Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Nature's Artistry with Rocks



Familiar Shapes in Rocks


Rock formations and clouds share a common bond because interesting shapes and images are often found in them. 

Perceiving images in objects like rocks and clouds is a psychological phenomenon termed Pareidolia.  Many of the master artists including Leonardo da Vinci were aware of pareidolia and used the imagery for artistic expression.

One thing we do have plenty of in the Southwestern Desert is rocks, which most of the time are more numerous than clouds.

Some of my favorite rocks that are great examples pareidolia are as follows:

Natural Bridge in Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah stands out against the snow and the Ponderosa forest and is actually an 85 foot (25.908 m) arch. The rusty-orange flying buttresses of Natural Bridge were formed over millions of years by wind, water, and chemical erosion.


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Bell Rock in Sedona, Arizona has a distinctive shape and is one of the favorite tourist attractions. Standing at 4,919 feet (1499 m), Bell Rock is actually a butte, composed of horizontally bedded sedimentary rock.



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The red and white sandstone of Calico Hills accents the desert landscape in the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area (RRCNCA) with peaks that extend up 4870 feet (1484 m).  Towering in the distance behind Calico Hills at 6324 feet (1928 m) is the famous Turtlehead Peak which is the only limestone formation in the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area.



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The Chief, wearing a full headdress watches out from a volcanic cliff at the entrance to Wilson Canyon, Nevada.  The two mile long (3.2 km) Wilson Canyon gorge was cut by the Walker River many years ago.


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An elephant rock sits atop what was once the lakebed of Walker Lake.  During the last Ice Age, the prehistoric Lake Lahontan covered much of northwestern Nevada, as the climate dried, the lake receded, leaving behind unusual tufa based outcroppings.


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A colorful outcropping of sandstone resembles an eagle at Buffington Pockets which is an area of unusual rock formations and canyons near the Valley of Fire State Park in Southern Nevada.


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In most of the areas where these unique rock formations are located, traces of early humans can be found who left their stories carved in the desert varnish on the faces of these ancient boulders.  Over the millennia, many different cultures have lived and hunted through these canyons and along the streams.


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Today as I walk on the trails, I feel these ancient spirits that still dwell within the rocks.  As I look closely I catch a glimpse of the former inhabitants through the pareidolia that stand out in the rocks.  Maybe that is why I feel so drawn to spend countless hours just gazing at rocks.  And when the gentle breeze touches my face at dusk, I know that they are there watching over their sacred home.


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Summer at Red Rock, Nevada


With my Nikon and tripod, my goal is to recreate the scene as it appears in nature, to preserve in a photographic image the awesome, yet simplistic beauty of the scene that waits around a bend or over a hill. Sometimes it's a colorful landscape, and many times I'm allowed in the presence of the numerous creatures that adapt to life in the wild. 


No images on this blog are within Public Domain and are available for free download. 

 All rights reserved, world-wide and images protected by Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). All photography, graphics, text, design, and content is copyrighted by Bonnie Rannald and should not be copied, down-loaded, transferred and re-created in any way without the express consent, in writing to Bonnie Rannald. For information on Bonnie Rannald licensed, right-managed images, please submit a written request.

"Reflecting Nature's Artistry"

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Many of these images are available on our website.
We now offer Gift Certificates and Digital Downloads in addition to the
"Off The Wall" custom matted and framed images.




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Monday, February 17, 2014

Capturing the Scene, Waterfall at Lost Creek



The Story Behind the Scene


One of the greatest thrills and rewards of fine art photography is when you must go through many challenges to get the scene but in the end, it comes together against all odds. 

This was the scenario on a cold January morning when I received a call from a friend who was working as a ranger in the Red Rock Conservation Area, near Las Vegas, Nevada.  My friend was notifying me about a waterfall that had started to flow in Lost Creek Canyon due to a winter storm that had brought rain and snow to the area.

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Gathering my camera gear, I prepared myself with rain gear and waterproof boots because I did not know what I might encounter during the early morning hike back in to the canyon.  As I drove up to the parking area, I noticed the wide stream of water plunging from the narrow canyon's mouth.  The morning sun was at just the right angle to accent the streaming water, so I walked as fast as the wet, rocky trail would allow.  This was January and the canyon walls were bare without any of the moss and lichens. The one dormant bush was covered in frost.  


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Carefully placing my tripod in the water filled alcove, I dropped it as low as possible and focused the Nikon 24mm 2.8 lens to include not only the waterfall but as much sky as possible.  I stopped the f-stop down for a slow shutter speed to stream the rushing waterfall.  Later, when the photograph was enlarged at an art show, a small child came running up to the framed photograph and pointed out "the man in the mountain", along with all the other numerous faces and images that appeared on the walls and in the rocks.  And oh yes, how could the mother not purchase the framed Waterfall at Lost Creek to the delight of her young son?


For prices and sizes on Waterfall at Lost Creek, follow the link:


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No images on this blog are within Public Domain.






With my Nikon and tripod, my goal is to recreate the scene as it appears in nature, to preserve in a photographic image the awesome, yet simplistic beauty of the scene that waits around a bend or over a hill. Sometimes it's a colorful landscape, and many times I'm allowed in the presence of the numerous creatures that adapt to life in the wild.
 
 All rights reserved, world-wide and images protected by Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). All photography, graphics, text, design, and content is copyrighted by Bonnie Rannald and should not be copied, down-loaded, transferred and re-created in any way without the express consent, in writing to Bonnie Rannald. For information on Bonnie Rannald licensed, right-managed images, please submit a written request.

"Reflecting Nature's Artistry"

Follow this blog for upcoming post!
Photos Make Great Gifts!
Many of these images are available on our website.
We now offer Gift Certificates and Digital Downloads in addition to the
"Off The Wall" custom matted and framed images.




Visit our website at: http://www.bonnierannald.com/





Saturday, February 8, 2014

Freezing Fog Creates Artistic Impressions



Pogonip on a Cold Winter Morning




In the higher elevations of the Great Basin Desert during winter when cool air passes over the warm, moist ground, you can expect to see the occurrence of freezing fog or "Pogonip".  The term Pogonip is from the Shoshone word: paγinappih meaning cloud. 


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Early settlers called the pogonip "White Death" because it was believed that if  ice crystals were breathed in to the lungs, it could result in death.  I'm not sure about the ice crystals causing death since I have been out breathing them numerous times, however when the fog is so thick you can become disoriented and possibly freeze to death.  

As the freezing fog settles in, tiny droplets cling to surfaces, creating an artistic wonderland.


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A desert willow branch with summer's seed pods appears elegantly in the subtle lighting.


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A water droplet lies suspended just before it begins to drop from a frost covered pod.  


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The end of a bamboo stick is textured with rim ice.


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Semi-diffused light behind a garden shade creates a glittered tapestry accented with frozen ice particles.



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Muted colors and diffused light highlight a frost covered chicken wire fence, giving it aesthetic appeal. 



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The fog begins to thicken, dropping the temperature. It's time to go back inside to clear the ice particles from my nose with something hot to drink. 


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If any of my readers know of legends of the "White Death", would you please share them in the comment section?




No images on this blog are within Public Domain.






With my Nikon and tripod, my goal is to recreate the scene as it appears in nature, to preserve in a photographic image the awesome, yet simplistic beauty of the scene that waits around a bend or over a hill. Sometimes it's a colorful landscape, and many times I'm allowed in the presence of the numerous creatures that adapt to life in the wild.
 
 All rights reserved, world-wide and images protected by Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). All photography, graphics, text, design, and content is copyrighted by Bonnie Rannald and should not be copied, down-loaded, transferred and re-created in any way without the express consent, in writing to Bonnie Rannald. For information on Bonnie Rannald licensed, right-managed images, please submit a written request.

"Reflecting Nature's Artistry"

Follow this blog for upcoming post!
Photos Make Great Gifts!
Many of these images are available on our website.
We now offer Gift Certificates and Digital Downloads in addition to the
"Off The Wall" custom matted and framed images.




Visit our website at: http://www.bonnierannald.com/