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Preview: The Photographic Aspect

The Photographic Aspect



Images and comments by California landscape/nature photographer Mark Alan Meader.



Last Build Date: Mon, 15 Jan 2018 16:33:07 +0000

 



Ghost Town #1

Tue, 09 Jan 2018 19:46:00 +0000

Model Seven; Jerome, Arizona(image)



Pictograph Alcove, Palatki Ruin

Thu, 04 Jan 2018 00:33:00 +0000


One of several really interesting pueblo ruins near Sedona, AZ. A rough and dusty drive to get out there, but well worth it.

(image)



Watson Lake

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 20:14:00 +0000

Watson Lake in Prescott, AZ.   

Contemplating a move move to this area someday in the not too distant future. Nice place to retire and much closer to all the places I love to explore.(image)



Old Ranch

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 05:05:00 +0000

Desert view from the adobe ruins at Ryan Ranch, in Joshua Tree. A location that I had missed, despite being in the area many times over the years. (image)



Back to the Sea

Sat, 09 Dec 2017 20:11:00 +0000

Boom! - La Jolla, California

I do love living in the mountains, but sometimes I miss the ocean... luckily it's not that far away. My go-to spot when I need some inspiration.. not just photographically speaking. No matter the season or time of day, there is always something going on, just depends on how hard you look.(image)



Around the Lake

Fri, 03 Nov 2017 23:38:00 +0000

Autumn day, Convict Lake, Eastern Sierra.(image)



Autumn Revival

Tue, 31 Oct 2017 00:11:00 +0000


Evening light on the foliage at Silver Lake, Eastern Sierra.

Fall always seems to remind me that the old blog is still here and I should post something new at least once in a while, so here we go with a few recent images.
This shot is from my first time out in the field with the mirrorless Fujifilm-X digital system, since ditching Nikon.  I'll keep my old Nikon gear to use in my home studio for product work, since it's very adequate for that and so familiar, but I am so far very happy with the smaller size, lightness and quality of the Fuji gear. It is SO much easier to travel and hike with the downsized kit. My medium format gear is gone, too.. I'll use only the 4x5 from now on when I want to shoot film.
I've always thought that shooting RAW is the only way to go, but under normal conditions it hardly seems necessary with the Fuji.. the jpegs right out of the camera are so crazy good.. dynamic range, color and sharpness, that I hardly have to mess with the exposures at all, as I have been in the habit of doing. Fuji of course has lots of experience with film, and their built-in film simulations cover all the classics: Velvia, Provia, ACROS, and a few more...and they do look really good with no fussing.(image)



Eye See Right Through You

Mon, 15 Feb 2016 23:17:00 +0000

Window, historic adobe ranch building in the Santa Rosa Reserve, Murrieta, California.(image)



Stormy Day Ends

Tue, 09 Feb 2016 20:00:00 +0000


Such a beautiful sky and light here after a very rainy day.   Took probably an hour and a half of slow driving over the rough dirt track to get to this point.. just a half mile or so past here, the valley road ends at the main highway. Only problem, there is a normally dry wash that was flowing like a river after a couple days of heavy rain, literally 50 yards from the road. No way I wanted to drive all the way back to the other end, especially in the dark, so I trusted my Jeep to perform like it does in the commercials... drove it through the water and up the last little section to the main road and off north towards Blanding.   Next day, the ruins I've wanted to shoot for years were unreachable, also due to rain runoff blocking the trail and making it too dangerous to try to cross.(image)



Slot Canyon Pano

Sun, 07 Feb 2016 01:07:00 +0000


Printing up some new greeting cards for the gallery today and finding a few overlooked shots from last Fall that I kinda like. This one here, a panoramic image from Kanarra Creek slot canyon. I did some experimenting with shooting panos in unlikely, narrow spots on this trip; a few worked out quite nicely. (image)



A Good Call

Sun, 22 Nov 2015 00:54:00 +0000


This one is actually cropped out of a larger panorama that I am working on printing and framing for the gallery.   Almost passed it by.. after a long day and the rather long climb up to Delicate Arch and back, where I didn't really get any good light, I was thinking I was done... but the sky was starting to break just as I was passing by this spot.   Really glad I did pull over, allowing me to catch this few minutes of jaw-dropping light.(image)



Autumn Paradise

Wed, 18 Nov 2015 21:17:00 +0000


The canyon opens up in spots heading upstream. So many perfect little scenes to stop and shoot, you can totally forgot about your wet feet.   Luckily, the water wasn't as cold as I expected and it wasn't a problem. Glad I left a dry pair of shoes and socks back at the beginning of the wet part of the hike, though...

(image)



Up the Creek

Mon, 02 Nov 2015 00:05:00 +0000


There are several pretty waterfalls along the creek in this canyon (which I'll get to), but this is the main one.  Pretty misty and wet in the cavern, but I managed to make it up the ladder with my camera still on the tripod in my left hand, which I probably should not have done:) On the way down, I decided to stash everything in my backpack and use both hands... didn't want to risk all the nice shots I made upstream, or my gear.(image)



The Big Picture

Fri, 30 Oct 2015 17:18:00 +0000

Aspen covered lava field, southern Utah.
I made a point of shooting a lot of  panoramas on my most recent tour.. trying to literally get a new perspective on some old, familiar subjects. Since our eyes see close to 180°, not in small rectangles, I find that it more closely matches the impression you get standing in an expansive scene. I really like the results even in very narrow spots where you might not think of using a pano.. the effect can be almost surrealistic and much more interesting than a standard rectangular shot.. more coming on that.(image)



Valley of the Gods

Fri, 16 Oct 2015 04:22:00 +0000


A rather appropriate name.   No crowds out here, for sure... one of the more remote places I have been. Not too far from Monument Valley, but on public land, whereas Monument is owned by the Navaho and you have to pay to get in, plus they keep the road there in horrible condition so you don't want to use your own vehicle to drive around.  The road here is generally much better.
Caught me some luck here after fighting rain off and on all day.   Good for the light, bad for the road, though.  A very long and lonely dirt path runs through this valley and the rain did a job on it every few hundred yards where little runoff streams flow across.. nothing technical, but teeth-jarring none the less.  (image)



Lomaki Ruins

Tue, 13 Oct 2015 21:53:00 +0000


My first stop on a week-long, 1900 mile road trip around Arizona and Utah. Had to deal with some pretty heavy rain the first couple of days (as you can probably see by the ominous clouds), but there were enough breaks in between showers to get some good shots accomplished while here, although I did have to pass on some spots that I wanted to get.  Wupatki Monument, just north of Flagstaff, has a bunch of these Peubloan sites, but this was my favorite, built right on the edge of a small box canyon and surrounded by beautiful rolling hills as far as the eye can see.   "Lomaki" translates as "Beautiful House" in the Hopi language.  Built by the Sinagua Puebloan people and apparently abandoned around 1250AD, it's still standing rather proudly looking out over the canyon and the surrounding hills.(image)



Just a Trickle

Wed, 18 Feb 2015 00:48:00 +0000


Went out to see if I could scout up some new locations here in my own area last weekend. I expected all the streams to be bone dry, so was surprised to find a little bit of flow still going on in a few spots. Very, very dry again this winter.. normally this would be a pretty good little waterfall at this time of year. On the one hand, it's nice that it has been so warm, but here's hoping for some snow, or at least rain, before the season ends. (image)



Never Disappoints

Tue, 20 Jan 2015 01:45:00 +0000


It's harder for me to get down to the shore now that I'm 2 hours away than it used to be when I lived only 15 minutes away, so when I do get down there, I try to take advantage. If I was somehow limited to just one spot to photograph forever, I think this would be it.. an afternoon at the coast never fails to result in something interesting.
Using a little more exaggerated processing here to bring out the underlying graphic design, and just because I'm having fun experimenting with some new looks recently. (image)



Snow, Mistletoe, Doves and Really Cold

Thu, 01 Jan 2015 04:32:00 +0000

Last post for this year; a winter scene in the San Jacinto mountains of Southern California.  Hope everyone has a wonderful and productive New Year.

(image)



Foggy Forest

Mon, 01 Dec 2014 20:48:00 +0000


Nothing quite like a misty, foggy Sunday afternoon out in the 6000' elevation forest around my house. Certainly no worries about anyone popping into my shots accidentally (well, maybe a deer, but rare to see them during the day). (image)



Still Here...

Sun, 16 Nov 2014 06:01:00 +0000

Wow.. thought it was maybe a couple of months since I posted here.. looks like half a year got by. Is anyone reading blogs anymore?  Seems like interest has shifted to Facebook and Instagram. Don't really like Instagram (personally), but warming up to Facebook and will probably be more active over there than here in the future.
Been busy with my design business this past summer, so I've really got quite a backlog of shots that I need to process. This one is scanned from some film I shot way back in March, and just now getting around to working up some finished images to print.(image)



Smooth Flow

Wed, 23 Apr 2014 17:56:00 +0000

All the streams around where I live here in the San Jacinto mountains of California are dry this year... the result of hardly any snow or rain to feed them this past winter. Nice to see water running cold and fresh in Oak Creek Canyon, near Sedona, AZ.

(image)



Timeless

Fri, 21 Mar 2014 00:20:00 +0000

An early favorite from my most recent Arizona excursion. Only one day of perfect light on this trip.. the other days were kind of a struggle. But one good day here is worth the trip.

(image)



God-Given Light

Sun, 16 Mar 2014 05:09:00 +0000


(image) Spent last week photographing around north-central Arizona for the first time in a while.  An old friend of mine from school days back east teaches art at a private school in Massachusetts, and got himself a sabbatical for the spring semester to come out west for a couple of workshops and some free time to paint.  I figured that was also a good excuse for me to get away for a while and show him around the area.  So, he was busy doing his plein air oil studies while I wandered around and tried to find some new and interesting perspectives, which gets harder having been here quite a few times.

My shot here is at the Little Colorado River Gorge; honestly one of those dumb-luck, fortuitous moments that can't be planned... end of the day, we drove out the east entrance of the Grand Canyon a little early, thinking that the light was done for the day.  We just happened to see a turnout off the road to Cameron where the Navajo set up some stalls to sell jewelry and stuff... and being kind of tired, I probably would have passed it by, but my friend  wanted to stop and see where a dirt road behind the stalls led to, so we garnered up some energy to walk down there and voila!.. wow.  What can you say when an unexpected scene like this just pops up right in front of you?  This is nature's gift right here... all I had to do was be in the right place at the right time as the clouds opened up to light the gorge.  Thankfully I had the sense to bring my camera along for the walk!  The rest of the ride home to Flagstaff was one wow moment after the other,... but that is all huge, open country with no particular subject for a photograph, so we just had to enjoy the distant views, driving along as the sun set behind us, lighting up everything under the dark clouds off to the east.

(image)



Peace and Light

Tue, 11 Feb 2014 21:08:00 +0000


Driving home through Garner Valley at the end of the day a couple of weekends ago.  Hard to tell from this, but the hills just behind the fore-most line of hills on the right, is where the Mountain fire tore through the area on the first day, then devastated much of the backcountry way up into the mountains, all the while threatening to destroy the whole town where we live. Only days of hard work by hundreds of firefighters and some amazing luck with the weather got it under control.  Here is what it looked like last summer. We're having a very warm and dry winter, with an historic drought in most of the state, so might be a long and mean fire season coming up this year.(image)