Skip to content

Posts from the ‘artistic’ Category

The ongoing quest…

IMG_0656-Edit-1

I love the exercise of finding something beautiful among the seemingly mundane. It’s a great way to keep my photographer’s eye in shape–continually training it to see the forms, colors, and textures that come together to form an artistic composition. You’ll notice I use the word “training” and “exercise.” The quest to better my photography in this way is never-ending. Which is just fine with me. It’s a journey, and as a photographer, I enjoy every step along the way.

Advertisements

Life as Art….

IMG_6101-Edit-1

 

One of my favorite themes as a photographer is to try to create images that capture the artistic essence in the natural world. Art, as they say, truly is in the eye of the beholder, so  what resonates with me is completely subjective. Like any artist, I accept that premise and, while it’s a pleasure when I can strike a  chord with those who view or follow my work, it is not acceptance that drives me. Photography for me is an inner passion, an outward expression of thoughts, feelings, and emotions as I find them reflected in a subject or composition.  High minded? Perhaps. Is this image a picture of a cactus, or does it represent a beautiful symmetry of purpose, each geometric row of needles aligned in a perfect tactical position to defiantly defend this succulent life form against harm? The answer is, it is both, it’s more, and it’s whatever you see in it, as well. This is why I love  photography; this is what moves me to create. Hope you enjoy…

Frozen in time…

Frozen in time

To me, here’s what’s really profound about photography: the ability for a mere mortal to capture a moment and freeze it in time. On its face, this might seem rather self-evident, but truly, when you think about it, you are capturing an image in a completely unique manner–once the shutter opens and closes, it will never again to be seen in precisely the same way, by the photographer or anyone else.  The frozen drops above are a perfect metaphor for this idea–the leaf and water molecules are frozen in time literally, and figuratively. No human being will ever again see exactly what I saw that morning,  but using my camera as a visual vessel, I have trapped the artistic moment forever. Pretty cool, if you ask me. Hope you enjoy…

How less can be more…

IMG_2686-189-135

 

Sometimes as photographers, we are caught up in the pixel race… the charge to fill every available micro-pixel with information so our pictures have that WOW effect, as if maximizing pixel data somehow relates to photographic  quality. But creatively speaking… sometimes less is more. In this shot, taken at the Pacific Coast near Malibu, I took a break from shooting the gorgeous rocky blue coastline to turn and see the sun just peaking over the hillside before sunset. Ordinarily, shooting directly into the sun is a no-no…. with crazy lens flare and volatile metering making a quality exposure near impossible. However,  in previsualizing this shot, I realized it  had the makings of a nice silhouette. I snapped off a few frames, and later, with a bit of post processing, was rewarded with this final shot. Am bothered by the vast amount of negative space? Not really… in fact, all the black just help train the eye straight up to the top of the peak, where the bright rays shooting through the trees capture that fleeting penultimate moment, just before the sun disappears for the day. Hope you enjoy…

Winter’s WOW factor…

IMG_0077-1

 

Autumn seems to be all about color. Once those green tones of summer begin to evolve into shades of orange, red, rust, and yellow, photographers (me included) leap to our feet, run about madly and try to soak up the color like a sponge–often shooting hue, instead of true composition. You can’t help it, and I am as guilty as the rest. But then December kicks in, and those remaining leaves are dull brown, the skies often turn blustery or gray, and we are left wondering where it all went.

Luckily, the onset of winter brings another dazzling subject–those dusky winter skies. I am no meteorologist, but I assume the tilt of the earth’s axis as we enter the winter solstice gives the sun’s rays that searing ability to blaze through the clouds and offer some of the most gorgeous, breathtaking sunsets of the year. No matter what the scientific reason, I am literally gasping for breath every time a scene like the one above explodes on the landscape, making even an ordinary setting like my backyard look like a scene-stealing broadway star. Now, that’s WOW factor! Hope you enjoy…

Decisions, decisions…

 

Today is decision day for the United States, so I guess it seemed an apt metaphor for my post this morning. By the time we all go to bed tonight, we’ll have the outcome  to what seems the longest running campaign in history, and most people I talk to simply say they’ll be happy when it’s over, already! So, speaking of decisions, my image today is another one I captured on the Kelby Worldwide Photo Walk a couple of weeks ago, and I am actually very pleased with the end result, based upon a lot of decisions I made on how to develop it.

This was a situation where I definitely previsualized a dramatic black and white image from what I saw as strong graphic lines with this bird in silhouette.  As I moved the image in various phases of post processing, I got closer and closer to something that felt dramatic and striking. I could have gone with an absolute white/black graphic design, but instead, the deep silvery gray lent a moodiness to the work that just seemed “right.” All these post-processing decisions are part of what makes a photographer’s work unique and a statement of art–which is why, as a form of expression, it never gets old to me.  This image started out as  a simple bird on a ledge, but ended up as something much more. Hope you enjoy…

Velveteen petals…

The power of photography lies in its ability to communicate a story or, even simpler,  the sensual essence of a subject to the viewer. Today’s essence is “soft.” I hope you can feel it as well. Enjoy…

 

Petunias bedazzled…

I recently read another photo blog that was discussing the art of shooting ordinary objects and through the photographer’s eye, creating something extraordinary. This theme really resonates with me; I often find myself yearning to act on my creative impulses photographically, but finding myself “limited” to house and home. I say “limited” in quotations because I am using that term in an ironic sense. There really is nothing limiting about photographing your everyday environs. In fact, as I have said here before, it’s perhaps the highest form of challenge to seek and find creative subject matter right under your nose, as compared to iconic national park scenes or exotic wildlife on safari. (Not that I’d turn down a chance to shoot either!) My subject for today is my very non-exotic petunia pots on my front porch. They’ve been bedazzled with a soft misting bottle to create a little sparkle and drama. I also experimented with some depth-of-field layering, and while I have a lot more to learn about that technique (this is my first attempt), I think it holds some real creative possibilities especially for macro photography. It’s always exciting when you teach yourself something new. So to get back to my original point, as a photographer, whether you are born with a photographer’s eye, or you develop one over time, take that eye, and make sure you really “see” the world. It’s right in front of you. Hope you enjoy…

Nature’s canvas…

If Jackson Pollack worked in pine needles (haha)… hope you enjoy.

Beckoning…

The title of this post holds a couple of meanings for me. The primary one is purely emotional; the sea and the beautiful windwashed tree create an inner pull that makes me yearn to be standing at this spot once again, on the outermost edge where California meets the vast Pacific–a stepping off point from land to sea. There are few places that hold such beauty as the wild Pacific coast. The second meaning of the title relates more to me as a photographer. This image, no matter how pleasing, doesn’t begin to truly capture the scene as I recall it–it’s a mere snippet of the view I experienced. Perhaps the ocean will always be a challenge… its vastness, its smell, the roar, the feeling of moist, blustery sea spray… How can one photograph capture all that? Perhaps it can’t, and yet, as any photographer can attest, we continue to push the limits of our technology to bring a little piece of such landscapes home with us. And so, the Pacific Coast beckons me as a photographer to return, to try again, to stay longer and to try harder to illustrate this immense beauty in my own art.