Minneapolis Daily Photo BlogA photo outpost on the edge of the great western prairie, Minneapolis Daily Photoblog records life in the beautiful rugged northern land of Minnesota. Minneapolis is a bustling metropolis with beautiful greenspaces, rivers and truly epic winters. This unique city was created by the railroad and lumber barons in the wild frontier leaving lots of awesomely rusty hulks and quiet wooded corridors to photograph.
3free cookies and punch at the Hennepin County Government Center. That big building that goes over 6th? This is their atrium. I was there this past weekend with the gang from Tips from the Top Floor. Fourteen photographers wandering the skyway looking for interesting things. Turns out most security guards don't want you photographing the interiors of the buildings. This is a government building and it was ok; we stood right by the security desk and he didn't mind. I took most of the color out of this image because the abstract shapes were much more powerful in B&W. It's a great space when it's empty and quiet. A very bright, cheery place actually. This was the first time I was there when I wasn't doing paperwork that I didn't want to. It's a very different experience. Go take pictures or just hang out at the DMV, you might like it.
1yesterday's post about cairns. I continue to be amazed at how quickly information can be found on the web. So many trips to the library avoided, so many projects not held up. I'm now starting to take a serious look at my extensive book collection and ask it why I have to share my space with it. Sure, I'll always keep the fine-printed art books, but so many reference books haven't been opened in years. Soon I'll be posting pictures I took downtown with the Tips from the Top Floor Group. My freind Bob Kupbens took a shot of me while we were there that I like. With the warming weather, the ice on the lakes is melting and soon we'll have open water again. Just follow the ducks.
18I was delighted to read about them on wikipedia. Now I want to build more of them when I'm out hiking. They have lots of purposes, but one of them is to denote a path. Often a pointed rock is included in the stack that indicates the direction of travel. This kind of cairn is called a duck or duckie (I know!) because the pointed rock indicating the route looks like a beak. How often does someone who uses a duckie as a trademark find something like this! The Wiki article also includes a neat term: two rocks do not make a duck. Meaning that a lost hiker might think they see a duckie, but it could just be one rock sitting on another rock. I like that. It reminds me of researching on the web — you want to find more than one or two sources. How many rocks does it take? When you five rocks of different origin neatly stacked, you can be pretty sure you have a duck. So stay the course, enjoy the journey and mind the ducks. Since this original post, I've managed to discover other Cairns and Land Art forms around Minneapolis.
3hike on Sunday at Afton. It's amazing what a wide-angle and some clever processing can do to a cold Minnesota plain. The ultra-wide-angle lens that I have been using for a while now has some interesting characteristics when it comes to distortion. It's an aspherical lens that has almost no fish-eye effect, but it tends to stretch lines that go to the corners. Also, if you point it anywhere that is not the horizon, it tilts everything causing "falling lines." This means that I have to shoot landscapes straight on, placing the horizon boringly dead-center. So now I look for compositions that can handle these conditions an here is one of my favorites. I was able to through some great diagonals across the image with the path and the clouds. Turn up the post processing to emphasize the lines and I think it works. Also, the way I processed it is close to a lightroom preset called "direct positive" that I have used before. It made the image look like a photo my dad of my grandparents standing in a wheat field taken in 1966. The direct-positive look mimics the way that color photos were processed in the 1960s. It's pretty rough on the image, but when the right opportunity comes along, I love to use it.