October 22 moody images

Pontiac under the moon in the weeds

In this set of photos, my goal was to capture the mood rather than the image as a snapshot.  The Pontiac under the moon is one of my more complimented images.  I think it would work well as one of a series of notecards. What do you think?

You can see the moon barely visible just above the front left corner of the car in the trees.  It was another one of those hazy, overcast fall afternoons. My goal that day was not to photograph the car.  In fact, it was an after thought. My goal was another set of images of the old Wilton Coal Mine entrance — again here stylized to represent the surreal and even “spooky” mood of that area.

Wilton Coal Mine entrance

Photoshop filters enhanced the natural light and glow of the golden hour to create that warm surreal effect.  In the photo of the coal mine entrance, can you spot the full moon? It’s just above the horizon next to the mine entrance, between it and the tree on the horizon.

This scene is just east of Wilton about a mile.  It captures my imagination every time I see it or visit it because of the old stories I’ve read about life during the mine’s peak — a time when this region of the United States was in its infancy and growing quickly.

Moon glow

Scattered around the pasture are other reminders of days gone by including the old Pontiac.  In a few days I think I’ll have to return to capture more of the imagery, but most capture more of the mood of the region.  The full moon rising only added to the surreal spooky atmosphere.

I dunno. How do you present an image with its natural “feel” by merely pressing the shutter release on a camera.  I believe some crafty artwork applied post processing helps tell the story.

April 11

It’s not easy to find good grazing this time of year, but like these horses east of Wilton, a little bit of green can be found close to the ground.

I found these horses where they live year-round on the edge of the Wilton Mine slag piles,  a ranch/farm that has turned the unusable ground in to pasture.  The slag piles are all that remain of the underground lignite coal mines that once flourished on the east edge of town.  Now the region is agriculture based, farming.  Much of the ground where these horses feed is pasture ground.  Not only are the hilly slag piles impossible to farm, the region is a bit dangerous.  Sometimes a mine shaft will open up and swallow the tractor trying to work the region.  Well, at least it used to be like that.  No tractors have been swallowed that I know of for 20 years or so.  Still, when a pit opens up while a farmer is trying to till the soil, it can cause his tractor or other equipment to fall in to the pit and break an axle.

So, eat on, horses.  The slag piles are good food for you.

January 20

1920 and 2010 Wilton, ND

I’m not sure if it was 1920 when the historic photo was shot. It was not any earlier than that.  Local farmers would come to Wilton with their horses and wagons to haul coal back home.  In fact, there are still trails across much of the prairies where the wagons would cross the plains.  You can see that Wilton hasn’t changed a whole lot,  even though union bosses from back east killed the coal mine business, Wilton still keeps on living.