JWSmith Photography | A Steadfast rock and Maybe More

A Steadfast rock and Maybe More

May 26, 2018  •  1 Comment

I call this photo Steadfast.  I have many rock photos but this is my favorite. This is a subtle, pre-Instagram style photograph. It isn't artistically blurry, it's certainly not blasting color and it presents itself modestly.  I've often accused myself of objectifying my subjects; seeing them as shapes and textures rather than who or what they are or understanding the life they've led and trying to photograph that inner being that all 'objects' have;  all the things critics from artistic sites and galleries wax on about in elevated tone and high-minded language.  Yep, guilty. 

Yet, this morning, for some unknown or hidden reason, I was caught by the beauty of this rock.   I'm sure that anyone watching me photograph it in Joshua Tree would wonder what the hell I was doing taking pictures of a big rock.  But you see, (as Guy Tal would say) it's more than a rock.  Its texture strikes me first, a soft morning light grazed its face so there's no harsh contrast and its tonal quality sets it apart from the darker ridge line in the background.  It's nice too that the ridge line rides the crest of the rock and those wispy clouds filling the frame seem just right. I do believe it has a quiet character.  Perhaps it does have an 'inner being.'  After all, it's been around longer than any of our fellow Sapiens so you'd think it would have developed some sort of 'beingness,' right?  It certainly has had a long time to think about itself and its surroundings.  The viewer is the one to decide if there's more here than a rock; I think I've found more. 

SteadfastSteadfastJoshua Tree National Park, California


Todd Henson(non-registered)
I find myself drawn to the lines in the different layers, from the darker circular base of the rock to the top edge of the rock to the distant ridge line to the interleaved lines of the lighter clouds and the darker sky.

I think this photograph is a perfect example of a bit of advice I've heard from several other photographers, though I no longer remember who gave the advice. They were talking about photographing in iconic locations where the masses of people were all facing the same direction photographing exactly the same thing. The advice was to take a moment to step back and look around. You just never know what else there might be there worthy of photographing that the majority of other photographers are completely overlooking by being overly focused on the iconic elements of the location.
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