Thursday, April 10, 2014
The other day, a friend and I spent some bit of time in this field of mustard, just off Interstate 5 and smack in the middle of shopping centers and suburban homes. We waited for sunset and shot the changing light. Not a single one came out to my satisfaction. I was trying to capture something illusive....the color was spectacular and concentrated. Times like these I really am in awe of great photographers. They know what they're doing. I'm in training.
Part of the photographic problem was focus: I had to have the lens wide open in order to get enough light, and that means that what is in focus is on a very narrow plane of vision.
In the end, it was a pleasant and nostalgic way to spend the time, great images or no. When I was a child, we lived with fruit orchards all around us and the mustard weed grew tall in those orchards. It was one of our favorite places to play. The other day, I spent time sitting on the ground trying to get another perspective on the field. The mustard was at eye level and propelled me back in time. At 56 years of age, I was suddenly a 10 year old. Building trails and creating 'rooms' by stomping down the weeds. Playing explorer, and sipping water out of my dad's old canteen that tasted faintly of rust and dirt.
I was happy to share the time with my friend, who was equally captivated by the venue. I haven't seen his photos yet; hopefully he got some he is happy with. Next time I'm going back with a tall ladder so I can shoot down on the field. And I'll figure out the lighting and focus thing.