03 October 2017

[WyEast] In Which We Again Stare At The Sun, But Are Careful About It, Seriously.

Another crisp, clear morning, another chance to see The Mountain.

Over in front of Rossi Farms, the City has done one of those traffic-pattern remodels that they are of late so very fond. All parking along 122nd south of Skidmore and going all the way up to the hill to Fremont is gone, replaced by bicycle space. Which means I have to, to stay legal, park Olivia the Little Yellow Beetle down Skidmore about a hundred-fifty feet or so, right about across from the front of Parkrose High School.

It's not a welcome thing to do but I find the bright side. Not only is a little more walking required (and I need all of that I can get), as I left the scene, a passing high-school student told me she thought I had a cool car. And a cool car it is. And a little friendly complimenting of what style I have from anyone of any age always makes my day just a little.

It's just past the beginning of fall, as everyone knows, and the air is crisp in that way, and the sun is rising a little farther to the south each day. That means here, not long after sunrise, it's right in the picture. I used the camera judiciously, not lingering on the scene. So far, my caution has paid off, there's been no apparent damage to the camera, and I get shots like these:

Now, normally, I'm across the street there on the same size as the big Rossi field, because that gets the cars and people out of the shot. I squoze off a few snaps as I approached the Big 122 from the west on Skidmore, leaving some of the traffic and people in the frame, and it really speaks to and resonates with the emotion I have in looking at the mountain and the impression of its size I get.

This is an experiential issue because, as many who've pointed a camera for fun have found out, you point it as this beautiful view and close the shutter and bam it's yours, but when you look at it on a light table or in a print or even on the screen, the frame and everything else in it make it look like it's just this little point on the horizon with absolutely none of the experiential and emotional weight you felt when you were looking at it in the real

This teaches you an essential thing that all artists, self-made, aspiring, or what-have-you, learn about framing. Composition is paramount. It's the first thing, or you have nothing ... at the very least, you don't have the punch that the sense memory of the way you felt when you looked at it. I have never witnessed it in action, except in the rearview - it's like the eye trying to look at itself without a mirror - but your mind and your vision, always on the lookout for beauty, frame and compose your vision for you. It's only clear after you take that picture of the mountain on the horizon without framing it to include some things in and other things out and you see how small it seems in the full frame that judicious looking and inclusion, like setting a stage for effect, tell the story you want to tell. Most specifically, the phalanxes of trees in the mid-distance have always helped me in this regard. But the cars on the street and the person I happened to capture walking through really ground the subjective perspective in a way that begins to most truly tell the story of how big this mountain feels and how majestic it seems when I look at it with only my eyes.

As I said, the Sun has moved back toward the mountain. Here was it today:

I didn't linger on it too long; eyes can recover, at least to a large degree; camera parts, not so much

The clouds and mist were a welcome thing, contributing their own stories of scale and size.

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