Monday, June 30, 2008

Golden Light


Last week was a busy week.
Beginning with a party and drumming circle on Friday to celebrate the solstice.

The arrival of a new printer for my work. A Canon if it matters.

Putting together the class proposal for next fall at the museum.

Taking down my show and re-photographing it all for the new database that I am using to catalog my work. It has been a real problem finding things from many years ago since they were not on the computer. I keep chipping away at that.

So, this week I hope to find the time to get out with the camera and work.

I used this photo: "Golden Light"   to make myself feel better since all we have seen around here has been rain............anyone know what a "cubit" is?    heh



Saturday, June 21, 2008

Talking To The Tree


Did you ever just sit and talk with a tree?
We are alike in so many ways,
Different in a few.
But not enough to matter.

If we listen, the trees will tell us.
About nature....
About their world...
About ourselves...

Listen.....Listen.....Listen

Fishing In The Spillway


A peaceful day...
A fishing pole...
Flowing water...
A little luck...

Welcome Summer.

Monday, June 16, 2008

This Old House

In the days of old when this was new...
Who lived here? 
What were they like?
Did the sounds of laughing children fill the air?

And where are they now?
The early ones?
Who brought a civilized atmosphere...
For a bright but fleeting moment.

Where none existed before.
And where none now exists.


Sunday, June 15, 2008

Neighbors Plant

You do not need to travel far and wide
To find something new to photograph.

A daily walk around the neighborhood
Found this in a yard next door.

Light from sun breaking through
the overcast sky.....15 sec.   Gone.

Good things come to those who walk.
With a camera.....


Saturday, June 14, 2008

Water Of Life


All living things have their start in water.
Looking at this, do you see the reflections,
Or the infinite possibilities? 

Wind Blown

As the tornado sirens went off yesterday...
Neighbors rushed to basements...

I ran for the camera...
Wind through the front yard trees...

Then, I went downstairs.
 

Tree Mask


It is said that in every tree there is a diva.
A nature spirit that brings life to the tree.

On this day, on this tree,
the diva posed for a photo.


Friday, June 13, 2008

The Other View


Have you ever been to a tourist spot?
One of those that have "scenic spot"  signs,
just in case the visitors are too visually illiterate
 to notice a great view.

Have you ever watched as tourists with cameras
lined up at "The Spot" where a famous artist has worked?
As if by being in that spot they could get the same photo.

These people miss the whole point of art.
Art is about creation, not imitation.
Art is not guaranteed by access.
Just because you can gain entrance to the most beautiful
spot in the world does not mean that you can create art there.
There are a lot of bad photos taken in great locations.

The creation process allows you to make 
good work in average or even poor locations.

How to do this?
Well, start by looking for the "Other View"....
The one that other people do not see.
Which way are the tourists looking?
Look the other direction.

What you cannot see in this example
is the crowd of tourists with cameras, 
standing right across the road...
facing the other direction!

Your comments are welcome.
Steve


Thursday, June 12, 2008

Seen Again For The First Time




The "Ah Ha" moment comes when we least expect it.
Just sitting or walking somewhere and, boom.
 The lighting bolt from all the comic books hits us.

I think that we need to be "ready" to receive.
Tuned in to the universe....maybe.
Just start working, even if you don't see anything.
The physical process of starting to work in your medium,
Even if the work is no good. (so, don't judge it, just do it!)
Is the trigger that makes you "ready" to receive.

And when you are ready, you will find yourself....
"In the flow",   almost a working meditation,
A focus on your work that shuts out everything else.
A place where ideas and breakthroughs flow to you.
Where you see familiar things  as if for the first time.

This group of work is an example of that.
I have long lost count of how many  times I have seen,
walked past, gone into, or rested in front of this old mill.
In my analytic mode, I see a tourist photo.
Nothing that I want to bother with.

However, on this day I saw it differently.
Good, bad, indifferent, all of these, 
I really don't care.
I was working well and that is what matters.

Your comments are welcome.
Steve



Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Wood Detail



These look every bit as sharp as film.
Total processing time = 15 min.
Total processing time with film = minimum 4 hours.

Wood detail is a cliché but the reason that things become cliched is that they work.
A good way to test sharpness, and bokeh , and the feeling of image depth. 

One More From The Road

Overcast, just a bit of directional light from the sky.
An old building, preserved for a while.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Mystic Stream


Once in a while, we find ourselves confronted by a
scene so special that we just stop and soak it in.
Wow, Look at that..........or, deep breath, lowered voice,
wow, look at that.......

Leave the camera on the tripod and just sit....
Just sit, see, and feel.....
Allow the scene to permeate our senses...
And when we are saturated by the beauty of nature...

Then and only then should we get up,
Remember the camera, select the lens, F/stop,
Filter, shutter speed, and choose the perfect composition,
To render what is felt into what is shown.

Take a moment if you will, sit at your monitor,
Take a deep breath and join me in the hushed
Spell of this Mystic Stream.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Real World Test




Old cabins and a great line though the rock.
A test of texture, depth of tone, mid tone values,
and the extremes of contrast.
Kids seen through the car window. The one on the right had just taken a photo with her cell phone. Looked up and saw me photographing her.
She looked away but of course the others had to look at me.
That one was taken in B&W mode in the camera. 
Just to see how it worked.
Not too bad for just three photos.

I am not one for testing by taking photos of charts.
Nothing against anyone who does that.
I even sometimes read those reviews.
But, I am a working photographer and I am more interested in how stuff works for the way I work. There is some great gear out there that just does not work for me and the way I work.
What camera gear you use is a very personal decision that has a lot more to do with how you work than how many lenses you own or how many pixels your camera has to offer.
You know, come to think of it, I have never sold a photo of a test chart. :-)

Real world testing as it were. Testing where you see something,
do not have your tripod with you, hand hold the camera leaning against a wall,
hold very steady, let out half your breath, and squeeze.

Real world testing: walking along with the camera on auto focus and av exposure,
a fleeting sight, raise camera, shoot.  Does it work out? Real world test.

A shot through the windshield, no time to focus, sighted down the lens,
only time for a quick shot.  Real world test.

Your comments are always welcome.

Steve

Digital Crop


A large crop from "New Bloom" in the last entry.
This is holding together very well.
I am impressed. 

Who knows, I might even make it into the 21st century.
With a bit of help.

As always, your comments are welcome.

Steve

Digital Work





A few more things from the road trip.
All are digital and look good to me.
Your opinion may be different.

I wonder how large I can make these things?
I normally print 16 x 20 or 20 x24 for exhibition and sale prints.
If these will go that high I will be a happy camper.

Your comments are welcome.

Steve


Digital vs Film


This from the R&R trip last week.
This is on digital and it looks sharp to me.

To me, it looks like the texture and sharpness
is equal to or better than my 6x7 negatives.
Now that makes me stop and think.

Your comments are welcome.

Steve



Thursday, June 5, 2008

Road Trip Images






Just a few things from the get-a-way.
All done on film and scanned.
I will have to see how they print.

 Steve

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Tide Pool


Well, I seem to have solved the contrast problem.
This bloody thing can take a good photo after all.
For a while I was not sure that I could get what I needed in the camera.
While I have great software, Photoshop & Lightroom, 
I have never been one for darkroom work.

I have always thought of myself as a camera person not a lab person.
My idea has been to give myself a flexible negative.
So that I do not need to preform major surgery to get a good print.

I know, "the negative is the score and the print is the performance". ( A.A.)
I agree but, try to taking all that time when you are on a news deadline
or while the client is in the next room waiting to see a print.

In other words, I try to get it on the negative the way I want it.
Or in this case, get it on the CF card.

No offense intended to those of you whose main enjoyment is tweaking in PS.
I am sure that I could get a somewhat better print if I worked it over for an hour or two.
I am just not built that way.
I really want the camera to do as much of the work as possible.

Remember the ferret in the darkroom, see earlier posts?
Well, since I let him out I am not sure that he will ever go back inside,
and that is not a bad thing.
No more squinting in the light and being all out of sorts
from way too much time in the dark.

Steve

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Lighted Pathway


How can we tell if we are on the path?
Here are a few ways to tell.

1) Everyone thinks that you have "lost it".
    You no longer think like they do.
     You "see" things that no one else sees.

2) You wake up at around 4AM with new ideas.
     You cannot wait to implement these ideas.
     You may feel that these ideas were "brought" to you.

3) You would rather do art than anything else.
      Now your friends are sure that you have lost it.

4) Your family and friends try to convince you to "come back to reality".
       They "know" that you can never make a living as an artist.
       They may even think about having an intervention to "save" you.

5) You no longer care what your friends & family think.
      You are going to do art anyway.
       
6) You start talking about being surrounded by negative people.
      You start removing these negative influences from your life.

7) You are now convinced that you are going to make it as an artist.
       You no longer tolerate any negativity around you.
        You begin to surround yourself with like minded people.
        These are usually, but not always other artists.

8) You notice that your art is better.
      You do more art, get more ideas, produce better work.
       You now know that the 4AM wake up ideas are brought to you
 
9) People begin to notice your work.
     You get friends and family saying, " I knew you could do it."
     You do not care. You remember when they "knew" that you would fail.

10) You are recognized as an artist.
        You do not care about this either,
         You just want to work.

If you recognize yourself in at least 2 of these examples.....
    You are on the path.

Steve