Dallas to Fort Worth
October 8, 2005
Photographs Copyright 2005 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved.
Now, the inevitable words....
his didn't start out as an eXperiment, just a beautiful autumn day.
I needed to pick up a photo that'd been in the Art the Metroplex show at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth. That's where we turned around and drove home after eating at the Chinese Japanese fast food.
The yellow ladder is over TCU's loading dock. Their hallway + door is above that, after the bridge over the Trinity, just off the Turnpike. I'm thinking I might enter those two and one other from this page in next year's AiM show — I like putting pix of buildings in those buildings.
After four years, my trusty Sony F707 is still my only camera. Naturally, I took it. Even though it's lately been making images that look perfect in the viewfinder but a couple stops dark when I bring them up on the monitor.
So this was a test to see if the camera exposed on target in Auto mode, where they usually look too bright. I rarely use Automatic, I'm into total photographic control, among others. Like to take my time, compose precisely. Till the viewfinder started lying.
That day — Saturday October 8 — I kept it on Auto and shot whatever that struck my instant fancy in the time I had, racing down the highway. From here to there and back again. It hardly mattered what I shot. It was just a test, a game.
It was fun, fast, semi-automatic shooting, putting up when the camera finally decided to shoot after seconds-long digital lag; Trees suddenly filling the frame just when I got the composition perfect; focus six miles away; everything straight turning crooked.
Slower in town; faster on the highway. Accidental art.
Sometimes I got a little lead on my subjects. Often they came out of left field. I always shoot Six Flags when I drive by. This time it was easier, and I get more shots when Anna's driving.
Not much wide-angle use here. Tele makes life more graphic, includes less windshield.
I'd still prefer manual. But as is plain above, auto mode did well. That full, rich tonality is amazing. I sometimes brighten images too much. I was careful to keep these close to their original density.
I'm amazed at the results. I'd been hoping to start my site, this site, off with a photo series or essay. But until after I'd shot this bunch, I didn't know which.
I like that it's a round trip through two distinct cities that many people lump into DFW, as if Fort Worth's small-town feel and lumpier clouds somehow matched Dollars, Taxes' big-city's [pseudo] sophistication. Like nobody knew that all of Dallas' best museums are in Fort Worth, or that Dallas' dying downtown was somehow equal to Fort Worth's lively population center.