July 16, 2004

Some Of My Not-So-Famous-But-Should-Be Pictures

Just a sojourn into my continued plight as a frustrated yet hopeful photographer. Click the pictures for larger images.

UPDATE: Thanks to Donna, I decided to add captions or, more appropriately, descriptions, to these photos.

Bridge 2.jpg

This is a bridge just outside of Winona, Minn., where I went to college. Actually, it's a bridge right outside of a town called Stockton, which is right outside of Winona. I took this picture one weekend when I was feeling nostalgic for my college years. It was a very cold fall day.


This image was best captured in black and white. I know because I took a color picture of it too and. . . ehhh. This is on the Mississippi, that long river with the long name. I took this on a warm October day while pleasure cruising on my good friend's boat.


This was taken on Island Lake near Northome, Minn., off the deck of my grandparents' cabin on July 18th 2001. My grandpa was battling cancer at the time. He died in late Sept. that year, not long after much of the innocence of America died also. This picture has so much significance to me, I can't even begin to tell you.


This was taken in October of last year, during a sojourn to my parents' home in Harmony, Minn. I took a lot of pictures of that damned rainbow, probably because it's the dream of everyone who has ever held a camera in their hand to catch the perfect "rainbow" picture. It may not be perfect, but it's okay. I was on the cordless phone with my mother in Tokyo at the time I took this, and as I told my mother what I was taking a picture of, she related one of her favorite stories about me and rainbows. Apparently, when I was a youngster, I returned from a walk with mother in the rain and asked her, "Mom, the next time we walk in the rain, can we walk on the rainbow?" God but I was cute.


This tree is just South of Chatfield, Minn., and, unless you're an astute motorist, chances are you'll miss it entirely, which I did for most of my life until one spring day I noticed it out of the corner of my eye. I always wonder how that tree ended up growing into the ground like that. A strong wind? A cow itching itself? Who knows? All I know is that it's a perfect arch, a freak of nature that's also nearly perfect natural art.


I was hired to take pictures of a wedding when this vista caught my eye. It's like the magic eye fad that took hold in the mid-90s. The rows just kind of play with your vision. This is just outside of Preston, Minn.


This was taken on the Big Island of Hawaii during my first and only flight in a helicopter. Maybe it was the motion sickness, or maybe it was the fact it was Dec., 2001, and 9/11 was still fresh in my mind, but for whatever reason, I was incredibly airsick when I took this picture. Frankly, it's amazing it's as in focus as it is. It turned out great though, almost like the terrain of a foreign world.


Another picture taken during that same Hawaii trip. This one captures the volcano of Mauna Loa, on which an American military base is located. My good friend, Jim, a former marine, once had to hike up that mountain from the airport at sea level. It was common for his fellow marchers to faint en route and require what was known as "the silver bullet" which consisted of having their trousers pulled down and having a thermometer stuck in their butts to gauge their internal temperatures. I asked Jim if he ever passed out on the way up. "No," he replied. "And pretty much for that exact reason."


The only really nice sand beach on the Big Island is called Hapuna Beach, which is located about 30 minutes from every interesting town, but it's a great beach, probably one of the nicest on all the Hawaiian islands. This, I think, is a fledgling banyan tree overlooking Hapuna Beach. The waters of Hawaii are some of the most brilliant emerald blue imaginable. Then again, there may be others just as brilliant, but I've not yet visited them.


Another Big Island picture, in the town of Kona. I took this picture as an afterthought, walking back to the condo after dinner. I didn't like it at first, but it's grown on me more and more. The reflection of the sun, particularly, at the bottom of the picture, is something unique to digital photography that can't be replicated on traditional film. At least I don't think it can.

Dolphins Boat.JPG

I took this picture last December, during a whale watching excursion that encountered no whales, but plenty of dolphins. At first, I was annoyed by the presence of the bow of the boat being in the picture, but then I started realizing that it, too, looked like the snout of a dolphin. Opinions may vary on this one.

Trees Sunset.jpg

Oh, brother. Hard to explain this one. It was taken in Colorado, during a visit to my brother and sister-in-law. I took this picture, initially, because of the irony of the one dead tree amongst all the dead ones. Then, when I looked at it full side, it seemed almost haunting. You can't tell it from the picture, but it was snowing like all hell at the time, yet there's the orb of the sun, peering through it all. It's so dark and mysterious and bleak. One of my most favorite photographic "mistakes."


This is Bartlett Lake, in Northome, Minn., basically in my grandparent's backyard. Remember the picture up above, of the dock? Well, this one was taken the night I arrived in Northome in late Sept., 2001, to observe my grandfather's funeral. I'd seen that lake countless times during my life, but never in the fall. I'd always seen it during the summer season of plenty and the winter season of Christmas. That was the first time I saw it in autumn. A time of beauty in death. Appropriate, really.

Life can be so poignant, if you take the time to notice.

Posted by Ryan at July 16, 2004 08:08 PM

Very very nice Ryan, and much better subject matter than your now famous ass. I really like the snowy one.

Posted by: Donna at July 16, 2004 11:40 PM

and interesting angle on the pier.

Posted by: Donna at July 16, 2004 11:42 PM

Thanks, Donna. Although I think my ass picture has a great composition, what with the tiger image, the lamp, and classic ass pose.

The pictures mean things to me, which probably makes them even better than they are. Come to think of it. I should put a caption on each one, which I'm going to do. . . NOW!

Posted by: Ryan at July 16, 2004 11:48 PM

Some really nice images in there, nicely composed and really just gorgeous. Thanks for posting them.

Posted by: Johnny Huh? at July 17, 2004 03:27 AM

Does your ass take pictures as good as you do, or is this the work of your ass you're trying to pass off as your own?

Posted by: Simon at July 17, 2004 04:08 AM

Some really good pictures!

Posted by: Kimberly at July 17, 2004 09:02 PM

I really like the colour and composition of the HapunaTree photo. Really.

And I'm glad I wasn't the only one wondering about that, Simon.

Posted by: Meg at July 17, 2004 11:40 PM

Awesome pics, Ryan. It's hard to pick a favorite, but they all beat the ass picture, pants down.

Posted by: Jen at July 19, 2004 02:30 PM

Thanks, very cool!

Posted by: Donna at July 19, 2004 09:31 PM

Ok I just read all the comments, and I knew there was something about that one with the pier, and now I know why.
I still love the one with the trees and the snow.
Even if it was a mistake.
I took a night photography class a couple years back and the instructor showed us how he'd walked through snow with a flashlight, and if you move fast enough when the exposure is slow, you are actually invisible to the camera. So each step he took, he shone the light on the back of his foot. And then he'd turn it off, and shone it on the next step. He did this for quite a ways and it ended up as these glowing footsteps in the snow. It was bad ass when he was done and it was developed. It was set by a swing set in a field. It looked like the footprints of a ghost of say, a child walking away from the swing set. The camera picks up the light, but not the person. Spooky, and it made you cold all over.
He'd also found a cabin in the woods, set a lantern behind it because he couldn't get in, and you could see the light from the window on one side of the cabin coming through the windows on the other side of the cabin. He did that one in black and white.
I'd like to go to some of the Indian ruins here and put lanterns in some of the rooms and take photos, I think that would be cool, but you can't just get permission to do that, the NPS frowns on people in there at night.
I really love the one with the snow. It just feels good to me. Don't know why.
Oh, and there's a guy, I saw it on discovery channel a few years ago, he planted trees, and bent them into chairs and towers and all kinds of stuff, and they then grew into giant furniture, and that's what the tree growing into the ground reminded me of.

Posted by: Donna at July 19, 2004 09:55 PM

Some really great pictures here, Ryan.

I like the Winona bridge pic, although the composition could be a bit better. Same for the tree arch. The dolphins with the ship's bow are great, though. The absolutely kickass picture is the trees in the snow - that one's breathtaking and haunting.

Posted by: Gudy at July 20, 2004 08:16 AM
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