“I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, not the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.”
This wise and true Biblical observation, which I’ve always kept in my back pocket, so to speak, applies to photographers, too. Time and chance make a mockery of my sweatiest attempts to achieve some great image, while they (very) occasionally turn some obiter snaptum into something much better.
Of course, the Preacher didn’t count on post-processing, the great leveler. Let’s have a look at my most recent sweaty attempts to capture the great beauty of the Marywood University campus. This time I wandered lonely, as a cloud, over the campus: these images are in no coherent order.
I am not embarrassed at all by the image I captured of a Marywood banner against fall colors (figure 2). Time and chance chanced to be on my side here. I’ll be back to this tree, as it offers good possibilities. A blue sky would be nice.
The wee copse (figure 3) looks much better close-up in high resolution. But that would eat up my month’s allotment of storage on WordPress.
During my walk yesterday I disciplined myself to stick to wide-angle shots. This mural (figure 4) managed to keep to focus for its entire length. Yay, time and chance!
Again, the hazy white sky didn’t help much, so I filled my viewfinder with rich reds and greens with just a slash of sky between them (figure 5). I put an orange lens filter on this image in post, but the leaves really are this bright.
I don’t use the inpainting brush as much as I should. But here I had to extirpate one of those yellow ‘do not cross’ tapes to keep folks off the grass (figure 6). Ex-tape-ate?
Here I was in the editing equivalent of a badminton game where I was playing both sides. A dark, contrasty image of the sort I like cast everything but that sky into deep shadow. Low contrast, as here (figure 7), looks, well, low-contrast, not to my taste. And so I went back and forth. In the end I decided to make lemonade out of the lemons when I realized the lowering of contrast and lightening of all the colors lit-rally couldn’t make the blown-out sky any worse. Maybe I’ll go back and burn in the colors a bit when I feel less lazy.
This young fellow (figure 8), who might fool us into thinking he was from a very prep 1955, has an iPhone to guarantee his up-to-date credentials.
I’m sure they’re reading Ecclesiastes, but I’d like to think they’re raptly poring over Ancient Greek verb paradigms (figure 9). λύω, λύεις, λύει, λύομεν, λύετε, λύουσι for a start. That’s the library, the Learning Commons, in the background.
Who can resist berries? Well, these are probably poisonous, but who can resist photographing berries (figure 10)?
There are a number of arts in the Italianate Garden fronting the Learning Commons. I’m told they are student works, which is really impressive. There is a common thread, however, of glass inserts and metalwork which I suspect goes back to the art teacher. This work (figure 11) has a giant piece of crystalline clear raw glass barely visible to the right of the piece of split granite.
Soon enough there will be reds and golds everywhere, but at present green foliage is still the norm around here. So you’ll forgive me for indulging myself in delight over these first, tentative displays of autumn color (figure 12). My favorite season!
13 photos for Marywood XIII! Let’s hope time and chance do not destine me to get run over by a bus! This statue (figure 13), by the way, is an example of monumental work created out of funerary art. The lilies in Casimir’s left hand are par for the course in statues of mourning figures, and the outstretched right (holding flowers to drop at the grave) is another typical pose you see over and over in the cemeteries. It’s interesting, too, that Casimir appears to have been adapted from a female figure. There’s a giant parking lot behind the statue and I’m embarrassed to tell you I took a photo at eye height with the lot in full view before I had the wit to get on my knees and let the shrubberies cover it up. Sheesh.