Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Near Zero...A Foggy Day in Michigan

The Fog

The fog veils the dawn
With fear and anxiety, cloaking
Moor, meadow and me in mists of mystery
And moist smoke and mirrors.

Muzzled by a heavy shroud
Of whiter shades of pale,
Birdsong and bubbling brook
Fall silent as if to warn.

Green fields seem grey,
Flattened stems seem weighted
By the compassing cloud
That has sunk to earth
To swallow me whole.

I cannot see beyond
The damply masking fog
In mind and moor
To the sharp mountains beyond,
Wild and free,
Bright and clear.

©  2009, Inspired Writing

I've driven past this rural landscape on my way to a weekly destination and always enjoyed the atmosphere. But now this day was somehow different.  The normal December weather did not greet me, but rather I was embraced by a low dense fog, rain, and moderate temperature.  Yes this was the perfect time for a few roadside stops to take it all in.  Luckily I was able to approach within close proximity an abandoned farm house I discovered years ago but somehow the ambience just wasn't right...that is until this day.  Plus the weathered and worn summer grasses just radiated a warm glow in this climate.  Another treat was the large scale art that is routinely scheduled for this remote rural setting that oddly seems an appropriate destination.

Overall this strange winter weather in Michigan presents opportunities where moments of wandering and hidden treasures await.  Ultimately this experience and brief imagery resulted in this short video; enjoy the fog that veils the dawn and beyond.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

First Time in Black/White Magazine

I announced a few weeks ago that I was finally accepted into the fine art publication Black & White Magazine.  This was cause for celebration since I finally attained acceptance after four years of rejection letters, plus the fact that BW Magazine is the ultimate standard for black & white images within select circle of fine art photography collectors in the art world; indeed a worthy goal to set.

So today I'm happy to report an update on my news of winning entry into the esteemed Black & White Magazine's Special Issue #95, February 2013 Single Image.  I just received my copy in the mail yesterday so I'm guessing if it's not in bookstores today it will be before week's end.  I'm honored to be in the Landscape/Nature category with my image, Axis Mundi 3 displayed on page 44.  All in all 2013 is indeed starting off in the right direction; always a good sign.

This image Axis Mundi 3 came about as an assignment for a class I was taking with an award-winning expert in neutral density filters to document dramatic landscapes and architectural subject matter.  It was taken in mid-March 2012 at a nearby county park on a cold, rainy day; perfect for capturing the drama of black/white.  This is one of several I took that day that eventually became a new website gallery, Axis Mundi or the "Cosmic Trees of Life".  Go to my website homepage of www.joannescherf.com or directly to the gallery page of http://joannescherf.photoshelter.com/gallery/Axis-Mundi-Cosmic-Trees-of-Life/G0000tRcfW37SrY4/ for the full Axis Mundi gallery.

I hear the wind among the trees
Playing the celestial symphonies
I see the branches downward bent
Like keys of some great instrument
                                                                        -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Clouds appear
And bring to man a chance to rest
From looking at the moon
                                                                                     -Basho haiku

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Image of the Month: December

It's that time of year when the holiday decorating reaches a fever pitch. With all this unusually warm weather it has provided even more time to put up just one more string of lights.  Well that's all fine for the amateurs but I've found a professional in a nearby neighborhood that trumps all attempts to exceed at this truly American competitive event of holiday decorating.

This particular house has been on my radar and shot list for years and through a convergence of circumstances I arrived at the house yesterday to catch the owner in the midst of putting on the final touches.  I didn't get his name, but he had a full white beard, stocky physique and very jolly demeanor; no joke!  He was assisted by his great-grandson "Peanut" and Rottweiler dog "Charlie" who politely made sure I kept my distance. His lot is an unusual shape and quite large but every inch is filled with a creative display of makeshift arrangements and scenes of Christmas.  The display is up for just the month of December probably because the electric bill is equivalent to most people's yearly bill.  Since it attracts throngs of people, cars, and assorted chartered buses arrives non-stop to catch a glimpse of his creation, it's an annual event I'm sure the neighbors have mixed feelings about.

© 2012, Joanne Scherf

That said, I'm definitely going back for several more trips to explore this rich opportunity for adding to my urban/street photography.  It will be a nice addition to my ongoing book on the quirkiness of our American culture.  Since I just had my iPhone with me I took just a few shots but I think you'll get the idea. In keeping with the quirkiness and kitschy theme of the site I used some apps to make it look nostalgic and vintage...hope you like it.

© 2012, Joanne Scherf