Fireworks and Smoke

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It’s warming up ©2019 Michael E. Gordon

A challenging reality on the desert is heat. If each year it did not occur like clockwork, it would be rather difficult to pry me from this habitat. I’m the shrubfly on the lone stool in the distant stand of creosote; they have to kick me out when its time to close up for the season.

May 2019 was unseasonable on the California desert. Temperatures remained low and precipitation remained high enough to keep things cooler and greener than would be normal for this time of year. Early June temperatures were not quite yet deadly, so I decided to make one last chase: Smoke Trees (Psorothamnus spinosus). The beautiful Smoke tree can be found in California, Arizona, Nevada, and Mexico deserts in dry, low elevation (<1500′) sandy washes. For much of the year they are nondescript and scrappy looking compact trees. In late spring – following a bountiful winter – they can explode with brilliant blue fireworks. After the heat has fried the flowers, they revert to their common appearance: like whisps of smoke rising delicately from a desert wash.

While the photographs may be enjoyable to view, they omit a few important sensory details: the baking heat (if it wasn’t cathartic we wouldn’t spa nor sauna); dry desert winds moving through the wash; and the cacophony of millions of bees (video) and other happy winged insects who gather this bounty (see the attached close-up). This is a living desert.

 


You are visiting the blog of landscape photographer Michael E. Gordon. For additional photos and information, please visit his website or follow him on Facebook and Instagram.

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Serenity – 1st Place, Indian Wells Arts Festival

My photograph, Serenity, was awarded a Blue Ribbon – 1st Place in the Photography category – at the 10th Annual Indian Wells Arts Festival. This festival was held in April at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, a $75 million state-of-the-art facility surrounded by mountainous desert vistas, and featured more than 200 award-winning artists. It’s an honor to have received this award, and I’m offering a 15% discount on any size and finishing of this print through May 31, 2012. Please use the discount code “Serenity” at checkout to activate the discount.

You are visiting the blog of fine art landscape photographer Michael E. Gordon. For additional photos and information, please visit his official website. You can also find Michael on TwitterFacebook, and Google+.

photo, picture: Tranquil Reflections

photo, picture: Tranquil Reflections

photo, picture: Tranquil Reflections

Tranquil Reflections. Weir Lake, Bishop Creek Canyon, Sierra Nevada.

Beautiful white Sierra granite reflects morning sunlight onto the wind-rippled surface of Weir Lake. Thank you for looking.

You are visiting the blog of fine art photographer Michael E. Gordon. For additional photos and information, please visit his official website.

Photo, picture: Frosted Cottonwood Leaves and Grass

Frosted Cottonwood Leaves and Grass Mini-Print

Frosted Cottonwood Leaves and Grass Mini-Print

Frosted Cottonwood Leaves and Grass, seen here as a Mini-Print (8″ wide print, 11×14″ mounting/matting, ready-to-frame).

As with many of my photographs, this photograph stayed buried in my files for about 1.5 years before it was unearthed and released. Why? My subconscious photographic vision tends to precede my conscious understanding of the photographs I make. Huh? Simply put, it takes me while to come to grips with my photographs. I work on gut instinct and photograph immediately when I’m beckoned to and ask questions later. After I’ve developed my film, the photographs often don’t look as I had hoped they would, and often too short a time span between the time of the photograph and my first printing of it tends to tie me too emotionally to the image. I was there; I saw and photographed it; it was a great moment; it must be good. Not so.

I like to let time lapse so that I can revisit my photographs later – after I’ve well disconnected myself from the actual experience. It’s only this way that I’m able to judge my images from a bit more of an unbiased base. As a photographer, it’s all too easy to be in love with every photograph I make (I work hard at my photography; why shoudn’t I?). As a photographic artist, only ruthless analysis and editing of my photographs will separate the wheat from the chaff.

Mini-Prints: All photographs on my website are now available as 8″ Open Edition Mini-Prints. All rectangular/panoramic photographs are printed to 8″ on the their longest side, and square images are printed to 6″. Open Edition Mini-Prints are hand-signed and made using the same top-quality archival materials as my Limited Edition prints, and all arrive mounted/matted and ready to be inserted into off-the-shelf 11×14″ frames. Best of all, they’re an outstanding value at only $50 each. To purchase, select any photograph and click the “purchase a print” link found beneath it, then select the 8″ Mini-Print option. Please be sure to add the $1 mounting/overmatting “Display Option” to your print selection.

You are visiting the blog of fine art photographer Michael E. Gordon. For additional photos and information, please visit his official website.