April 16, 2013

The View From Here - November 2012


Clouds and highway Over.... 2012.

by Stephen Johnson

On Aerial Photography: Commercial Flights

I am a deep fan of aerial photography. I am always seeking a window seat and carrying my camera, as I have been for over 30 years.

Flying back from my recent east coast lecture tour, I looked into using an App from my iPad/iPhone called Fight Aware to track the route we flew. As I was exploring it, I noticed I could save the route as a Google Earth compatible .gmx file and save the times and location of the entire route,


San Francisco at Dawn. 2012.

This led me down a path of tracing back some photographs I made along the way of curious sites and some nice compositions. I now have the ability to determine locations, place names and some investigative opportunities to find out what on earth some of these markings on our earth actually were.


Baker Lake, Arkansas. 2012.


Razor Bluff, Colorado. 2012.


Flight Aware Route Screen.


At The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City

A must see if you are in New York City, Faking it: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop is a wonderful exhibition at the Met in NYC thruogh January 27, 2013.


Snapshot: Steve in the White House Press Room. 2012.

A West Wing White House Tour

While in Washington DC last week, I was fortunate to be able to tour the West Wing of the White House. It was amazing to look into the Oval Office and take in all that has happened there. The fate of our nation rests with decisions made in that room.

The Presidential election this year probably heightened that since of history. But I do find my mind keeps coming back to staring into that room, the Oval Office. The fact that it is smaller than all of the wide-angle photographs have suggested, the concrete non-emperor quality of ordinary old paint on old wood, the simple reality of the real space. We were not allowed to photograph on the tour, but the scene made a deep impression on me.


North Portico of the White House from the West Wing.2012.

Just moving around the White House, going in and leaving the tour, brought a core reality to the place that took myth and made the place real. Even the interrelationships of the rooms and space was surprising. It was hard not to photograph, as so much of what I saw contextualized spaces I had never before put together quite right. I was happy to make a few images outside and in the Press Room.


Like most any visitor to Washington DC, I am always taken by my first sighting of the Washington Monument. It seems from almost any view, I keep making photographs of the spire. To say that it's iconic is a bit obvious, but there is something singularly remarkable about it as a form and symbol. I get emotional at the Jefferson and Lincoln Memorials, and particularly at the Vietnam Veterans Wall. But there is something about this towering spire...


The Washington Monument from the Old Post Office. 2012.

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