0508: Choices

IMG_1372_01_LR_12Another trip to the quarry produced some interesting results. These first two images are typical of the choices to make – take some or all of the color away, as in the image above with its simplicity and its focus on form and shape, or strengthen the existing color with boldness, as in the image below. Two different takes on the same small brachiopod.


This local quarry seems to have almost all fossils appearing just below the capstone creating a layer I think to be a few feet deep. Below that is stone that breaks often just from attempting to pick it up. That seems to be what is dug the most – more easily crushed for gravel.

IMG_1214_01_LR_12Thanks to an age old process of mineral rich water leeching down through the rocks, the mineral stains can be breathtaking. Almost like blowing bubbles, any attempt at handling these rocks is totally fruitless. So these rocks, now a new subject for investigation, can only really be photographed on site.

IMG_1211_01_LR_10How can you ignore or minimize colors like this. Seems they should be relished and emphasized.


IMG_1407_01_LR_10Thirty feet above those splashes of color sits the capstone which that day provided me with this next set of images – the gastropod above followed by four individual brachiopods, easily the most abundant fossil type found there. Today they called for a completely different treatment.






10330421_10202919648730502_5523160945801604763_nMy good friend (and brilliant artist) Allen Bryan had an opening in NYC a few days ago. Work from his Comforts of Home series is currently on display through May 31 at:

Soho Photo Gallery
15 White St.
New York, NY
(212) 226-8571

The work on display is really quite compelling. I would recommend to all my city friends to find the time to pay a visit to this show.


So I began this post musing over color versus colorless. I’ll finish with city versus country. Down the street from the gallery I spotted this wonderful graffiti:

IMG_2927_01_LR_10The following morning, at an intersection down the road from my studio, this is what I found:

IMG_1311_01_LR_10It’s a different life up here!

Thanks for the visit.


1 thought on “0508: Choices

  1. 1. Thank you for alerting us to the work of Allen Bryan, whose work I find intriguing.
    2. I really like For Sale by Owner. How you were able to create a composition before the dog moved is amazing.
    3. If I ever doubted that graffiti could be art, I no longer do. Thanks for this.
    4. I like all your treatments of these fossils, but the color (especially in the second photograph) may tug at my heart a little more than the monotone.
    5. That breakable rock is shale, isn’t it? Sure looks like the broken shale I find along the banks of Ohio’s Vermilion River. And the mineral-rich water? I’d bet anything it’s carrying benign iron bacteria. These microbes oxidize and concentrate the iron they find in the water (which leaches out from microscopic iron pyrite in the shale), and the iron-oxide deposits (called flocs) then sink to the bottom of the water column. That accounts for those rusty patches you see on the rock. I’ll bet you often see the iridescent films of Leptothrix discophora on nearby puddles, too. L. discophora is one of the iron bacteria (my favorite). Sorry if this is TMI; the iron bacteria are a passion of mine.

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