My camera is a time machine

Gary Hart Photography: Sunset Pastoral, Sierra Foothills

Sunset Pastoral, Sierra Foothills (2015)
Sony a7R
Tamron 150-600 (Canon-mount with Metabones IV adapter)
.6 seconds
ISO 100

Photographers frequently complain about what their camera can’t do, and take for granted the things it does well. A lot of this is a frustration with the inability to duplicate the world the way we see it. But honestly, what fun is that? My favorite photographs are those that show me something I might have overlooked or were not visible to my eye to my eye at all. As someone who tries to photograph a world untouched by the hand of Man, I particularly love the camera’s ability to return me to simpler times, reducing a scene to its essence by subtracting reminders of human incursion.

Gary Hart Photography: Tequila Sunset, Sierra Foothills, California

Tequila Sunset, Sierra Foothills, California (2005)

I recently returned to this small stand of oak trees huddled atop a hill in the low foothills east of Sacramento. Since I first photographed this scene over ten years ago, the peaceful country road “my” hill overlooks has evolved into a bustling artery for oblivious commuters. More recently, fencing has sprung up and an arcing dirt road has been carved into the hillside, a harbinger I fear of an impending subdivision. They’re everywhere up here now, these cookie-cutter developments with meaningless, corporate-crafted street names (Aspen Meadows Drive, Teakwood Court), devouring this once bucolic setting like a stage-4 cancer.

Despite the distractions, my camera’s “limited” vision instantly returns me to more peaceful times. Gone in a shutter-click are the highway’s roar and choking exhaust, while the encroaching suburbs are banished by the narrow view of a telephoto lens. And that scar of a road? It disappears in the shadows of the camera’s narrow dynamic range.

Photo workshop schedule

Celebrating the camera’s “limited” vision

Click an image for a closer look and slide show. Refresh the window to reorder the display.

4 Comments on “My camera is a time machine

  1. Great article! I am interested in your spring trip to Columbia Gorge, Oregon you usually do in April but don’t see it on your schedule for 2017? Thanks R. Gray

    Sent from my iPhone


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