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1811_1589 Light Frost at Dawn | by wild prairie man
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1811_1589 Light Frost at Dawn

As the sun broke clear of the horizon on a calm day - I will call it early winter rather than late fall, because we'd already had snow, most of which melted away - my eye was drawn to the sparkling, frosty grasses. Their copper and bronze stalks extended far, unbroken to the horizon. For the next hour I walked and tried to capture a little of the magic, the beauty. Who does close up photos of grass? About the same number of photographers who shoot mosses and lichens, I think. Yet I find something compelling about these drought specialists, the grasses that have claimed these prairie lands from the rain forests that once covered Saskatchewan. (From what I can surmise concerning prehistoric periods and epochs, this area was mostly grassland by about 20 million years ago.)


Every photo involves choices. In this situation, I chose to move in fairly close to the foreground grasses and allow the background to remain not quite in focus. I thought too much detail would be confusing. For this reason I also collapsed the tripod legs to obtain a low POV and raise these grasses above the horizon line. There's no way to know if I missed a more effective way to communicate my sense of the prairie at that place, that moment. We have to shoot it the way we see and feel it.


I think it's a flawed image. I should have removed that one out of focus grass stalk at the left. This is not to say I think it's a bad shot; there's much to like. But if I don't apply the same critique to my own work that I used to do in the classes I taught, I'm letting myself down. I'm not a beginner; I know these things. This isn't neurosis, only a case of wanting to get everything right in an image and create/expand the "legacy work" of my last years. Next!


Photographed in Grasslands National Park, Saskatchewan (Canada). Don't use this image on websites, blogs, or other media without explicit permission © 2018 James R. Page - all rights reserved.

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Taken on November 29, 2018