Last year, around Thanksgiving, I was visiting family near Portland, Oregon. I took a day to head out to Silver Falls State Park. As the sun moved across the morning sky, its lower path didn’t clear the trees behind South Falls. About the same time, the breeze kicked up a bit and lifted the mist created from the falls. I had been to this spot before in summertime, but didn’t witness this incredible timing of light and elements on that visit.
In my first year of shooting with a 4×5 camera, there were two occasions where I ended up double exposing a sheet of film because I wasn’t paying enough attention to the dark slides as I placed them back into the film holders them post-exposure. Oddly enough, both mistakes turned out really well, and encouraged me to practice this deliberately from time to time.
This shot was taken overlooking the West Fork of Oak Creek Canyon in Arizona. I took one exposure with the closest thing I had to a ‘standard’ lens, then switched to a more telephoto lens, thinking I was exposing a different sheet of film. The enhanced layering effect made this one my favorite mistake.
In this day and age it seems cameras (and eyes) can be watching from anywhere. With that thought in mind, I’ve included some “hidden” eyes in my shots for this week’s challenge.
The shot above appears to have a pair of eyes and a mouth embedded into a twisted root of a dying bristlecone pine tree on Mount Charleston, Nevada.
I’ve come across a couple places where the canyon walls appear to have eyes. The first set of eyes came from a deep sandstone canyon near Moab, Utah. The second set is from Cave Creek Canyon in Arizona’s Chiricahua Mountains. I had another one in this category, which I posted back in the Creepy challenge.
Once upon a time, we fostered a few animals. Dog’s eyes can yield some strange results when taken with a flash, but this one turned out great. This dog was never fostered, he went straight to family member on day one. At that time , he was as small as the cat, but we knew where he was going to top out. Cat’s eyes are even more interesting, especially with the flash. The black cat (also a family member) has eyes that appear opalescent with the flash. The grayish cat didn’t stay with us long, and always seemed a bit strange. After I took this shot, I was convinced it was possessed, and it probably didn’t help that it had one ear folded under when I took it. This is straight off the memory card, no Photoshop magic. Most animals in a wild setting don’t allow for eye close-ups, such as this group of desert bighorn sheep in Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada. They froze for quite a while and stared at me after they took a path into a box canyon.
South Dakota’s Mount Rushmore was a very elaborate project, but did you ever stop to notice the eyes? They appear very three dimensional, even in this flat lighting.
Photos of people can work well with or without direct eye contact. In the case of my model shot, I’m immediately drawn to her eyes. In the other shot, golfer Jack Nicklaus (as well as the gallery) has his eyes focused on the result of the shot he just hit.