A New Day

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There is something special about a new day. It is so full of possibilities! It starts out fresh, like a clean sheet of paper, and we get to decide to a large extent what we will draw on it.

Yesterday morning I took the dog for her walk and had the camera and as I was coming back up the hill, the sun was breaking through the top of the trees (mostly Georgia pines). It was one of those moments when the rays are shooting through the air like an arrow, trying to chase the darkness away for another 12 hours or so. I’ve often wanted to get a shot on a foggy morning in a redwood forest as the sun starts to break through but have never been in the right spot at the right time.  I keep hoping.  Some day it will happen.

Technically, this is an HDR image, and a badly developed one at that. But it did show the sunlight breaking through the tops of the trees to the right upper portion of the scene.

What did you draw today?

ON THIS DAY IN  HISTORY:  in 1902 the famous photographer Ansel Adams was born in San Francisco. Adams’ dramatic black and white images of Yosemite and the West are some of the most widely recognized and admired photographs of the 20th century.

Ansel Adams discovered his love of photography and the West during a family trip to Yosemite when he was 14 years old. He made his first photographs of the dramatic Yosemite Valley during that trip, and he returned to photograph the park every year thereafter for the rest of his life.

Adams had a tremendous passion and talent for photography, though it remained only a hobby for many years. From childhood, Adams had studied piano, and as a young man he embarked on a promising career as a concert pianist. It was only when he was in his late 20s that Adams decided to abandon music and make a career out of photography instead, choosing to make the West the focus of his work. During the next 20 years, Adams’ distinctive treatment of the western landscape won him a dedicated following, especially in California. Today his portraits of the Yosemite Valley and images of Saguaro cacti under an Arizona moon are so familiar as to almost be visual cliches.

Adams deliberately used his photos to inspire a semi-religious reverence for the natural world that he hoped would encourage more Americans to protect and preserve wilderness. A lifelong member of the Sierra Club, Adams provided images for many of the club’s early publications.

Besides being a brilliant artist, Adams was also a technical innovator and a teacher. Along with several other photographers, Adams founded “Group f/64,” which was dedicated to promoting deep-focus photography and the use of “straight” images free from darkroom trickery. He created a number of innovative photographic techniques that he introduced to the general public through a series of books and an annual workshop in Yosemite.

In recognition of his lifelong efforts supporting the national park system, Mt. Ansel Adams in Yosemite was named in his honor shortly after he died in 1984.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: The birth of Earth’s moon is singularly important because it stabilizes Earth’s tilt. Without the moon, Earth would still have wild changes in climate and be uninhabitable. The stabilizing tug of the moon tempers Earth, resulting in the minor tip that causes summer and winter seasons.

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