Wednesday, July 8, 2009

"Screeners Choice"

Columbia River, east of White Salmon, September 1991. Following my life-threatening heart attack last year – I vowed not to leave my sister with an apartment full of stuff to get rid of. So, the goal this week is to sort through a mountain of 35 mm negatives – who knows where in hell the prints ended up!

I gave my late wife a Nikon 8008 as one of her wedding presents, and she took off on a 10 year shooting spree! She really enjoyed photography, and developed that right brain creativity quotient that she refined as the years went by.

I am of the unshakable opinion that shooters either have it, or do not have it. Of course, photography is a skill you can teach. But in the final analysis, a shooter has it or does not have it. Oh, sure, you can learn the principles of light; fill, key, side, and so forth. And you can learn the theory of balance, 3rds and all that stuff. And you can learn the concepts of shutter speed and depth of field. But in the final analysis, a shooter either has it or does not have it.

Patti definitely had it. Her biggest problem was, she did not have the time or patience to “read the manual.” And just like the fact you cannot teach your wife to drive, I knew better than to intercede.

And it came back to bite her big time when we drove cross country to Cass West Virginia to spend our honeymoon riding the sidewinders on Cheat Mountain! She fired off 54 rolls of 36-exposure film on that trip, and ended up with a dozen or so prints worth saving. She finally got that manual out!

So, this has been a nostalgic exercise for me, sorting through these negatives. When I first tripped over this shot, I though about sending it in to that “railroad photography” web site, but soon thought better of it.

It would be ripped to shreds; everything from “backlighting” “not RP lighting” “no RP sky” “poor esthetics” and “common power.” And if all that did not dissuade me, “cropping,” “noise,” so on and so forth.

Since I am the screener on this web site, I decided to run this photo, which I am sure my readers will see as just an “extremely back lit” photo of a train. This shot was on a roll taken in September 1991. I had just taken delivery of my new GMC van and we had gone on a drive from Vancouver out to Mt. Adams to see the lava caves and pick huckleberries.

On our return down State 14, we spotted the headlights of an eastbound freighter, and pulled over to watch it go by. The "clouds" are not clouds at all, but smoke plumes issuing forth from several forest fires burning on the Hood River side of the Columbia River.

Patti hoisted that 8008 up to her eye and fired – directly into the sun!

Now nobody every told Patti she could not fire into the sun, and so this shot represents to me one of the many facets of Patti that I enjoyed; the gutsy way she approached photography.

And today I name it “Screener’s Choice!”

1 Comments - Click here:

Kurt Clark said...

I love the mountains. Best part is that it's a shot that someone would see in everyday life, backlit or not.

"PC from me Stan!"

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