Joe Is a Jesus-lovin, picture takin fool from banks, oregon. His other hobbies include climbing, hiking, fixing his vanagon, and pretty much anything slightly dangerous or far from the ground.

With an enormous love for life and people, joe brings a smile to everything he does. this blog is a small glimpse of his view on the world and the things created in it.

The Art of Seeing

The Art of Seeing

I decided that with my extra free time this month I would take one of Brian Peterson's online classes, The Art of Seeing. This specific class was designed for people who aren't as creative to expand their horizons and learn to see things in different ways. I took this class because it was one of the only cheaper classes where Brian himself actually critiques your photos. I already have creative vision, so this was a good reason to pick my camera up again. These are my three favorite assignments from the class:

Assignment 1: "A wide angle shot where LINE is being used as the dominant foreground subject."

As soon as I read this one, I knew exactly where I wanted to shoot. I knew it was a longshot, already being 11pm, but I texted my friend Nick to see if he wanted to hike Saddle Mountain with me. An hour and a half later we were there on the hike. 

I've done this hike in the middle of the night far more than I've ever done it during the day. This time though we encountered something unexpected. As I pointed my flashlight down the trail, I caught a small flash of tan jump into the bushes. A deer! That was neat. I've never seen a deer here before. Nick had a gotten a much better look at the deer, and he failed to tell me that it was in fact not a deer, but a cougar. And it was still tracking us five minutes later! Since I was still under the impression nothing was wrong, it was odd to me that Nick had stopped in his tracks. What was he looking at? Why wasn't he saying anything? We moved on, and he then told me about seeing a cougar, not a deer. He also told me it had been tracking us, and that at that point when he stopped, the cougar was staring at us from the other side of the bush - not more than six feet away from us. I laughed, and told him that if it did jump it would have eaten his arm while I fought and killed it. Not a big deal, right?

Anyway we finally made it to the top sometime around 2am, and I immediately got to work under the stars. I had been shooting for only 15 minutes or so when Nick wanted to leave. "Are you serious? We just got here." Oh well. I didn't want to piss him off, so I got one more shot and we headed out. I'm not at all happy with the shot I got, but I plan to re-shoot it at a later time and make it better.

*Update: I did shoot here again, but I didn't really want the bench in it this time.

This wooden bench sits unloved under the magnificent stars

Assignment 2: "A wide angle shot where TEXTURE is being used as the dominant foreground subject."

This one took me a while to think of (and a few tries,) but I finally settled for this shot. If you have ever driven from Forest Grove to Banks, you've passed this house. It's all gone now, but for a while it was a beautiful old presence withering away on the side of Highway 47.

A decrepit old piano lies face down in the ruins of this slanted house

Assignment 3: "A wide angle OR telephoto shot of LINE or PATTERN taken from ABOVE, shooting down!"

I instantly knew what bridge I wanted to get a shot of, but how to take the picture with interest was tricky. I made the two-hour drive out to Vernonia, planning on the way, and took this shortly after I arrived.

View of the cars from an abandoned rail bridge in Vernonia, OR

The Reward for Devotion

The Reward for Devotion