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An Open Gate


Please view this LARGE. The exposure was 1/4 second at f16. Ilford near infrared film. Gitzo 1325 + Acratech ball head. Adjusted in Photoshop.

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Hi, yes but I deleted it. Same thing with my "Cusino" photograph. I deleted almost everything in a fit of frustrated insanity during the recent changes. Regards.
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As much I love the details in the foreground and the compositional elemets of the photograph, my eye keep being drawn to the almost textureless white backgroud. Perhaps some texture in the background may have improved the asthetics of the photograph.
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Thanks Jay, I'll work on that. It was pretty foggy across the lake when I made this, but I might be able to enhance that portion of the water that is there. Regards.
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I had the same experience. My eye was drawn to the bright background and I found myself trying to discern what it was through that door. The detail, composition, and lighting is otherwise very nice. Regards.
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Well, in response to the suggestions above, I took another look at this at home and experimented with the background level. I did not like those versions. In reality, this gate is perched high on a cliff, beyond is a path that leads rather precariously down to the waters of Lake Erie. One can just discern its horizon beyond the gate.


For me, however, this is a portal through which one may journey from the rigorously ordered but possibly not so solid existence on this side, to the vague and uncertain void on the other. The foggy and overcast sky beyond responded to the infrared as any cloud would: it is indistinct and featureless. If I were to alter this response, I am convinced that it would reduce the mystery and the appreciation (at least for me) of the photograph.


On the other hand, if the day were different, if instead of fog there was sun and a cerulean blue pallete filled with billowing cumulus, then I would agree that a new mood would need to be established. Velvia would be the medium, and uncertainty would not be the motif. Regards.

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You're not the first to delete most everything, Walt. Most of us have gone through that at least once.


This was the first photo by you that I remember viewing. I am glad to see it again.


I also enjoyed your comments about Lake Erie. As a small child, I remember my sense of awe at walking to the edge of a bluff just west of Cleveland.

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Nice Walter - looks almost like you're about to step into nothing beyond the gate. Interesting illusion that all is sloping down towards the left because of the combo of the brick angles, shape of the brick walk, and the high arch on the right. I know it is straight though from the edges of my screen. Even your frame at the lower left looks sloped down. Pretty cool!
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Thanks Bryan, it's all an illusion (reminds me of Captain Beyond). I promise you that at least the horizon is level. Regards.
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Some of your comments remind me of early childhood memories of visiting the lake and camping near the shore. There was what seemed like an endless, upward sloping path of sand that led to the lake. The path was lined with massive oak and pine trees that created an arch/tunnel of darkness with light at the end. As I walked closer I could feel the moisture in the air hitting my face and the air cooling with each step. I could hear the waves grow louder with each step until finally, at the crest of the dune, finally see the waves crashing through the fog.


What does this all have to do with your photo? I think this captures the same kind of mystery I feel when visiting a new lighthouse, cottage, or stony park on the lakeshore. This reminds me of old Michigan towns like Saugatuck, Empire, or Leland. Thanks for sharing, I think you have inspired me to try something that captures some of this feeling.

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Thank you for the visit Dave! And Lannie too! This was indeed taken just west of Cleveland. Regards.
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Hi Walter, just discovered this amazing picture. I'm also drawn to the the gate and the seemingly going to nowhere scenary beyond it. I think it's added a layer of dreamlike quality to the photo, and the reason why I find it so fascinating. Thanks!
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