot countless times knowing there should be a picture here, but always finding it lacking something, until this day. The wildflowers in front, the rolls of hay beyond, all lit by a soft overcast provided a shadowless effect.

Olympus OMD EM-1 with Olympus 40-150mm f2.8 zoom, processed in PS Express and Snapseed.

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