At the end of January, I took a photographic expedition to Yellowstone National Park. Conditions were perfect: snow, beautiful light, lots of animals, and virtually no people. I came home with more than four thousand images. It’s going to take me a while to make my selects, but these are a few images that caught my eye on my first pass. I like these images for two reasons. First, I think that they’re strong stand-along images. But perhaps more importantly, they all demonstrate a style or way of seeing that I hope to incorporate into my work over the coming year. The bison image above is more than just an animal portrait (though believe me, I have a lot of those.) It tells a story about the bison migrating through harsh winter conditions in search of food. In the next year, I want to do more storytelling, and less portrait-making.
This image of a bighorn sheep demonstrates another element that I’m working to incorporate into my work: non-traditional composition. It’s fun to take animal portraits with the subject in balanced in frame, clean background, etc. But those images can also be a bit boring. This image is quite “off balance”, and has a potentially-distracting second sheep in the background. But given the animal’s jaunty expression, and the falling snow, I think it works.
I like this image because it is a complex landscape. The foreground, middle ground, and background elements, combined with the curves of the land and the tall trees, serve to lead the viewer’s eye through the image. This type of “deep” landscape (in the three-dimensional, rather than philosophical sense) is another technique or way of seeing that I am working to get better at.
This image has an atmospheric quality that I really like. One of my primary goals for the year is to make more “atmospheric” and fewer “straight” shots. This is a start.
Finally, nothing fancy about this one. I just like it.