Doug Stockdale's Singular Images

July 9, 2007

Alternative Look

Filed under: Photography — Doug Stockdale @ 4:58 pm

Pt. Lobos Ice Plant

Pt. Lobos Ice Plant

…It always amazes me when a number of similar thoughts come together from very random sources.  Such as the concept of taking an alternative look at where you are about to draw your creative inspiration from.

In this case, the two converging souces for “alternative looking” came from the other blog Stills that I am a member of and the recent issue of LensWork.  Guy (aka akikana) is doing a project in Japan of placing his tripod in the famous places of others, but then turning the camera from the well known scene and taking the opposite view.

In LensWork, Brooks Jensen is discussing the whole thing of making decisions and seeing things from one’s own eyes. The case in point in the current issue is two photographers going to the same place and time coming back with really different images. We all see things differently. Then Brooks goes on to say that we should be able to go to Yosmite and Pt Lobos and create our images regardless of who was there before. That has to do with our ability to see and to take an alternative look at what is present.

These two converging stories brings back to memory my “alternative looking” at Pt Lobos and what is now called Weston Beach, South of S.F., California. I was visiting with another fellow photograher and we deceided to head over to Pt Lobos for a morning of photography. We both were very familiar with Westons images and had own private thoughts as to what we were going to capture on film. When we later compared prints, he did have prints of rocks in the surf & sand that looked similar to Westons images. When I showed him my Pt Lobos Ice Plant, above, he declared “No Fair, that ice plant was not there!” (he liked the image very much)

It was. In fact he had walked right by it, but he was busy looking at the surf, beach, rocks, etc. This ice plant was on the side of the cliff as you decended down the stairs to the beach and it was situated at one of the landings between the top of the cliff and the beach. I had been given the advice well before this trip, to look at what interests you, then turn around and see what you might be missing. So I stood on this landing looking out at the beach and rock formations, then I did a turn around, not expecting anything. But this ice plant with the wet dripping morning dew was right there in front of me. Wow, I went instantly to work setting up my tripod, etc and it is the best image of mine to date from that whole area.  All because I took an alternative look.

Best regards, Doug

1 Comment »

  1. Really something to remember. The funny thing about the value of turning around to look for the alternatives, it has been said so many times, and still it is so easy to forget.
    I enjoyed your little story, and the photo seems marvelous. I guess you make some really stunning prints of it. I sure would have loved to see it on paper.

    Comment by Kjell — July 10, 2007 @ 7:47 am

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