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Ice Bubbles

A Good Read

If you’re looking to pick up a book that’s inspiring while being comical and interesting, check out The Proud Highway: Saga of a Desperate Southern Gentleman by Hunter S Thompson.

Let us toast to animal pleasures, to escapism, to rain on the roof and instant coffee, to unemployment insurance and library cards, to absinthe and good-hearted landlords, to music and warm bodies and contraceptives… and to the “good life”, whatever it is and wherever it happens to be. ~ HST

Over the EdgeIce Bubbles

You know when you’re just having one of those days where you’re not feeling particularly excited about being creative, but then you make yourself head out anyways?  Well this was one of those days.  I think if I hadn’t been meeting a friend out to shoot I probably would have canceled the trip.  Cold.  That’s really why.  I don’t do well in cold.  But, there we were, and it seems like a lot of times, just like waking up early, once you’re going it’s not so bad, and maybe those creative hurdles aren’t as high as they seemed from afar.

We found these strange ice bubbles that had formed under the ice in the river, and I really wanted to get an up-close and personal shot with them, but the drop off was way too far, and the ice did not look particularly thick.  And here I am without my high boots…  So, what do to what to do?  Well, how about set up the tripod best you can, then by holding the camera strap, lower it over the edge to the ice surface?  Should work, right?  Yep.

Ice Bubbles William Woodward

High Window City Watching

Future

Do you know what lies in yours?

future

High Window City Watching

There’s something enthralling about being high above all the other buildings in a large city.  That’s probably why we’re consistently trying to build taller and taller buildings.  One of these days I’d like to go check out Dubai, and see what the tallest building in the world feels like.  They say that in some of these super sky scrapers, that at the top you are actually moving a foot or two in either direction as the wind blows, which is completely mind blowing.

A place I regularly go with folks who’ve never been before in Chicago is the John Hancock building, as you can get higher than the Sears Tower (now Willis Tower) and you don’t have to pay to go up!  They have a nice little lounge/bar area, where the drinks aren’t cheap, but when you consider that you have a place to sit and chat, along with the view, it all about evens out. The other nice thing about the JH, is that since it’s just north of the river, you actually have a pretty nice view of the downtown area.

City Watching Chicago William Woodward

The Flats of Badwater Basin

Updated Tutorials

If you’re looking to take more awesome pictures yourself, be sure to keep checking out the tutorials page!  I’ve been updating it pretty heavily lately, including the HDR tutorial in Photomatix.

The Flats of Badwater Basin

There is something peacefully interesting about being at Badwater Basin in Death Valley.  Maybe it has to do with being 282 ft below sea level that makes this ultra flat (and warm) landscape just a little extra fun to explore.  As the sun began it’s decent in the sky, the rays began to cut thru the clouds and across the mountains, offering a great compliment to the stark white salt flats that are laid out before you.  The further you explore the basin, the larger you will quickly realize it is.

Flats of Badwater William Woodward

The Waving Family – Grand Central, NYC

behind the scenesDesign Changes

You’ll notice some design changes over the next weeks, so that’s going to unfortunately be occupying a good bit of my time, but hopefully I’ll have some time to knock out a couple of new photos from New Orleans.  But, in the mean time, here’s a little behind the scenes of a shot.  I’ll give you the full scoop as to why this was a little extra cool when I finish up the shot.

The Waving Family – Grand Central, NYC

There is soooo much movement in Grand Central Station, that it seems strange that you could take a 2 second exposure and have any one person stay all that still, but in this one moment, there was a single family posing for a picture, that all three stayed still!  I had a couple shots where everyone was in some sort of motion, but this one seemed to have a little more essence to in because of that family, standing there waving to someone that must have been standing right next to me.

Waving Family Grand Central William Woodward

On a Misty Morning

Spontaneity 

Spontaneity breeds creativity.  Try something different, as simple as a different drive to work.  You never know what you might see.

On a Misty Morning

It was already late in the year, but there was no snow yet.  The winter wheat plans were small, but still green.  As I came to the top of a small hill, the view all of the sudden was rolling for miles.  The perfect rows in the fields tapered off in to the distance, and it was very peaceful.

Misty Morning William Woodward

The Long Path to Mono Lake

Excellence

I saw this quote on my friend Yunkin’s facebook earlier today, and it seemed perfect

‎”We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” ~ Aristotle

The Long Path to Mono Lake

If you ever find yourself in the Yosemite area, take a few hours to stop out to Mono lake (not pronounced like the sickness, but with long o’s, like Moe-no).  We had a slight run in with a large patch of Poison Oak, and with some worry of cross contamination, decided that today would be the best time to get some laundry done in town, which consequently was right on the way to Mono lake.

Crossing the Tioga Pass on your way from Yosemite to Mono Lake is beautiful, and it’s only open for a portion of the season, because of it’s high elevation and snow levels.  The problem was that we had all of our pants in that bag of ‘probably has Poison Oak on it’ clothes.  Luckily we both still had a pair of warm socks, and our windbreak coats, although getting out of the car in 40°F weather caused the shoots to end a little quicker than they normally would have.

Ellery Lake

shoes

Luckily, Mono lake is significantly lower elevation than the pass (over 3,000 ft!), and therefore much warmer.  By the time we had finished our afternoon of wandering and exploring, it was nearly swimsuit weather!

I know I’ve described several places in California as being very ‘surface of the moon’ -esque, but Mono Lake has such an interesting and strange feeling to it that maybe it was even more abnormal than the moon.   On the day we drove in, there were these extreme low hanging clouds above the lake.  Up in the mountains, the clouds were wispy and there were blue skies, but above the lake, they really increased in drama, which I was totally okay with.

The shot below was actually the ONLY time we were ON the path at all, as the lake had so much to explore along it’s shores and around the Tufa column formations caused by the alkaline waters and salinity of the lake.

Mono Lake William Woodward