11/365 : Climbing Brace Mountain

I’ve got some catching up to do. I haven’t posted anything for more than two weeks now. Apologies, folks. I fell behind on posting once a day because was in a rut trying to edit a challenging image that I made on top Brace Mountain. I put myself in pickle that turned into a vinegary frustration that began and concluded with choice — and that is the theme of this post — also, prediction, perseverance, and triumph. More on this later… First, I’ll talk about Brace Mountain and getting up to its peak to take a picture of this breathtaking vantage:

Mike, silent upon a peak in Millerton, July 5th 2016.

On July 5th, my last day upstate with Katie and Mike, we hiked what we thought was going to be a modest mountain, but it instead turned out to be a hot and humid 3-hour trek up a nearly vertical staircase of rocks to a 2,311 ft. summit. And it was great. Wanting a casual hike that offered a nice vantage, instead, we got good, strenuous exercise and the most rewarding 360º view of NY, MA, and CT. We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. Well, Mike did — and he didn’t — remembering the same hike he did with his father when he was younger, though time seemed to have erased a few details and the severity of the mountain’s slope.

As our conversation meandered along the somewhat treacherous trail up the mountain, I spoke a bit about the thought process I go through when making a photograph. We talked about our other photographer friends and the different styles we have developed independently. I went on to say something about how photography relies on the decisions you can make with what is present to the photographer in the moment. That most things are out of his/her control: available light, the motion of objects, weather, etc. Then there are the settings on the camera which the photographer can control — have choice over — for various effects: ISO, shutter speed, and aperture, among others. So my decision on the top of the mountain, was to expose a rather dark image so that the brightest parts of the landscape would retain detail. I exposed for highlights, wanting most detail remain in the darkest shadows, which I could later brighten for a more natural look. This way, there is detail across all parts of the image, and nothing is washed out, or completely black.

When making photographs, I aim to capture the optimum amount of information that can stored on the medium, whether that’s digital or film negative. Because both film and digital can be manipulated appropriately post-capture to fine tune an exposure made in camera to create a finalized image that is closer to the actual than the camera is capable of rendering.

I thought I would offer this information just to show how many myriad decisions that go into making an image — during capture and in processing. And that while many pictures nowadays are over processed and stylized to look better than perfect, understated images or images that are made to look more precise to what the photographer saw while looking through the viewfinder, go through this process of choice and decision. I’m sure this is no revelation, but it’s and important realization I had while editing this photograph, that the choices I made before it’s publishing make it mine.

Here’s a fancy slider to visualize two options:

[image-comparator left=”http://kylemichaelking.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/11-365bracemt-002.jpg” right=”http://kylemichaelking.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/11-365bracemt-003.jpg” width=”100%” ][/image-comparator]

Move this box ☝︎ to see the difference

darker and warmer                   vs                               lighter and cooler


Sunday Arts & Style: Wendy Walker, thrilling Stamford author

Out this week in the Stamford Advocate Sunday Arts & Style section,
featuring Wendy Walker and her latest novel, a thriller, ‘All Is Not Forgotten’

Find the full article here: –> link <–





Clambake on Sheffield Island with Ripka’s At the Beach in Norwalk, CT

Sheffield Island, Norwalk, CT, June 2016.
Sheffield Island, Norwalk, CT, June 2016.

It would seem that a little special treatment comes with the job. On our trip to Sheffield Island to document and report on a classic New England Clambake, we were invited to climb to the top of the historic Sheffield Island Light, which had been closed for renovations since the 80s. This photo was taken from the catwalk around the outside. I was eager to get out there because the glare on the inside was messing with the view. Not only that, we had already been shown around the areas of the house normally closed, I had to see if we could push one more boundary. When I jokingly asked Jim, the extremely friendly Lightkeeper if I could step through a precarious, thigh-high hatch, he replied with a daring cock of the head and a “go for it.” There’s usually two ways around getting to do something not normally allowed — either you ask permission or you ask forgiveness. When you’re 50 ft. up and 2 miles from shore and you don’t own the boat that got you there, ask permission first.