It's a nice crispy morning here. Eight below zero, but it's a dry cold, and windless, so it doesn't seem so bad. About 10 to 12 inches of new snow on the ground.
From time to time I show pictures here of the soybean field out back (for instance here and here.) I hear it's slated to be a cornfield in 2015; we'll see. Either way, the field is endangered—there's development in pockets all around it, and it's virtually certain to be covered with suburban tract houses at some point in the indeterminate future. So I've decided to enjoy it as a field while I can. I took this a couple of hours ago.
Here's an alternate:
I'm showing you this so I can point out that there's actually detail in the moon:
This is 400%. Man, do I love the Fuji. I had to wait 11 years from the time I got my first digital camera to get the kind of highlight detail I've wanted right along. These Fujis are really the cameras for me. (I have the X-T1, but the same sensor is available in several other cameras too.)
By the way, I've always thought that twilight and early dawn are times for color. Color "reaches into" scenes at those times in a way black-and-white just doesn't. Here's a sunset from my recent travels:
...But I'm not sure if this works in B&W yet. I have to print it and live with it on the wall for three days before I'll know.
And just as an aside, this is half the work of creativity if you ask me—making decisions as to what works for you. This was a big takeaway from the Matisse Cut-Out show in New York, too. He originally developed the cut-out method because it allowed him to block out colored shapes and pin them to a sheet so he could try various things, try different colors, move them around, change the shapes, until he felt he had it right. That looking and thinking is the real work of art—what works, what doesn't, and how do you know? For me it takes time and looking—a week on the wall and I'm starting to know.
Your mileage may vary. Ctein wrote an interesting comment to the "Annie Dillard" post the other day about how writers write, observing that "...every single writer does it somewhat differently from every other writer. There are possibly an infinite number of 'workflows' that lead to being a successful writer." So it is with the ways artists and photographers exercise their judgement on their raw material to determine what they're happy with and not happy with. Everyone does it differently. In some cases it takes years to learn. It's probably the single most important thing distinguishing successful artists from other kinds of photographers (and from failed wannabees), and yet it's just not spoken of outside of art schools very much. And that's probably because there's no one right way to do it.
I should write a post about it some day....
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Jack: "The reason that the 'soybean field' will likely be a 'corn field' this year has to do with crop rotation. This is a form of pest control. The pests that afflict the broad-leaf legume (soybean) do not fare so well with the grass (corn) and die, fly or otherwise vacate the location. (Or remain dormant until the food of choice returns.)
"In my area (Kentucky) the typical rotation is corn, wheat, beans, with wheat being a winter cover crop that is harvested in June in time to get in a bean crop. At least the above was true when I was paid by an ag mag to write about such things a few decades ago.
"I hope the crop of tract houses is not planted any time soon. There's rarely a realistic rotation plan for them, propagating plenty of pests."