Lost in the Woods

Ohio forest in summer
June at Hermon Woodlands in Allen County, Ohio

If I must get lost in the woods, it is best to have a camera or two in tow. At least I was lost for just a short while.


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Kendrick Woods, June 9

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I had the opportunity for another photo walk this weekend. My sister and I went to Kendrick Woods, located about 10 miles west of Lima. The skies were overcast and the ground was saturated with recent rain. Despite the conditions, I am beginning to enjoy the challenge of photography on cloudy days. I still favor the rich saturation and dramatic shadows of full sunlight, but I think I learned how to adapt a bit when ideal situations don’t materialize.

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Summer Photo Walk, June 8

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The weather is hot yet dreary today. It is possible that we may add to our coffers of rainfall once again. We’ve had entirely too much rain over the past two months (17 inches, according to the Lima News).

This morning I wore my oldest pair of shoes and headed toward one of the soggy parks. The light was unreliable at best. I took some B&W photos, too, but many of those turned out blurry because I forgot to adjust the ISO for the dim light in the forest. Despite this issue, I did find a few of the B&W worth posting on this blog.

By the way, have any of you had luck with using a Facebook page for your blog? I don’t do much with mine, but I noticed there’s lots of features now for making posts, like easy slideshow videos and “Notes” which can incorporate text, photos and video. There’s also some ambitious-looking carousel post which can have links to multiple destinations. This makes me curious as to why Facebook hasn’t harnessed their publishing assets to create the go-to destination for bloggers. It’s like they intentionally left room in the online world for platforms like WordPress and the like.

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Fall Photo Walk, November 11

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This morning I visited the same park forest I photographed last week. The sudden cold provoked drastic changes in those eight days. Last week I walked through a forest full of yellow-leafed maples, yet this week almost all of the maple leaves were gone, fallen and blown away in a mid-week wind storm.

I suppose I shouldn’t let the weather rule my moods so easily, but I feel so unprepared for the early start of winter weather. Just a few weeks ago I hid indoors as much as possible to escape summer heat that lingered too long into fall. What does it matter if it’s blazing or frigid outside if the result (i.e. staying inside) is the same?

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Summer Photo Walk, July 8: B&W

I haven’t dipped into black and white photography in many years. In a technical sense, the images in this post are monochrome rather than B&W. There aren’t many pixels in these images that are truly black or white. With that aside, I should mention that I don’t tend toward precision. I’m the kind of person who thinks napkins are redundant if paper towels are on hand. When I write B&W, I really mean monochrome.

I used to do photo walks with my camera set to B&W, but then I read a digital photography tip that eroded my interest in it. It’s a tip that is so widespread that it meets the criteria of common knowledge I suppose: shoot in color and change to monochrome during post-processing. It’s simple to take color away but almost impossible to add it (with fidelity) to a monochrome image. I can see the wisdom of this practice. There’s the serendipity of colliding with the unusual. I wouldn’t want to miss a color picture of clowns training falcons in the wild, for instance.

The problem with this approach is that, for me at least, shooting in color tunes into a different way of seeing. I love highly saturated colors enriched further with morning or evening light. I just don’t have it in me to adopt a high-key, muted color style that is widespread on social media. When I take color photos, color is my highest priority. I don’t value light unless it deepens the color. I’ve tried flipping those images to monochrome while editing, but there’s not enough contrast left once the color is stripped away.

I’ve learned that I need to dial into a monochrome mode while I’m shooting if I want decent B&W images. Then my priority is light. A humble tree grabs my attention because it is lit in glory. I suppose B&W photography sharpens the fundamentals of the form: light and composition.

Shadows are deepest at the height of summer. It’s like the sun spills an inkwell in the shade.