Dec 20, 2009

Rebirth by David Cramer

ANMPAS, Rebirth, David Cramer

1st Place, Professional Color Division
2009 Festival of the Cranes

Bosque del Apache is my favorite place in the world. When sandhill cranes and snow geese are in residence, it is my favorite place in the universe. It’s only natural to want to photograph in one’s favorite place, so I’ve spent thousands of hours with camera in hand exploring every nook and cranny of this place under all kinds of light and weather conditions.
This particular shot came about one cold winter morning on the last day of a workshop I was co leading. After having several mornings at Bosque, my co leader and workshop participants decided to spend the last morning staying warm and reviewing images.

Not Me...
While driving from San Antonio to the Refuge before sunrise, I noticed only one crane pool had a fair number of birds. As I’m always looking to photograph something new or different, after shooting the predawn blastoff, I headed back to this pool, which would have me shooting directly into the sun. I’d already begun visualizing and planning on backlit shots that might have some interest, or at least be different from thousands of cranes taking flight shots in my catalogue.
To my pleasant surprise, Mother Nature had provided a unique addition to the stage - a dense fog floating over the birds and the pond. Having seen Art Morris’s beautiful “Fire in the Mist” image, I immediately recognized this arrangement as potential for a unique photograph. It lasted only moments. The sun rose behind the brush in the background and began to illuminate the scene with light. Unfortunately, no birds were flying in or out, so I focused on areas with the biggest concentration of birds where cranes were beginning to move about.
My excitement was high, as I knew time would be short. Seconds later, bright beams of light were filtering through the fog, filling it with color and depth. I photographed for perhaps only a minute before light overwhelmed the scene and fog was fading fast. A few quick looks at my camera LCD confirmed I had something interesting, but it was only after viewing the image on my computer screen that I fully realized the beauty and depth it held. I called it a day and headed back to the hotel, eager to download and backup images for safety. Needless to say, workshop folks were less than happy with their decision to stay in that morning.

The image title comes from not only reference to the birds waking up each morning, but also the idea that each photograph, even when taken in a setting we’ve photographed thousands of times, has the potential to bring something new into our lives. Lately - I’ve been wondering how much it costs to rent a fog machine.

Editor's Note on Rebirth
David is one of those guys who gets the highly emotional fine art image because he 'Chases the Light...'. I can certainly understand why his workshop colleagues felt a bit of awe.
That bad boy with his wings up keynotes the soft, ephemeral drama of a moving sunrise Bosque silhouette. Too bad David didn't take a video - so we could listen to raucous morning sounds...

You can find David Cramer here.

No comments: