uncertain illuminations

illuminated barrier (blood magic) © 2003, 2015 Jered Dawnne

illuminated barrier (blood magic) © 2003, 2015 Jered Dawnne: a rose, sinking deeply in a fading sun

You reach a point on some days, when you’re inundated by futility and the knowledge that what will be will never be what you once hoped it would be. Life, the perpetual intercourse, works by its own design and under its own premises, and none of them involve you. You’re just coasting along on the thin, fragile crust of an unconcerned planet, elliptically orbiting a sun that slowly orbits the confluent center of a galaxy that owes you neither recognition nor recompense, and that’s just how it is. So you reach a point on some days, and that point is the place where you decide to drive on anyway, as you always do, or you finally decide to let it all go.

But I’m still here, still here, still here.

That sounds more melodramatic than intended, but I don’t know how else to say it. If you’ve ever battled with depression and anxiety, you get it, though. It’s been one of those weeks. 😉

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bright weaving

the day before tomorrow (bright woven) © 2003, 2015 Jered Dawnne

the day before tomorrow (bright woven) © 2003, 2015 Jered Dawnne: a calla lily in high-key monochrome

There’s something about the form of calla lilies that has always intrigued me. This was from a former neighbor’s garden in Camarillo, California, after a windy afternoon rain had left it a bit soiled. There are several photos of callas from her garden, another neighbor’s garden, and from our own, from this time. Shooting flowers in the wind was one of the ways I practiced panning focus back in the day.

This image has several variants: I believe I did three or four “back in the day”, and I know I did two on this walkthrough. The stem just to the right of the subject presents some intriguing processing challenges, in that it’s very easy to overbrighten it to the distraction of the flower. If you weren’t aware, I’m somewhat averse to literally photoshopping elements of my images. It’s one thing to change the quality and flavor of the lighting to present otherwise unseen aspects of the subject; it’s another thing to change what was actually there, so I don’t do that, that much. This softer, high-key treatment was one way of working around that.

Softer tones like this are not my usual fare, but this is now my favorite version of this image. I will probably be experimenting more in this tonal range.


this weekend was one of those sad mixes of good intentions and unplanned results: i was going to get out and shoot on what might well have been the last pleasant weekend of the year around here, but such hopes were mooted by circumstances which i was unable to control. so instead of doing what i wanted to do, i did the other thing i needed to do, and that was to tend to how i store and protect my entire image repository. not exactly exciting or fun stuff, but necessary, and for some reason, whenever i think about the technological side of what i do, this image is now attached to that thought. it’s kind of the new “the waiting for it bleeds”, if you remember those old posts on the old blog, from 2004-5. i guess i’m kind of weird that way. oh well. the good news with that is that i’m one major step closer to combining two master catalogs and finally having one continuous archive again. this is at least good for the slightly OCD, digital asset management guy who still lives in my brain.

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caffeine tragedy

it wanders like the snow (caffeine tragedy) © 2003, 2015 Jered Dawnne

it wanders like the snow (caffeine tragedy) © 2003, 2015 Jered Dawnne

one of the ones i skipped, back in the day. i was shooting hand-held, and the light wind was just a little gusty and at an angle which caused the flower to move in odd ways, so some of the blur is natural. what you’re looking at was originally a bright, orange little flower, after the application of nearly a dozen separate processes. these lower-resolution versions inherit a certain patterning in the grain as a result of compression from the WordPress upload system. it’s actually an interesting effect, to me.

i have several photographs of flowers from this week back in 2003, when we had a series of afternoon showers in relative frequency. flowers don’t talk back, but they never really hold still, either. and i’m just not one to do the outdoor lightbox thing. oh well 😉

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coronal mass (spectral)

coronal mass (spectral) © 2003, 2015 Jered Dawnne

coronal mass (spectral) © 2003, 2015 Jered Dawnne: a rose with a bit of rain water at the edges

i used to take the time to tend to small things
a used-to thing, a has-been thing
maybe not so much an is-now thing
but perhaps someday a could-be thing

i used to take the time to tend to small things
to see the spaces between the shadows
beneath the undersides of leaves
and in the luminance of the breeze

i need to take the time to tend to small things
a should-be thing, a must-be thing
and let it not be a could’ve-been thing
nor perhaps someday a should’ve-been thing

i need to take the time to tend to small things
to walk again between the shadows
beneath the undersides of leaves
and in the luminance of the breeze

because questionably meaningful poetry on my birthday, that’s why

© 2015 Jered Dawnne

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a good time for certain reunions

ice maiden (relit) © 2002, 2015 Jered Dawnne

ice maiden (relit) © 2002, 2015 Jered Dawnne: a small array of ice pushed out of cracks on a frozen lake

every Autumn, i succumb to the groanings of the Old Year as it slips away into preparations for the New Year, and those first preparations are to guard against Winter’s stasis (yes, i do kind of run on an internal Celtic calendar, i guess). this Autumn, i have prepared for the coming Winter by re-importing all of the photographs i’ve taken across the years with the intent of “arting up”. most of these were processed in the past, but many others were skipped, for reasons which i talk about elsewhere. over the weekend and into the wee hours this morning, i processed twenty-four of those photographs into thirty-two separate images. reconnecting with stolen moments from an anxious and hectic time of my life was an interesting endeavor: re-rejecting certain photographs and re-experiencing that minor sense of loss was almost as intriguing as revisiting some of those old creations and making new creations from past rejections.

that means i had fun, by the way.

i have many more of these to work on across the remainder of Autumn, through Winter and into Spring, and this also sets me up for re-importing the old masterfiles and combining them with these in one continuous archive, to recover from that hard drive loss earlier this year. the “fun” and “exciting” side of digital asset management.

anyway, the image above was one of the first i took out on the ice alone with decent equipment, slightly nerve-wrackingly spread-eagled across a crack in the ice over the deeper part of the lake, where the stronger current is, no don’t think about that, the ice is thick, you’ll be fine, just get the shot. there is a lot to play with here in terms of depth of field, and i chose the angle for that that flexibility. i did err on having the edge of the frame too close to the sun, but that can be a fun post-processing challenge, too. i made two versions of it this weekend; this one has a bit more tonal depth than i managed originally, largely a by-product of greater flexibility in current software, and being able to run the full process in the ProPhotoRGB colourspace, as well.

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once known

once known (as was) © 2007, 2015 Jered Dawnne

once known (as was) © 2007, 2015 Jered Dawnne


remembering not reminiscing
a dance within a gradient
from shadow to light
we are the spans of time
in which we dwell in which
we experiment with gravity
in unknown little whiles

~ © 2015 Jered Dawnne

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transient stasis

transient stasis © 2015 Jered Dawnne

transient stasis © 2015 Jered Dawnne

I brought this bench to where it now resides: a brute-force effort moving it from a former home to this place. The decision to move it was arbitrary and a spurious: made on my last pass through the house after it had sold. But I had spent some good time sitting on it where it once was. I had conducted some good pondering there, and even a few photographs were taken from upon it, so it came along for the move.

After the move, I also spent a goodly amount of time perched upon it in its new setting, taking counsel both for and against certain decisions that were being made at the time. The place where it sits had an interesting feel during the night, even without all the things that were in my head: part melancholy, part solace, part fear, part hope, and part maundering. Whenever I come to visit it now, it feels simultaneously of stasis and transience to me: simple projections, both, I have no doubt.

It has always struck me as odd, this human propensity to mentally attribute one’s emotions upon a place. The skeptic in me strongly doubts that we can truly imprint portions of ourselves on places, let alone imbue them with our essences, but nonetheless, we create such deep connections, regardless of rational considerations. This place is one such for me.

When I took this photograph yesterday, I was reminded not only of what this place means to me, but what it might also mean to my children. And how those meanings have undoubtedly shifted over time. That thought, of course, led to considering what I thought of this bench in the place where it was, and of the things I had considered while sitting upon it there, and what its former setting must have meant to my children. And then the all of what had come before. It is a remembering thing in a remembering place, and there are very few things which I have managed to forget across the years.

But the transient stasis I perceive within this bench is nothing but what I carry within myself. My home is wherever I am, and my places of security are things which move within me, and which move with me, and which are ultimately mine alone.

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rimeMorn © 2007 Jered Dawnne: late winter, Lincoln County

rimeMorn © 2007 Jered Dawnne: late winter, Lincoln County

A mere week after “underTree and overWrought”, my view was thus. Another place I miss quite a bit: this was part of the daily scene from our back porch of our first house in South Dakota. 3.5 acres was beyond our means to keep up with, and that was unfortunate. My upstairs condo of today pales in comparison, and has a far less intriguing view. Although to be fair, the ploughed fields weren’t exactly always “pretty”, either, I suppose.

But, I used to love those rime-covered mornings out there. It’s such an infrequent and fragile thing, the rime, and so very ephemeral. During my first few years in South Dakota, it was a novelty to me, of course, just like snow, sleet, and freezing rain were, growing up in central Texas.

The flat rise across the center of the image is the raised track for the old Rock Island Railroad. For four years or so, it was my favorite place to walk. Two of the old bridges over Spring Creek, built in the late 1800’s, lie to the left of this image, but would be obscured from this vantage. I used to visit them several times a month, as they had their own little ecosystems, and were a welcome distraction from hours upon hours of wedding post production and the long work-days spent for someone else’s benefit.

As winter approaches again, I am reminded that similar mornings remind me of this time, and even of this day in particular. It took me a week to pick up the camera again for myself, after the visit to San Antonio. I shot this having only briefly reviewed the photos from that trip; I was too raw, and raw in a manner it has taken me two handfuls of years to begin to come to terms with, in some ways. I shot this, with “underTree and overWrought” very much on my mind, actually. This was the day I gave it that name. Yes, “briefly reviewed”, for me, actually means a few things.

I learned to love the snow, here. It is very likely that I’ll eventually move even further northward, to the lands where the snow truly rules over all, and covers certain memories from obsession. That wouldn’t be a further evasion of my roots: more of an acknowledgement of the branches I slowly spread.

I might be done with trolling through my memory-factory for a while. There is still a bit of a story to tell, there. But for now, let me be on to other things.

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underTree and overWrought

underTree and overWrought © 2007 Jered Dawnne

underTree and overWrought © 2007 Jered Dawnne

This walk I took that day: a winding, twisted path through half-faded memories and fractured emotions, engraved new scars on a forty-year-old man still struggling with the all that never was, and frustrated by the need to deal with it. I came here for a moment of solace, but that moment was a fragile thing, compared against the history of this place and its echoes across time.

This is the courtyard around the fountain at the Alamo mission: a place where many people died, long ago. There were many days in my youth, when I was supposed to be “helping” at my adoptive father’s office at City Hall, when I’d steal some time away and come sit under this tree, just sitting, listening, and sometimes comparing the silence to how it might have sounded when the fighting was all done. Yes, I was a morbid kid, internally, anyway. My parents would have been amazed had they known what I was doing: the just sitting, just listening, just…being. Odd things for a clinically hyperactive child.

When I was eleven or twelve, I ran away from home. This was the first place where I stopped. The courtyard was very different, late at night, and not at all welcoming. It was a foreshadowing I failed to recognize until I visited it again, on this day, but it was also a temporary thing. I had always brought my fears to this tree, but that night, I made new ones beneath it. It was the night I realized that eventually, I would very much be on my own in truth, and that I was woefully unprepared to be the man that I would become.

I took this photo after a drive through my old neighborhood, and past my childhood home a couple of times. I couldn’t stop there, of course; home hadn’t been home since 1985: nearly twenty-two years, on this particular day. So, I came here to find a moment’s peace. Of all the images that haunt me in my dreams, and which ultimately faded after my visit that day, this tree still rides along with me, and this place still frames some reveries.

Of course, it looked very different, that late-winter noon in 2007. I probably hadn’t been there since 1983 or 4, truth told. My ties with my adoptive family were incredibly strained by my first year of high school, and they eventually disowned me in 1993. But still, that old oak greeted me with open arms, rooted in the memories of the dead and forgotten, very much like I am rooted still in the abandoned memories of a former self.

And I didn’t become the man I thought I would be, on that night, long before. It felt like I needed to let my old friend know this. Thus I indulged myself, but it was what I needed at the time.

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arch nemeses

arch nemeses © 2007, 2015 Jered Dawnne

arch nemeses © 2007, 2015 Jered Dawnne

for my soccer teammates (Go Team Nemesis!), “nemeses” is the plural form, not another typo! 😉

It’s a funny thing. I took several photos of these arches on that late-winter day, and at the time, I hated them all. The LensBaby was a troublesome thing, there was a throng of people passing behind me the entire time, and impatience got the better of me. In fact, this photo and its iterations are the reason why I only published a few photographs from that day on my old personal blog.

I was closing down Lightroom today, and accidentally clicked on this one; suddenly, I liked it, so here it is. I had cropped it as an 4:5 ratio at some point along the way, apparently trying to see into it in different ways, but I don’t remember doing so. I reset it to the 2:3 aspect ratio I very much prefer, and took it from here.

I do like the full-color original, and I’ll eventually put it out, but “grey would be the color, if I had a heart,” right?

Photography with anxiety: the perpetual mind-fuck.

It’s focused on the extreme lower right: forever frozen there. My kingdom for a flat shot and a bokeh filter, but here you have it: the perpetual dream state.

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