lightfall prominence (version 3) © 2014 Jered Dawnne
sometimes, when the night is deepest, i return to this place, in my head, and i wander. i would have roamed those mountains for months, if i could have, and while I was pleased with the angles that i had, they will never be enough. if only i could. if only.
dark brightened © 2007, 2015 Jered Dawnne
this was christmas day, now seven past, in a time i may be glad i cannot really remember. i was operating on remote, at the end of one of my toughest creative years, with another large wedding looming before me at the turn of the year. images such as this were far more haphazard than they seem, because moments of solitude like this were few and far between. i let them sit for seven years because i was broken, and they were broken, and like everything from my past, they take considerable effort to repair. they were captured with a broken lens, and that means not a single one can stand on its own “as shot.” but, i get to them, each one, each throw-away, each keeper. and i touch them with eyes attached to a brain that barely remembers those fleeting emotions that compelled me to get out and capture them. and each time i put one out, it is a little life, and a little death.
once lived © 2007, 2015 Jered Dawnne
the trouble with capturing some of these old farmhouses in the winter is that white paint and white snow make for a fairly washed-out image. so, i play and i play and it takes me quite a while to make an actual decision, which i will subsequently rethink multiple times. i chose this version for “once lived” because it represents how the place made me feel the evening i photographed it: that quiet, uneasy, unwelcomeness. that much was probably projection on my part, of course, but between the living and the gone-to-earth, the places people set aside for other things always seem to simultaneously cry out for renewal and shoo visitors away. it’s a strange place, my head, and stranger even more through the lens, sometimes.
what then shall come (prime), copyright © 2007, 2014 Jered Dawnne
there are times when my mind wanders to past things, to past haunts, to past hopes unrealized: to moments gone before and lost in streams of consciousness that can no longer be recalled. there are nights like this when i don’t even need to wonder if i will sleep, if the peace will come, if the silence will enfold me: these complement the nights when the dreams drive from the ætherial to the over-saturated hypercolour prominences that sneak into the waking. dreams woven in sound and vague wanderings no longer trouble me as they once did: it is the memory of what i escaped to be there and capture these moments, only to haunt me each time i revisit them and walk those times anew.
the winter before this photo was taken, these trees were nearly decimated by a severe ice storm. i was unable to capture the ice when it occurred, so maybe that’s why i think this, but i rather enjoy the way they looked that first year afterwards, with just one summer’s growth, and the aching need to survive.
the ice that binds (version 2) © 2007, 2014 Jered Dawnne
it seems like my older photos work best in monochrome. or, perhaps, i have simply renewed my love for monochrome again. there’s just so much flexibility in what to present versus what to disguise: our eyes are bound to particular colourimetric interpretations that are inherently limiting. at any rate, i find myself not at all liking the full-colour versions of these photographs, so here’s another monochrome from a winter past. almost eight years ago, this was. my, how times have changed.
treeline offset (version 3) © 2007, 2014 Jered Dawnne
this is one of the pieces which some of you may remember from towards the end of my private blog. tonight, i attempted to replicate a series of treatments that i was goofing around with on a low-resolution version of this photo on an old iPad. this more intensive, high-resolution version using Nik filters comes very close to what i had done at the time, and of course a bit better. it involves two separate utilizations of bokeh, along with what has become my typical colourimetric manipulations prior to going monochrome. sometimes, the post-production is rather complex, in order to achieve a simplistic-looking result. i’m sure some of my fellow photographers would cringe at the amount of digital darkroom time i spend on some of these, but to me, this is where the real pleasure is at.
if you could track your eye movement when viewing this image, you would discover that your eyes get pulled in a very distinct pattern across the image, and that almost everyone’s eyes would follow the same general pattern. i use this dual-focus “trick” quite a lot, usually a bit more subtly than here. the lines of the tree trunks just make it a bit more imperative than normal.
luminarial rime © 2007, 2014 Jered Dawnne
and so completely
entwined in rime and
shining, at once
comes the certain
that cloak of
the wintered why.
image: “luminarial rime”, original © 2007, monochromed © 2014 Jered Dawnne
words: “the wintered why”, © 2014 Jered Dawnne
birds take flight at my approach
they did not know, could not know, really, that i would never harm them. more than a casual observer am i, yes, but my instrusiveness is ever incidental. they’d have flown away eventually, i know, but i was nonetheless sad to see them go. of course, had they been perched upon the stalks of prairie grass, as they were when i first found them, they’d not been quite as picturesque. but their numbers somehow exploded when i came near, for the ones that i had seen at first were less than what was there.
the prairie is a profoundly remarkable place, full of things you’d never expect, and fuller still of that resolute beauty: the kind that really only speaks to you after the birds have flown away and left the grasses empty for a time.
were i still welcome in the places where i took these walkabouts so many years ago, i’d walk about them differently. i would follow the birds this time as they move from place to place, so that the journey would be constantly filled with the liveliness of their voices and the profundity of their absence, with every step, with every breath, with every glance, and every moment.
an old farmhouse and trees in the winter with a backdrop of newer farming techniques in the distance
it has been a while since i posted here, not for want of posting, nor of creating, but for lapses of focus and the need for other things. life is an interesting conundrum at times, but this has been the one hiatus, of all of them, during which my mind was ever here, and ever fixed upon these images i have planned to renew, relive, and to eventually publish.
there is not much to this image that the caption does not reveal. i avoided working with this set of photos for years due to the power lines and the hassle they represent for photo editing. but upon reconsideration, i’ve decided that i like the mix of old and new…at least in this one. now, those power lines really are no more intrusive to me than the round bales in the background that belie the current state of things. they compliment the age of the structure and the warp of its roof from years of neglect and piles of drifted snow, at least in my mind.
it might just be an excuse; regardless, due to the low-contrast light at the time this scene was captured, i settled for the minor triumph of extracting the colouration that i did.
it begins to snow this evening, as i work within these old images of even older things. i’ve held a fondness, and respect, for the snow, even from a youth which was nearly devoid of it. to me, the snow is at once a cleansing blanket of ephemeral purity and the harbinger of that slow but temporary death which eventually gives birth to the springtime: that transient life we hold and cherish and revel within, at least until it rushes away again, beneath the next year’s snow.
some of these, you’ve seen, some perhaps not. i’m using the alberta trip as a test bed for gallery plugins and the like, so you may see some repeats from time to time. i really enjoyed the amount of variety in monochrome treatments that the mountains in particular provided. it was a humbling experience, both being there, and in the post production, to create these monochromatic versions of these scenes. i learned quite a lot this summer.
unrelatedly, i’m also in the midst of getting my old podcast going again. keep watching unenslaved.com for details!