Tag Archives: winter

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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rimeMorn

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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a brief walk down conflicted memory lane

"around the bend" © 2007 Jered Dawnne

"around the bend" © 2007 Jered Dawnne: San Antonio River Walk, early evening, late winter

When I was a kid, I spent a lot of time down along the River Walk. I volunteered at the main library branch, and my adoptive father worked at City Hall, so the River Walk was always the more pleasurable route between the two, except maybe in the dark. In those days, some portions of the River Walk were great places for experiencing the less ethical side of life, after dark.

Returning to San Antonio in 2007 was an odd mix of emotions for me. I hadn’t been there since 1989, and that visit was only for a few hours. The last time I had “really” been in San Antonio was for a couple of weeks between duty stations back in 1986. Oh, I grew up there.

I used a LensBaby on a Nikon D2X for most of the shots I took down there: A decision I question to this day, because it fundamentally limits what I can do in post…to the extent that it’s taken me the larger part of nine years to care to dig into them. Subconsciously, I think I did it that way because the San Antonio I knew growing up had changed so much, I was trying to capture it all the way I saw it in my dreams, not as it really was. And maybe that worked a little bit. San Antonio pretty much quit haunting me shortly after this trip, anyway, so perhaps some form of closure on a fairly anxiety-filled childhood was had.

The photo has not been manipulated except for a small amount of color balancing and tonal control.

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of that which will become

which was (original) © 2007 Jered Dawnne

which was (original) © 2007 Jered Dawnne

i vow to roam this spring and summer. i abhor this stasis, this unmoving pensiveness. i will rediscover the little things, and redevelop my joy in the beyond. i will recall where i have been and what i have done, but i will reach beyond the little deaths that are the mundane, the well-known, and the half remembered. and i will meet the skies in celebration.

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dark brightened

dark brightened © 2007, 2015 Jered Dawnne

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.

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the ice that binds

the ice that binds (version 2) © 2007, 2014 Jered Dawnne

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.

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a shift of focus

treeline offset (version 3) © 2007, 2014 Jered Dawnne

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.

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the wintered why

luminarial rime © 2007, 2014 Jered Dawnne

luminarial rime © 2007, 2014 Jered Dawnne

and so completely
entwined in rime and
reason—that dark
shining, at once
luminarial, then
interpolated—now
comes the certain
remembrance of
your embrace:
that cloak of
the wintered why.

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image: “luminarial rime”, original © 2007, monochromed © 2014 Jered Dawnne
words: “the wintered why”, © 2014 Jered Dawnne

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