Posts tagged ‘countryside’

May 15, 2016

The view from Haworth

This comes from one of the back roads of Haworth, traveling west. At the edge of town, West Lane heads down the hillside toward these farms on the opposite side of the valley, while Cemetery Road continues to curve along the top of the hillside. I photographed this area near the suggested lookout, which I don’t normally like to do, but it’s nice to get a standard shot of a view every now and again. I’d have to imagine the Bronte sisters came across this place from time to time, as they lived about a mile down the road.
The view from Haworth
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May 4, 2016

Another right turn

By now we should be out of them.
Another right turn
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April 16, 2016

Along the way back from Haworth

Good surveillance. We’re all neighbors now.
Along the way back from HaworthAlong the way back from Haworth
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April 10, 2016

Prominent tree

Cawthorne, Barnsley
Prominent tree
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January 22, 2015

Backlands gate

This was along the route at the edge of the farms where they crashed into reclaimed tribal lands. All of the roads were dirt and most of the people walking with things on their heads painted their faces. Riding in the back of the truck you could make brief eye contact and then watch them wrap backward around the bend. The red dust kicks up so much that when you stop you have to wait a while for it to settle, if you want to take it how it was.
Backlands gate
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May 27, 2014

For the rain or the sun

It was one of those mixed days where downpour and sunburn were equally likely. Sometimes it rained whilst sunny. This, I’m informed, is called a Monkey’s Wedding. There were four weddings that day, one being quite volatile. Just as it started, it stopped. The thick drops slapped at the wipers, spread across the windscreen and sizzled into the sky in minutes. It happened so quickly I wondered if the same recycled drops might fall on us again. In the very next valley, this man came strolling over the hill with his umbrella at the ready, another storm rolling up behind him.For the sun or the rain
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April 12, 2014

Some kind of endless

I often write these blog posts with the image but without the title and then go searching for a way to summarize what’s come together. It’s funny, this time I knew the title as I was working on the photograph and that’s made it substantially more difficult to write the words. Words rarely feel like photographs; I see images as replacements for things that potentially can’t be addressed with language. I guess this is me going about apologizing for the words, and by doing so I’m making more and more of them. When making this I had a song on repeat with the lyric, “In time become,” which is generally how these things work themselves out, no matter how long the search for summary.
Some kind of endless

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March 27, 2014

A bridge to cross

I’ve become obsessively critical of my own photos. They’re never complete. Sometimes I love them for being unfinished, other times I worry that I’m content with imperfection. Previously, when it was all about getting one image on this page per day, I only worried about completing an image each day. Now it’s about crafting things in a way that I’m potentially not comfortable with. Am I here to refine or share – or is it something else? Should I just do one a day and get on with it?

Why I was taking photos and of what became topics of conversation in South Africa. Most of the time I had little reason other than there was a value to what I was seeing, and it was potentially translatable if I took a photo. I’m a very conscious photographer. My best work comes when I’m aware of things happening around me on all sides – even the people watching me shoot or having a conversation with me end up mattering. This comes from my background as a videographer. Shooting video for news is this maelstrom of what will happen next. You’re on edge, because the event is living and evolving without need for you, and anyone in the room can become a subject. Feeling it through is the way to anticipate what will become the story; overshooting with whatever you can get is the opposite of success. When this man popped up on the road in front of us we were discussing dinner, and I was hungry for anything.
A bridge to cross
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March 25, 2014

Like they’ve seen a ghost

Storms have this captivating power in them that simultaneously warns to flee and begs to watch. I remember as a kid during a potential tornado being unable to remove my face from the window as the tattered bottoms of the smokey clouds twisted like cotton candy around a stick. You half wondered if you’d waited too long; maybe the siren should’ve already sounded. What makes them beautiful is itself panic. Skies go awesome when you shouldn’t be there. This was shaping up that way.

The product on a beef farm knows better than to trust. I have to let you know this photo is taken whilst leaving their area. I was standing on the back of a pickup truck, or bucky as they’re called there, and shot this from over my shoulder. It might explain the mood better that way. Cows have this thing where they watch intently as you enter their grounds, and they continue to never take their eyes off of you even as you exit. I had to wonder if what drove us to leave remained there curling up over their heads all dark and purple as they considered whether we’d actually departed. It was a stare-down until the grass rose up to meet their eyes and cover them.

When the rains hit that night – hard enough to shake apples off the trees and slam them like dull rocks against the tin roof – I imagined the cows still standing out there facing the gate, cold and slicked with wet, knowing rain never slows a ghost.
Like they've seen a ghost
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March 24, 2014

Road to the valley

I’ve been called a music snob more than once. It’s probably that I rarely like one-off songs, preferring instead to digest several or an entire album from an artist. If they can’t keep my attention for more than a few songs it falls apart for me. I mention this because I’ve been listening to Beck’s new album, Morning Phase, and it’s really good. At first I worried he simply made a companion piece for decade-old Sea Change. Then I realized this was the album Sea Change might’ve been if he weren’t so depressed at the time. It ebbs and flows; it’s not stuck on something. The repetition is gone. Sea Change was really, really good with a handful of great songs. This one is potentially that much better.

Why do I bring this up? I’ve been editing photos almost exclusively to these two albums, back to back. It’s really relaxing and probably affected my mood on this photo. This was taken on a fairly bright morning in the KwaZulu-Natal countryside, but the hint of rain left its presence felt by blanketing the mountain tops in the distance. I made this over listening to Morning Phase, and I wonder if it’s a little bit more light in feel due to not being made during Sea Change. I could’ve gone the heavier, brooding direction and produced thick – like the first album – but decided against it in the end. Music affects everything I do, and I almost always edit with headphones in my ears.
Road to the valley
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