Stone Wall and Pines

Black And White Photography, Photography, Steven

Stone Wall and Pines, Washington, Ct © Steven Willard

I had been waiting for just the right light for this image, soft morning fog seemed like just the thing.

Pentax K5IIs with 70mm f2.4, processed in Snapseed.

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Family of Birches

Black And White Photography, Photography, Steven

Birch family © Steven Willard

I have been keeping my eye on this copse of birches for several years, sometimes driving out of my way to see how the light was falling on them. Finally everything came together one late afternoon when the sun came streaming in beneath some grey clouds. I chose a longish lens to “compress” them, and am happy with the result. Persistence paid off

Pentax K5IIs with the Pentax 55-300 zoom. Processed in Snapseed.

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By the side of the road

Black And White Photography, Photography, Steven

Roadside © Steven Willard

Roadside images are plentiful around here, I only have to “bother” to stop. This time what attracted my attention was on the other side of the road; fortunately I turned around.

Pentax KII5s, processed in Snapseed and Stackables.

Urn with Fern

Black And White Photography, Photography, Steven

Urn with Fern, Woodbury, Connecticut © Steven Willard

I’m sorry, I just couldn’t pass this one up.

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Rite of Spring

Black And White Photography, Photography, Steven

Rite of Spring © Steven Willard

What better indication that Spring is here than seeing the baseball diamonds being readied for play. I watched on a cold cloudy day as the backstops and batting gages were moved into position, but now, finally, Spring.

Pentax K5IIs with 35mm f2.8 macro lens.

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Who do you trust?

Black And White Photography, Photography, Steven


James in the RV © Steven Willard

I won’t trouble with the backstory here, except to say that I needed a place to live and had concluded my best option was a used RV. I live in Connecticut but figured I would find the best deal either in the South or in the sunny Southwest where rust wasn’t likely to be an issue.

I met James on the internet when I saw the RV he was selling. We emailed back and forth then spoke at some length on the phone. The catch was that I was in Connecticut and he was in California. If I wanted to buy his RV I was going to have to trust the voice on the phone; take a leap of faith and fly out to California, which is what I did. I needn’t have worried. James is one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met, his family is lovely, and the RV was exactly as he described it. I drove it back to Connecticut and have been living in it for three years with no problems.

Sometimes you just have to have faith.

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One Glove

Black And White Photography, Photography, Steven

One Glove © Steven Willard

One glove isn’t useless, but it can’t attain it’s full potential without a mate.

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A Place In The Sun

Black And White Photography, Photography, Steven

A place in the sun © Steven Willard

I marvel how Hollywood manages to adapt novels into screenplays and then into movies. It’s hard for me to imagine Theodore Dreiser ever dreaming that his novel “American Tragedy” (1923) could be transformed into the movie “A Place in the Sun” (1951) starring the ever moody Montgomery Clift and the translucent Elizabeth Taylor. The general plot is the same, or similar enough that there has been no argument about attribution, but just about everything else, location, names and title have been changed. That doesn’t mean it isn’t a terrific movie, it is, but it argues in favor for the talent of the screen writers (Michael Wilson and Harry Brown) and director George Stevens. Worth watching.

For me, a place in the sun, means something different. It’s a place to sit and enjoy a few quiet minutes in the warm glow of afternoon, and someone interesting to share it with.

Pentax K5IIs processed in PS Cs4.

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Porch Rail

Black And White Photography, Photography, Steven
Porch Rail, Washington Depot, Connecticut © Steven Willard

Porch Rail, Washington Depot, Connecticut © Steven Willard

The decision to make a photograph is an interesting proposition. What is it that catches our eye and convinces us that we’ve seen something that is worthy of a photograph? And why would we think anyone else will be interested, and should that matter to us? Do we really make photographs for others, or are we simply trying to satisfy our own needs?

I honestly don’t have answers to these questions, but they are questions that I find myself wondering about more and more. I think it is something most photographers go through as they gain years and experience. As a newcomer to photography we start out struggling to learn the craft well enough that we can make images that are in concert with our vision; it’s all about learning how to use the gear. We waste time, and money, looking for short cuts. We buy more gear thinking that better cameras and more lenses will magically make our photographs better when in fact it’s hard to find a really bad camera these days. Sure, if your interest is specialized, like wildlife, you may find yourself in search of longer and longer lenses that focus quicker, but most of us just don’t utilize the gear we have to its potential.

Most of us who keep photographing eventually realize that the gear isn’t the answer to making better images. The search becomes about what does, and that’s what keeps me interested in the art of photography. It’s a game you can play the rest of your life. Once you learn the rudiments of the game you realize its not about the equipment anymore than golf is about the clubs or fishing is about the rod and reel, or even about the fish; its about the quest. It’s about learning; what makes a good image, and how you convey your vision to others. Its about opening your mind as well as your eyes.

Pentax K5IIs with 70mm lens processed with Photoshop CS4 and Nik Silver Efex Pro 2.