Monthly Archives: April 2013

Finding Meaning in Tough Conditions!

Stormy Evening, Fallen Leaf Lake

Those of you who follow me on FaceBook and on Youtube may be familiar with the video below. This image is the result of that excursion! One day after a horrific school shooting, I escaped into the woods during a snow storm with howling wind. I find solace in the power and beauty of nature. I (conservatively) voiced how I felt during my time in the elements that evening. I hope you find the connection between the video and the resulting image interesting, motivating, inspiring, or just plain beautiful. I will share some photographic details below the video on this post.

Obviously, There was a lot of mood involved in this image: Moody weather, moody light, moody me. To be clear, this was an example of how I am moved by Mother Nature. I felt the need to escape the insanity of “society”. I was feeling down, sad, angry. Venturing out into a storm was the release I needed. Hiking alone surrounded by the howling wind, carrying the heavy pack with my 8×10 gear, being pelted with snow and wrapped in cold. Mother Nature wrapped me in the reality of her power, causing me to focus and release a bit of the craziness in the world that had me down. This environment forces me to regain my perspective. I work the way I do as a means of sharing these emotions with the world. Hopefully, my vision enables others to “refocus” without spending the time “suffering”.

Given the conditions, the mood and the composition I was drawn to, I felt there was no other choice than black and white for this image. This was another of my “one shot wonders”. I set up my 8×10 film camera, sinking the tripod legs into the snow for stability in the wind, and composed the image. As the negative film I shoot has a huge range of exposure latitude from highlight to shadow, no filters were necessary. I metered the scene, set my exposure (30 seconds), loaded one sheet of 8×10 inch film, shielded the camera from the wind as best I could, and released the shutter. One shot. I simply felt it was right. I then made the video below using my iPhone, put the camera away and took a few minutes to gratefully absorb the power of the place. I hope the power of this image moves you in a way that makes you feel “better”, in any way you require. Thanks for sharing my experience and my art.

This image is now available directly through the Jon Paul Gallery. 530-544-4269

Jon Paul
“Bringing the Fine Art of Nature Home”

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