Friday, November 25, 2011

Taking Flight, by the Rivers

Dalles of the Eau Claire River, WI, October 2011

A daylight time exposure in infrared. Exposure time was about 4 seconds. The softening and blurring of the waterfall comes from the longer exposure. This location is one I discovered accidentally a few years ago while traveling through northern Wisconsin to photograph fall colors. Near the headwaters of the Eau Claire River, this is a small county park of exceptional beauty, northeast of Wausau. It's off the beaten trail, as it were, and hardly anyone seems to know about it. There's no camping, but it's got excellent trails along the water and into the northern pine forest. Ancient metamorphic bedrock is exposed at the earth's surface here, creating huge boulders for the river to rumble through. There are also some erosional features downstream, such as potholes carved into the bedrock by time and the river.

Places like this, where the basement rock crops to the surface, contain a magic of beauty and serenity, pockets of old time amidst the surrounding croplands and remnant forests of the northern Great Lakes region. Similar places full of ancient beauty and rough magic are Interstate Park, along the St. Croix River between Wisconsin and Minnesota, and Devil's Lake State Park, just north of the Wisconsin River north of Madison.

Taking Flight

A multiple self-portrait made by layering sequential infrared exposures. Each exposure was about 4 seconds long in overcast mid-day daylight. The location was a park above cliffs overlooking the Mississippi River in St. Paul, MN. I set the camera on a tripod, used the delay timer to give me a few seconds to get into position, then the long exposure to blur movement. So this image is a recording of a performance of taking flight, lifting off from the ground, acted out by myself walking along the path.

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Blogger Glenn Ingersoll said...

The blurry figure is charming, magical.

11:40 PM  
Blogger Art Durkee said...

Thanks. It was fun to make, too. It's fun any time I get to do something like that, which is more like directing action than making a still picture. I like the sense of working with time.

10:42 AM  
Blogger Conda V. Douglas said...

Oooh, I got shivers for several different reasons from looking at these lovely photographs!

9:06 PM  
Blogger Art Durkee said...

Hi, Conda, and thanks.

9:18 AM  

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