This week’s Monochrome Madness has the theme of High, and my image comes from Harney Peak, South Dakota. It is the highest point in the state, and stands above everything for miles. At a little over 7200′ it is not a very high altitude compared to those in the Rockies or Sierra Nevada, but its exposed summit and encompassing vistas make it seem loftier.
This week’s challenge of Landscape should have been a no-brainer, with the only dilemma being which one? A glance through my blog will reveal many shots of the nearby desert, but there are a couple places in the US that I love to photograph which are miles away from here. The state of South Dakota, in particular the Black Hills and Badlands National Park, would be near the top of that list.
A few years back, my work was in a gallery where the owner was interested in testing out new images. Unfortunately, this was in a town with many golf courses nearby, and after a couple weeks, he took this one down because people kept commenting, “What a great place that would be to put a golf course”. Hopefully, the blogging community will appreciate this one more than the golfers!
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.