“Sign of Depression” by Ray Rhodes (Or A Reason To Wake Up Early)
Not everyone is a morning person. The longer I work in the world of photography, the more I realize that us creative types tend to be nocturnal, and therefore not likely to be very functional in the morning. Unfortunately, some of the best outdoor photo opportunities occur during the morning hours. The coveted Golden Hour – that time where the sunlight exhibits its warmest hues – occurs only twice a day: Just after sunrise and just before sunset. But only the morning will introduce light from the east. And only in the morning will you presented with fog – the long sought feature that every landscape photographer secretly has on their shot list. That's reason enough to get up early.
One such early morning shooter is photographer Ray Rhodes, who captured this early morning photograph, Sign of Depression. In fact, Ray shot this so early that the sun is just barely above the horizon. It's position is indicated only by the few subtle rays casting across the barn in the upper left corner. That's really early. Ray's photo benefits from the early morning hours with a great, thick, fog. Fog is a beautiful feature to photograph as it adds such a rich quality to a landscape composition.
For those of you who aren't familiar with the work of Mr. Rhodes, he is best known for his photographs of the rural countryside. Not only does he capture the rich qualities of such landscapes, but he uses the lines to lead the eye and as a compositional tool. Sometimes the lines are subtle, such as the rows of corn or the crest of a hillside. Other times, the lines are blatant like a fence, as is the case here. But in Sign of Depression, I am mesmerized by the way the fence line and the hill side seems to mimic the mass of the fog. It's almost as if the fence is containing the fog. Then as a stark contrast, the distant tree-covered hillside tilts the other direction, as if to dive into the fog covered depression.
If you have been reading Shutter Photo for a while, or if you've been a part of our Flickr group for long, you already know much of Ray's work. But for those of you who are not aware, Ray Rhodes was one of the first photographer's we spotlighted here with an article, The Many Rhoads of Photographer Ray Rhodes. His photograph, Of Darkness and Light, was also included as one of the 10 Most Interesting Photos of the SP@Flickr Photo Pool (2010). It's fair to say that we love Ray's work. We think you will to. So be sure to head on over to Ray’s Photostream and browse his extensive gallery of works. You'll want to add him as a contact as well, because he will continue to pique your interests, moving forward, with new and fantastic photos of the countryside.