Jim pic 47

This is the last of the trip photos of Jim’s that I’m going to feature, though there’s actually one other image that will appear shortly. For now, we’ll take a look at this rather critically.

First off, I doubt that Jim is considering this his strongest composition so I don’t feel bad featuring it in this manner, but let me ask you: What do you think of it? Take your time.

view across pastures and rolling hills, Badlands South Dakota by James L. Kramer
Here’s my take: I kind of like it, especially with the placement of the tree and the distinct feeling of depth, gently rolling hills giving way to distant mesas. Can you hear the wind? While it almost looks like pasturage – I can see some animal trails through the grasses – there are no fences to be seen, perhaps the reason why Jim shot it vertically. The image is almost perfectly bisected, with the entire upper half taken up with only a gradient blue; the few clouds even enhance the feel of great distance. But I think the emphasis on the sky might be overdone, and I know I would have sought after something very close to put into the lower foreground; that’s personal style, however. On top of that, the color is a bit muted, no fault of Jim’s, but it still makes for a somber composition.

The big question is, how much did you agree initially, and how much did my saying all that alter how you were viewing it yourself? We’re pretty bad about being influenced by what we hear from others. What if I’d spoken instead about a “wonderful feeling of isolation and solitude”? What if I’d used the words “desolation and loneliness” instead? Or perhaps said something about hosting the spirits of Native Americans from times past? Did you take that literally, or metaphorically?

I might bring this up again in a later post, when it’s not directly associated with Jim’s images (who, I might add, did not provide any influences at all when sending these over – I know for a fact that he prefers people to define their own impressions.)

Meanwhile, I’m also struck by how much fun it would be to horse around on a dirt bike across that landscape for a few hours…

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