Rock and Shadow

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This is one of my favorites from my recent trip to Joshua Tree National Park. Not because it’s original, goodness no. It’s possibly the most classic West-coast-school black-and-white photo I’ve ever made. Does that diminish its worth? I think that’s a really interesting question, and I don’t have a definitive answer. I do think that being similar to other photos makes it harder to appreciate, simply because when we recognize something as an instance of a category we tend to stop looking further. One might also argue that photographing within an established tradition is lazy, that one just has to follow the path established by our predecessors. Perhaps, but it is also true that I made some 450 photos in the five days I was there, surrounded by rocks in sun, and this, made on my last day, is the only one that I think really works as a simple study of sunlight and shadow on rock.

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3 responses

  1. I like the image for its composition. What would happen if you lowered the highlights and increased the contrast? Would this bring out more detail in the rocks that are almost white?

    August 5, 2013 at 2:47 am

    • Perhaps; I’d have to look at the original to see if there’s more detail to be gained. I’m think happy with the way it is, however. For me, the near whiteness of the bright rock conveys the intensity of the light.

      August 5, 2013 at 6:02 pm

      • Yes, it sure does. It is almost blinding. As a result you get a feeling of intense heat.

        August 5, 2013 at 10:39 pm

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