« Quote o' the Day: Doug Thacker | Main | 'Amazon Basics' Flash Update »

Monday, 13 February 2017


Not intending this to be a "smartass" comment, Mike, but perhaps to be "worthwhile" (however one might determine that) all photographs/art must have meaning for the maker of that piece??

Maybe also even purely commercially motivated work must have meaning for the maker of it to be worth putting in front of a client - if only that it is the best interpretation of the brief that can be devised by that person at that time ?

meant to add :
It is just that some images have meaning just for the maker - but that is for the viewer/audience to determine.

The worst part of any road trip leaving Wisconsin is the long haul through Illinois or Indiana.

I got to know the area well in the early 60's as a student at the U of I. The bars in Monticello were open early on Sunday morning, unlike those in Champaign-Urbana, for those of us in need of a bit of the hair of the dog that bit us. I won't go into why we called La Place, Illinois, Lay Place.

And this geologist from Australia is curious and wants to ask:" "So where is all the bedrock?".

I had presumed that the glaciated terrain of North America is characterised by vast areas of flat (planed) outcrops of relatively fresh rock, because we are shown such outcrops in papers on, for example, the ore deposits of the famous Abitibi Belt in eastern Canada. As opposed to vast areas of similar volcanic stratigraphy in Western Australia where the bedrock is routinely severely weathered to depths of 100-120m, because that surface has been exposed to weathering for millions of years.

I opened Google maps and the area of the photograph appears green and entirely cultivated. Hence my curiosity over the apparent lack of exposed bedrock. I can only surmise that the fresh bedrock is covered by glacial outwash gravels. Is this the case?

Photographs can be very useful, as well as beautiful!

Wayne's photograph is also a perfect example of an artistic work in which the resolution of the lens has no bearing.

If it is not already a print, it should become one.

In looking at the image, is that paper surface texture/"grain" that I am seeing? Such a slow film used that I would not expect to see it.
Modern digital is pushing hard to eliminate "grain/noise" completely. Makes it difficult to use as an artistic interpretation so you get it right in the camera.
Used to use Agfa 1000 for foggy days as the grain pattern really added to the atmosphere. Now generally have to add and experiment after the fact when I would much rather have it right when I trip the shutter.
Mid West USA is a gem. No 'in your face' landscape at all. More subtle and quiet and takes some getting used to. Love the wide open spaces and the small things it presents. The feeling of solitude is enhanced by the endless horizon. Very much different from the claustrophobic mountain ranges that cut off the views into eternity.

What ISO did he rate that at? You can use that film at 100-200-400 for different color results.

@ Rod S: 18000 years past, the glacier had reached its south-most progression into the US/Illinois. the area you are seeing in this photograph is likely 20 miles, or so, north of that southern limit. In answer to the question regarding rock/pebbles, there are none on the surface, only some of the richest black soil in the US......Another fairly amazing attribute of this particular region. If you head north into Wisconsin (Wisconsin Dells) you will find some fairly unusual (rock towers) formations. I suppose there may also be some outcroppings in the Great Lakes, I recall commonly accepted theory is that the lakes were initially filled by glacial melt. If you head south into Illinois from this point, it does not become hilly, but mildly rolling...Nowhere near as flat as what is shown in this photograph.

I just called my Father, 83 and still active, to get additional information. He says the region is the terminal moraine. What you are seeing is the result of a characteristic repeated advance and recession of the glacier in this region, "pulsation." he also states that there are "moraine ridges" in the area. Essentially, the soil is granite, basalt, etc., pushed down from Canada, and ground into soil by the glacier.

Thanks for the inquiry. I was good calling my dad to get further clarification......Now that I am no longer "bored to tears" by the subject matter.

Somewhat of an answer to Rod S: Much of southern Minnesota and Wisconsin, most of Iowa and much of Illinois are outwash plains. One interesting aspect of this is the "Driftless Area" of SE Minnesota, SW Wisconsin, NW Illinois and NE Iowa. This area was an ice-free island during the last glacial advances, and the terrain is quite steep and rugged, falling down to the Mississippi River, with relief as high as 200 meters. It is also less fertile and is heavy forested. In addition to all of this, this whole area of the outwash plain was grassland, fertilized by literally millions of bison, so that a very heavy and fertile soil developed.

It seems to me that the definition of photography is is entirely up to the photographer.

However, the definition of good photography is entirely up to everyone except the photographer.

Rod S.'so question prompted my own search for an answer. I found this:

[THAT was totally fascinating. Thanks. --Mike]

The film was exposed at ISO 100. At least that was the setting I had set my meter to while I had the roll in the camera. As much as I hate to admit, I am following my usual course in life and falling backwards towards ever more basic philosophy in photography. I cannot say with certainty that I even used my meter for this shot. It may have been an example where I relied on "Sunny 16." The conditions certainly warranted it. My advance to the rear has reached the point where I am now reading my Ansel Adams Basic Photo series books that I have owned for for better than 20 years now.

I have to credit Mike as an influence toward much of the fun and happiness I have experienced in photography. His impact on my progress has been as a force to stay focused on the wonder of the photographic result. I do love this photo, and am very satisfied it came from my camera. It amazes me, the subject matter is so common, and yet.......

Hey Wayne,

It's not "falling backwards" to use the Sunny 16 Rule rather than rely on the meter within the camera, it's an advancement! Be proud of it!

And it was interesting to hear how your photograph has such personal
meaning for you. You really must get the photograph printed, matted, framed and hung in a location where, in the quiet moments, you can look into it and hear it speak to you.

It was fun receiving the several responses on the geography and geology of the area. I'm still making my way through the references in the few spare moments I've had since writing the question. Glad to hear it also created an opportunity to discuss the subject with your dad.

Cheers, Rod.

The comments to this entry are closed.



Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 06/2007