Super. Synonyms include: superb, superlative, superior, outstanding, remarkable, dazzling, marvelous, magnificent, wonderful, splendid, fine, exquisite, exceptional, glorious, sublime, and more. In this post we include some of our images from Joshua Tree National Park made during the 2019 “Super Bloom”. We hope you will agree that many of those synonyms are applicable. Clearly the bloom was exceptional. The riot of colors was remarkable. The density was magnificent. The scent of millions of blooming flowers was sublime. All together it was glorious. We hope you concur. [You can click on each image for a larger version.]
A couple of weeks ago we found ourselves in Southern California. And just like in 2017, we were there during a “Super Bloom” event. Fortunately we had time to go make some images of the blooms. Unlike 2017, the best blooms were not on the Carizzo Plain. We found dense blooms in the vicinity of Anza-Borrego State Park and Joshua Tree National Park. We also did a drive-by of the poppy bloom near Temescal/Alberhill along I-15. We didn’t stop at Temescal/Alberhill because it was crazy. There were hundreds of people trying to get to the poppys at 9AM on a Monday. We can’t imagine how crazy the weekends must have been. But Joshua Tree in particular, was incredible. The density and diversity of flowering plants was overwhelming. The scent of blooming flowers almost overpowering when we got out of the vehicle along the south Entrance Road. We tried to make images of the mass but all of our attempts seemed to fall short of relaying the intensity of the bloom. Instead we tried to make images that captured some of the details of this incredible floral outburst in the desert. Here in Part 1 are images from the Carizzo Plain and the area around Anza-Borrego State Park. (Click on the photos for a larger view.)
Sometimes we have posted our favorites from the prior year in a blog post. Last year we changed the whole website and devoted it to our trip to Alaska in 2017 (See the Land of Salmon pages). This year I (Boyd) was digging through the archives and had a thought: (Reader inserts wisecrack here) I should share some of the images that were my favorites of all-times. These would be images I had made, and I would not constrain the selection by subject or date of origin. Shortly after I had this not so novel idea, I read a blog post that said everyone should have their “10 best” as an opening gallery. Although I thought that was too restrictive on every photographer’s web design, I thought it might be a fun exercise to try and pick out 10 photos.
I was wrong.
(I purposely left that sentence as a single paragraph as some people may say I have never concatenated those three words together. They would be wrong.)
It turns out selecting only 10 photos was very hard. Getting the top 150 wasn’t too bad. Cutting that in half to 75 was a lot tougher. After that it started to become an exercise in rejecting images that I liked for a lot of reasons. Eventually I got to about 35 photos and got stuck. Do I have too many flower pictures? Where is the air tanker photo? Should I use the puffin photo or the Lincoln’s sparrow? Which bear photo - cute? fierce? What about the hyenas? Probably too graphic. What about the seashore? Water abstracts? Leave out composited images? Put in composited images? How many in any one category? Some color? Some black and white? You get the idea. In the end I settled on 15. Kathy gave some input when I was stuck but ultimately the choices, as are the images, are all mine. So I picked 15, slept on the project, rearranged and picked a slightly different 15, and eventually settled. I doubt you would think these are my 15 best, but they are my 15 favorites. At least as of today. Tomorrow? Well the weather forecast is interesting, maybe there will be a new image to add to the mix soon.
Note: These are not in any particular order as to my number 1 favorite, or age of image, I just thought this order flowed well. And if you click on the photos you should get a larger version.)
So those are my currently favorite 15. I hope you stuck through this long post and enjoyed them all.
I write this in early January of 2019. Like many people, we take time as the year rolls over to look at what we have done and what we hope to do. Last year our photography wasn’t as prominent in our priority list as previously. (See the entry from October 2018). As we start a new calendar year, Kathy and I are hoping to reinvigorate this set of stories/blog/journal with fresh content on a regular basis. Our first goal is at least once a month. We would like to get to at least twice a month. We shall see whether this works as planned or falls by the wayside like so many New Year Resolutions to improve.
Part of having more stories to tell is gathering new images. Being in a new area we have lots of opportunities to do that. A few days ago we took a short hike to visit Steelhead Falls on the Deschutes River. Although it was a cool and overcast day we found the falls to be an interesting place to spend some time looking. Here are some of the things we saw. Boyd.
We’ve been away from this blog/website for almost a year. We returned from Alaska last fall (2017), posted pictures, Boyd finished the movie of our adventure, and then … nothing. Or at least that is what this website would have you believe.
We didn’t really lose interest. Our priorities changed. We decided to leave our home of 30 years and move to Central Oregon. This was not a small task. Look around where you are. How much stuff have you acquired since your last move? Exactly. Not to mention all the bureaucratic tasks associated with moving: a loan, new insurance, re-register vehicles, find a new doctor/dentist/repair person, find the best place for a cold/hot drink. You get the idea. Well, we are settling down and have started to get back into the groove of photography. Expect to see some new stories soon. We are excited by what our new location provides for photographic opportunities.
So bear with us as we get back in the seat of this photographic sharing machine. We hope to have some new stuff (and maybe some old stuff) up soon. If I can just find that 5/16 in long socket and a pair of wire cutters….
Sometimes this website works for us in providing an excellent venue for displaying our photography. The Land of Salmon has been the theme of the website since we returned from our summer "expedition" last Fall (2017). We hope the website has done a good job of showing some of what we experienced. But sometimes the story tells us it wants to be told differently. This trip needed something more dynamic (although we hope you find our still images dynamic and exciting in their own way). So we put together a 15-minute movie/video. We hope you enjoy the Land of Salmon.
During summer in the Land of Salmon, water often seems to hurry along as if to avoid being captured again by the chill breath of winter. But we have the ability to slow the passage with our cameras. By lengthening the period of time the camera takes to record the scene, we can see the more sinuous, more sensuous curves of movement. A ballet of curves, gravity, foam and air bubbles. The flow becomes softer, yet still intricate, more intimate. The dance between air and water becomes more supple, more of a caress between the liquid and the gaseous. All too soon, ice will form as night captures the landscape. But for now, the dance is on, and the water flows.
What? a new Turner web site?
Time for a change
After being on the road 95 days and 12,000 miles we have returned from BC, Yukon, and Alaska. We gathered some images and stories over the course of the summer. And this is where we like to share the best images and some of the stories. Since we haven't changed the basic design of this site in about three years now it seemed like the time to try something new. We hope you like this design that organizes our photos a little differently. This is a scrolling based system instead of clicking around. Although we would love it if you saw our work on a 27-in 5k color corrected monitor, reality is most people use a mobile device. So hopefully the new design will be intuitive enough. Let us know through the "Talk with us" link what you think. So go scroll through the pages and enjoy. We did.
Landscape photography is a double-edged sword. When we review our photographs after a trip we are always disappointed. We remember how the water was so much bluer, the rocks so much grainier, the expanses so much larger, the calving glacier so much taller, so much…
Of course everything not visual is totally missing from our photographs: the smells, the touch, the sounds, the tastes… The market ripe with fish, a plethora of textures, winds howling, waves crashing, hoppy-tasting beer, or a fine glass of wine at the end of a long day…
But what if we could exactly replicate all of that – the very essence of the scene? Virtual reality and other technologies are approaching that degree of sensation. We watched a 4-D movie at the Atlanta aquarium misting water and scents at us as we watched the movie with 3-D glasses while our seats moved. But, what then? If you’ve already experienced the complete grandeur of a place – would you need to visit it?
We think so…
You could certainly start a lively debate asking: “Where is the most beautiful place in the world?” There are a multitude of viable choices, with personal taste thrown in to make it a useless subjective debate. But, I could make a pretty strong case for Torres (towers) del Paine National Park, Chile.
Our guide was nearly overcome with emotion when the towers first came into view around a ridge of the Andes, saying she had never seen it so stunningly clear. As we stopped and looked at its splendor, several Andean Condors circled lazily, then chased a Black-chested Buzzard Eagle away, mere feet above our heads. One of those moments.
The Torres stood resolutely against the sky, defying ages of erosive forces. The lagos (lakes) and waterfalls, with their suspended glacial sediments, cast an indescribable hue of greenish-blue. A glacier cracking so loudly the decibels would overwhelm canon fire, followed by several minutes of jet-volume rumbling as the calved segment broke into a million pieces, racing down the cliff face. It was all nearly overwhelming. Could almost make a person sit down to quietly take it all in and shed a tear in testament to its absolute beauty… ok, maybe it did. Kathy
As you can tell from our photos we recently traveled to Chile. The country has many spectacular sights and a ton of landscape diversity. Our trip took us to the Atacama desert in the north, central Chile (Santiago and Valparaiso), Patagonia in the south, and Easter Island (Rapa Nui) out in the Pacific. We put together a short video of our travels to try and share some of our experience in this beautiful country. Hope you enjoy the video.. Boyd
Hope you saw our favorites of 2016. We have deleted that page to make room for our new "Chile" page. We recently returned from touring Chile. It is a vast (but narrow) country with incredible diversity. And incredible photo opportunities. We have some images from the trip that we hope you will enjoy. So the favorites page had to go. Many of those photos live on in one of the other pages (landscape, fauna, flora, moments, monochromatic). But, there wasn't room for all of them. So if you are looking for your favorite from 2016 and don't see it on the site, shoot us a message (form available on the "Talk with us" page) and we will put it back up. But, we hope you check out our "Chile" page too. And come back frequently as we will be adding new stories here on the blog over the coming weeks.
In case you didn't notice, we have added a page of our favorites from 2016. There are 10 color and 10 monochrome images. So just click above, on the title bar, where it says "2016 Favorites". And hopefully, you saw the three episodes of our 2016 retrospective (below in the blog). These three video episodes have a different perspective. They tell the history of our year photographically. The gallery page 2016 Favorites displays our 20 individual favorites. Did I mention you can click on the link above? Did i mention they are our favorites?
Episode 3. The concluding episode of our 2016 retrospective. Yes summer and fall wrapped into 4 minutes and 10 seconds. You know you don't have to be anywhere in the next 10 minutes. Heck, you can watch it twice! Enjoy!
And now for Episode 2, the 2016 retrospective continues with photography from our spring adventures. As usual this is best viewed on a large monitor at 1080p. But it works on a mobile device too. Don't forget to watch Episode 1, Winter 2016 too. We hope you enjoy Spring 2016.
Here is the first segment of our retrospective on 2016. This segment is winter photography from Iceland.
Geologists classify rock into igneous (basically volcanic), sedimentary (rock broken into small pieces and turned back into rock), and metamorphic (igneous or sedimentary rock changed by pressure and heat). We aren't geologists and we can't always differentiate rock into the three types. But we do love the different textures. Especially when we think about the age of some rocks.
While at the Oregon Coast recently, the texture of the rocks caught our eyes. Some places rough, some places fine. All of the textures constantly changing and evolving, facilitated by the movement of water and the grinding of one piece of rock against another. Just imagine the journey of a single rock. Out of the center of the earth, ground down to sand, buried under miles of other layers of sand and mud, then lifted up above the waves and exposed to the relentless force of wind and rain, only to be buried again, maybe heated, melted, squeezed by pressures of unfathomable force. When you think about them like that , there's no such thing as just another rock. No wonder the textures are so fascinating, they are the lines of age on the face of the planet.
Can we all just chill for two minutes? Breathe in. Breathe out. Two minutes. Maybe this will help.
Sometimes I am not sure where I want to go with our art. Should I stay literal and documentary; keep subjects super sharp and full of detail? Or should I take a more impressionistic approach: more painterly maybe with softer lines, muted colors maybe more dreamy? "Dreamy?" "Whaaat?" "Are you going all artsy-fartsy?" I hear a little voice somewhere in my head say. The same little voice that purrs over a well-crafted spreadsheet with cool graphs, built-in macros, statistical tests. The little voice that was fed most days at the old paying job.
But then the other little voice speaks up. "Hey, its me. The starving Biafran in the other part of your brain. Come on dude, it's ART."
"Boyd, you are doing photography. Come on. This is the craft of Ansel. You aren't Monet or Kratter. What are you thinking?" "Remember how much you liked that super sharp, detailed image of the canyons outside Moab?" the bigger voice says. As the memory of that frame bounces around my skull this voice gathers strength and momentum.
But the second, more gentle voice isn't finished. "Remember the smell of the beach? The feel of sand underfoot? You love that." The little voice has a point. "And the mist and fog and the muted sound and the way the waves mesmerize" he continues. I think he has a point. Mr. Detail retreats. But I know he will be back. And the third part, the referee part, will have to wrestle with the conundrum and have to make a choice between voices again.
All the images in this story are lightboxed, click on them and they will expand to a larger size. This effect is really nice on a larger monitor. Most images also have a title that is viewable when the cursor hovers over the image.
This is the first of what we hope are several stories that have their origin on the Northern California and southern Oregon coast.
When someone says the word dock what comes to mind? The tray at the bottom of your computer screen? The place where the accused stands in an English courtroom? Or maybe the verb used to indicate securing a vessel. In this case we refer to the place where boats tie up, deliver their catch, and prepare for the next trip. Along the southern Oregon coast there are two species that most of us think of when it comes to seafood from this coast: salmon and dungeness crab. So guess what we saw when we were at the dock.