Time progression through the evening and into night offers many variations of light. This balance was constructed and photographed through magic hour (the hour just before dark) in Linn Run State Park. During this short period, it can get hectic trying to capture the perfect rendition of what my eyes are seeing and photographic artistry before the light fades to black… only possible if the balance doesn’t collapse.
I always remember to take a little time to enjoy the balance, setting, and experience despite being intent on capturing images during this short duration. An important part of the process. On this day the time leading up to magic hour was rather windy toppling this balance two time prior. After the 3rd build, the winds calmed and allowed for a wonderful hour of photography and balance enjoyment.
Recently I spent some time balancing along the shore of the Youghiogheny River in Ohiopyle State Park. I rode my bike down the Yough River Trail to the pullout just above the rapids known as “Dimple” and “Swimmers”. This area has a huge beach of some wicked smooth river stones. The lack of friction took a few visits to get used to. Still lots of room for improvement as always. Here’s the one of the few I photographed. Wind was a rather large factor this day. Here’s a couple angles and wet and dry photos.
Spent a very tolerable afternoon/evening in Linn Run. It seems winter has released its grip once again. A warm breeze relieved the chill coming off the creek. I’ve been on a kick of spending massive amounts of time stone searching. Collecting FAR more than necessary for a balance. Reminds me of being young and looking for the perfect “skipping” stone. Very similar process only for a different purpose and far more complex. Either way some coolness came out of extensive search today.
Today was quite windy throughout midday and early afternoon. I held off from heading out to stone balance, deciding to make a late afternoon start if the winds subsided… Colder temperatures further assured a later start 🙂 I made Indian Creek in Melcroft my destination. FUNky rocks can always be found at this reliable spot as can a beautiful sunset on bluebird days. It took a while to get this worked out. The spine weight was spiraled and micro adjustments were crucial. With the slightest misalignment, this combination of stones would tumble, splashing into the water. Adjusting in the smallest possible increments was the true crux of this build. In the end success was had and the late day and evening presented favorable lighting for beautiful photos and experience.
Originally found this top stone last year. It had a unique beauty that made it shine. I tried using it several ways, but none were ever truly fulfilling. I found it again on Sunday morning…without hesitation I went to work to see if I could illuminate it in a setting as unique as itself. Calm wind and setting helped to see this through. Eventually it succumbed as the winds increased an hour later.
I did a bunch of creation since my last post, but lacked free time to share…Sooo..I’ll catch up on those at some point. For now here are some photos from a recent outing to Linn Run State Park. Wasn’t really feeling any of the creek flows, so instead went with this little piece of mossy heaven as a creation spot. The sensation of the moss and soft earth around me while balancing this was friendly and inviting. A polar opposite compared to some of my less than comfortable chosen in-creek destinations.
Cucumber Falls in Ohiopyle State Park draws many visitors throughout the year. It’s a magical little waterfall nestled away in a stone amphitheater easily accessible within a few minutes of the car. Winter can be an especially beautiful time to experience the loud roar and often mesmerizing view of this relatively small waterfall as it snakes it’s way down to the Youghiogheny River several hundred yards below the falls. At the base of the falls is a pool of water that can hold a rare personality in winter. Commonly ice builds up to create a cone at the base of the falls and if cold enough for a prolonged period of time the entire falls freeze. When the timing is right, conditions can be favorable for the kind of backgrounds that appeal to me. The kind that create stunning photos which highlight my stone balances properly. On January 13th I visited the park to create some stone balance art as happens on many occasions. Most of the streams were fully frozen offering nothing in the way of stones to balance. As a last resort, I ventured to Cucumber falls and found that the pool below the falls was open enough for me to work. Stone selection was minimal, but through experience and out of necessity I found what was needed to show a different view of this often visited area. Throughout my time working the melting snow and ice caused a rapid rise in the creek as well as rather hazardous work conditions. Large chunks of ice were coming over the falls and landing very close to where I was working. Between that and the increase of spray from the falls my photography session was complete. I stayed to observe/study the location and environment for future adventures. It wasn’t long before the rising water collapsed my creations and erased the location to as it was before my arrival.
Pennsylvania glaciers? Not really… Ice formations at the base of the falls in the background
Despite being down a critical piece of equipment, some quality time was spent enjoying the snow and creating some balance prior to the large snowfall that hit our region. For a few days everything’s been under a few feet of snow making time away easier to cope with. The “Frozen” balance was one that was left overnight. The slightest amount of spray from the creek transformed the balance into a an object fixed in the creek. The other three photos are of a different creation that I took a liking to. I used a Nikon D50 (circa 2005) to shoot these photos. The batteries are as old as the camera and have barely enough life to snap a few photos in cold weather. I even used the cold weather trick of keeping them warm with “shake and bake” hand warmers trying to squeeze out as many images as possible. Luck and a small amount of skill netted several decent shots with a nostalgic “old school” digital appearance. Not that they’re worthy of massive enlargement, but they work for social media sharing after the arduous task of removing the hundreds of black dirt specs due to the badly neglected image sensor 🙂 Can’t wait to get a proper camera back in my hands!