Success in Failure


I have had a desire to try this for some time. When Pamela and I vacationed in Maui, we went to the beach, just a few blocks from our Condo to attempt to capture a photograph of the spirit of the ocean.

She is infinite and dark, beautiful and terrible all at once. This was the best I was able to do, but it was a first attempt. I like this photo because it represents to me possibility. There is an idea here I want to explore more.

I hesitated posting this because this one of very personal to me, for a variety of reasons.

I have very much favored the work of several notable abstract expressionists, most personally Mark Rothko. His color fields speak to me on a visceral level, something older than I am, something ancient inside of me. I want this photo to feel the same, it does not.

This is also a pretty big departure from the other work I generally do. Though this fits into my travel photography, it is uniquely different.

I consider this photo a success even though it isn’t exactly my intent. Even when we fail, the results can be unexpectedly wonderful!

Crystal Bridges on the Trail

Out Back

One of the fantastic parts of the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville Arkansas is the hiking trails around the buildings. Perhaps the greatest treasure of Arkansas is in fact the outdoors. It is also fitting that one of the nations premiere American Art museums should devote such a grand “space” to nature itself. You can’t help but feel like perhaps the greatest exhibit is outside the confines of the walls of Crystal Bridges and rather out in the open air of the Natural State. One early morning Pamela and I hit the trails and took some photos. You can also see my last color shot of the Crystal Bridges Museum here.

Crystal Bridges

Art in Arkansas

Sometimes people and places can surprise you. The recently opened Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville Arkansas is one of those. It is a sprawling complex with immaculate landscaping and some amazing architecture. We started roaming around the grounds just after dawn and spent all morning walking the trails and touring the museum.

Photographer’s Troubles

I initially had a bit of trouble convincing the security guards that I should be there. The kept trying to shoo me away. The grounds are open from sunrise to sunset, but I found with security personal this can be somewhat open to interpretation. We arrived Saturday night around 6:45 and were told the grounds were closed. Once the sun is below those trees, I close up for the night, one guard told us. I should have issued a challenge (but but but my pictures look better at sunset), but we decided to come back at dawn. This time I argued, nicely of course as these guys are just doing their job. After a short discussion we were allowed on the grounds early Sunday morning.

So Much to See

I will probably be processing several of these shots from the exterior of the museum over the next few months. I have a good number of photos from the trip that could use some work. The new tripod has made a HUGE difference to my workflow. No more aligning brackets, everything is seamless. Further rock solid stability of my Really Right Stuff tripod means I can shoot at ISO 100 making noise less prevalent.

HDR Photography
Crystal Bridges by W. Brian Duncan