A little too close to home ...

... simply meaning:

I'm not travelling,


and that has impacted my artistic output.


So, this ongoing Covid-19 pandemic scenario, now coming up to eight weeks of (mostly) self-isolating, could provide fodder for expansions of imagination, finding that diamond-in-the-rough which had long been right under my nose, but that occurs either


  • serendipitously, and the fates have not so smiled upon me, or

  • by forging ahead and just continuing to practise my craft, regardless of inspiration or lack thereof.


The latter has felt ... uphill. But let's see how it has turned out.



Waning Gibbous Moon

So, thinking of things close to hand, the Earth's Moon is never very far away ... er ... visually. Many photographers have tried their hand at it, and that is no reason to avoid doing it again.


Note the slight yellowish tint. This is actually in the Moon-photography literature, and arises, depending on the angle from the horizon and other factors, from the colour of the light refracted through our atmosphere—the Moon itself is simply grey.


I had to hit the astronomy websites and refresh my memory of the names for phases of the Moon. Drop the word "gibbous" at a party, and let me know how it works out.


I made that Moon photograph from my driveway.



First light and bare winter branches (in late April)

You may recall how my father, most decidedly not a visual artist himself (sorry, Dad, you're not), opened my eyes to the beauty of bare branches. I quite rightly rail against the too-many photographers who include excessive scruff in their photos (check your backgrounds and borders), and it takes a bit of meditation to make the distinction between that and this.


For my many local blog-followers, I made this photo at that little lay-by on Highway 2, towards the west end of Maitland, Ontario.



I try so very hard not to have a recognizable style—I really do. The reasons for this and the wisdom or otherwise behind it are other matters, but you will notice in this series a few more "first-light" photographs.


First light over the St. Lawrence River ... and bird

Again, acknowledging that this is entirely my limitation, five minutes later and the light no longer interested me.


I vacillate between not wishing to make another orange dawn photograph, and not being able to resist.


Happily, no two of course are quite the same.


Compositionally, I think that this needs that anonymous water-bird and it's long, skittering take-off. I can't give you a name for that type of object-arrangement, although notice the division into thirds, and the balance of the bird's placement with that of the sun. (And don't tell me that landscape photography is static!)



I wish that I could order fog whenever I want it.


Bogardus Island, Three Sister Islands, Thousand Islands, monochrome


First light, St. Lawrence River

For those who follow me on social media, I made another, more dramatic one on that occasion, a few minutes later. Here at Charles T. Low Photography Studios, my Primary Critic (invaluable, she is) prefers this one. Sometimes a more subtle approach works.



I did finally come up with a specific idea, a project for something I might photograph early one Sunday morning, and while there, ended up also doing three other scenes, and some of which appear above and below, and one of them is the following.


First Presbyterian Church, Brockville, Ontario, pre-sunrise, fisheye

The initially-intended project that morning may appear here eventually, but not today. As usual, Serendipity had not completely deserted me, and the three unplanned projects please me more.


Brockville's iconic First Presbyterian Church, its spires rising over the city, is such a gorgeous piece of architecture. They literally don't make them like that anymore.


(By the way, for localsstand on that corner and compare what you see with what this photograph shows.)



We live on the St. Lawrence Seaway, so freighters trundle by with some regularity, and after several decades I remain in awe of these amazing machines.


Tugboat Albert pushing the barge Margaret

Algoma Niagara, the pointy end of 750 feet of freighter


One of the Thousand Islands of the St. Lawrence River, at dawn


Bear in mind that me feeling creatively stifled means that the above photographs happened over a four week period. The volume has only turned down ... not off.


I would love for you to purchase any of these works, or one from the larger collection.


My sincerest thanks to the larger photographic community. You continue to nourish me and to challenge me. I suspect that you don't always see that happening.


Charles T. Low, Photographer


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