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Jun 07, 2017
Every Friday morning, a group of artists has been gathering for coffee and breakfast since the 1980's in a little cafe in Amarillo, Texas. I am sitting eating my eggs with the some of the best artists I have ever had the honor of knowing. Across from me sits one of the finest painters I know, Doug Howard. His Comanche heritage is obvious in his raven hair and manner. 150 years ago, Doug and I would have been mortal enemies and had I found myself in this part of the world, I would be very lucky to get out of it alive. But today, I consider Doug a great friend and teacher and we are talking about a painting by Gustav Klimt, a subject as far from the old west as you can get. Time has changed a lot of things in the Texas Panhandle.
This photo is what is commonly called a time stack. I do a lot of time-lapse photography. I love it because my human perception is so time-based. I often don't notice the incredible beauty of the clouds billowing up as they seem to stand still. But compress several hours down to 15 seconds and the clouds suddenly seem alive. Time-lapse photography is sequential photographs, which allow for very high resolution, then each individual frame is used as a frame in the video. There are two advantages to doing a video like this. 1) High resolution, it’s easier to get a higher resolution with cheaper equipment. 2) Controlled exposure.
A time-stack is when you compress all of those photos into one image, using a special technique of blending each photo into the next. The results can be boring or amazing depending on the colors and movement. I find sunsets and sunrises to be the best for doing this. The photo here is some 400 images blended one into the next to create this hyper-saturated look and streaky look of where the clouds are moving. One photograph, 30 minutes compressed into a single image. It's funny how our perception is very time- based. Einstein is reported to have explained his theory of relativity like this, "When you kiss someone you love, ten minutes can seem but a few seconds and when you put your hand on a hot stove, a few seconds can seem like ten minutes." All things are relative to perception. One image: 30 minutes of time-compressed.
This image has a lot of meaning for me. This mesa sits at the bottom of Tule Canyon. I find myself here a lot with my camera. People not familiar with the Canyons of Texas often ask me if it is from Arizona or New Mexico. Just a few miles from this spot around 1874 Col. MacKenzie killed some 1000 of the Famous Comanche Chief Quanah Parker's horses. The death of the horses demoralized the Comanche and ended the Red River Wars. The end of the supremacy of the Comanche over the plains opened the land for such men as Col. Charles Goodnight to settle and begin ranching. The old west isn't just a movie set in the Panhandle of Texas, it's the living breathing history of the land and people.
This image was created from a series of photos used to create a Time Lapse Video.
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