Showing posts with label GSMNP. Show all posts
Showing posts with label GSMNP. Show all posts

Friday, May 4, 2018

A New Era Begins



A New Year Begins 
Due to the many attacks the blog has moved to this location:
www.worksbystephencarl.com

In 2017 the site had problems with downtime. Multiple hacking attacks and ransom ware issues took their toll. It required a lot of time and effort to reclaim, repair and rebuild everything.
During the process of recreating the site, I had plenty of time to think about ways to make it not only more secure but to improve the content as well. I have given a lot of consideration to my goals for the site and how best to achieve them.
So much of what you see in the world these days is negative. We go about our lives with a list of worries too long to recite. Most of the things on that list are outside our personal control, which only adds to our distress.
In my view of the world, I prefer to focus on the things that are Right vs. Wrong. I choose to see the Beautiful vs. the Ugly and to think about the Best, not the Worst.
As part of this philosophy, I would like my site to be a source of positivity and beauty. A place where people may come to view images of natural wonder, think a few uplifting, positive thoughts and move on feeling refreshed not distressed.
With that goal in mind, in 2018 I am taking the blog in a new direction. My focus will be more on creativity and beauty, less on technical and commercial issues.

As you may know, I am a professional artist working in several different mediums, including photography, stained glass, and painting. I have found that there is a commonality to all these mediums and in my opinion to all art forms.
You must first learn to master the basics, the mechanics if you will, of your chosen medium before you may then strike out on your own to express your unique vision of the world.
There are many places where you can learn these basics, things such as how to use a camera on manual settings, how to cut and grind glass, or how to mix almost any color from a limited number of paints on a pallet.

The “ART” part is what’s different.
How do I learn to see what would make a captivating photo? How do I make it look so natural that people feel as if they were standing inside the scene?
What subject can I paint that has not been done before? What vision of reality can I conjure with oils on a canvas?
What glass panel design can I produce that is not already in a pattern book? What pattern of transmitted light can I use sunlight to create?

To paraphrase Edgar Degas, “Art is easy until you know how.”
The easy part of ART includes the tools and equipment. All these physical things can be purchased, owned and used.
The difficult part of ART is the emotion and vision. These intangible things cannot be bought and are best when shared with others.

So… In this New Year, the focus of this blog is changing in form as well as location. It will speak much more to the ART side of things. We will discuss beauty, vision, creativity, emotion, elegance, grace and the journeys these elements take us on.

5 Ways to Upgrade Your Creativity in 2018


“Great art picks up where Nature ends.”     – Marc Chagall

5 Ways to Upgrade Your Creativity in 2018

1) Purchase a yearlong calendar and plan your creative year.
Buy a month by month calendar that displays beautiful, inspiring photographs. As you flip through the scenes consider what creative goals you would like to work toward this year. Would you like to travel to places you have never been and record new sights? Are you interested in working with night time photography? Would you like to record every sunset for an entire summer? Are there skills you need to develop or improve to attain these goals?
Once you have determined your goals, break them down into small manageable pieces. Do you need to purchase supplies, adjust your schedule, obtain education or coordinate with others in order to make things happen? Set a time table to achieve each of these pieces and use the calendar to mark down your “Complete By” dates.
For example – If you need to purchase an art tool, break the cost into monthly increments. Mark your calendar to save that amount each month. Set your Completion Date for the purchase and mark that date as well. Once the tool has been purchased, mark your calendar with the dates you will use it.
You might decide you would like to photograph every full moon for the entire year. Use your calendar to record the full moon rise time and dates. Plan your schedule to be available at those times. Decide what location would be best to shoot from and list that information as well.
Remember the age-old axiom, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”

2) Be In the Now
After all of this far ahead planning, you must remember to Be In the Now. 
We can only live life in the present, but because the world runs at warp speed with so many things going on all at once, we miss much of it. A customer once asked me where a photo was taken. When I told him he said, “I drive past there every day and have never seen that.”
Today’s accepted focus is multitasking. We try to accomplish three times the chores in half the time. Haven’t we all seen the person driving down the highway while talking on the phone and eating a sandwich? Did they even taste the food?
We must learn to turn off the “autopilot” setting of our life, slow down a bit and PAY ATTENTION to what is going on right NOW. Once we slow down enough to perceive our surroundings, we suddenly notice the striking way the sun highlights those simple trees we drive past every day.
3) Learn Something New
When we do the same thing the same way every day what happens? We take things for granted. We get stuck in a rut. We stop growing. We lose our creativity. How can we become a better artist if we never challenge ourselves to improve by learning a new technique, changing our tools or experimenting with new methods?
Stimulate creativity by learning something new. Try traveling a different route to and from work. Go driving in the countryside and take random turns down side roads to see where they lead. Have you always used Lightroom to process your images? Experiment with On1 Raw or Photoshop instead. Have you always used a three light set-up in the studio? What can you do with only one light? Shoot twenty photos of a coffee mug that are all different. By number twenty I guarantee you’ll be getting creative!

4) Let Go of Negativity
Have you ever said, “I can’t do that?” I bet you have.
The problem is, when you say, “I can’t do that,” you are self-sabotaging. You are taking careful aim and shooting down your creative goals before they even have a chance to blossom.
I’m telling you Of Course You Can! 
The first time you try something you may not be an expert, but how do you think the expert became one? Being an artist is about the ongoing process of creating art. There is a development curve involved. When you first begin your art it will look a certain way. After you’ve spent some time working it will become more polished. Every time you create you learn and grow. The only way to fail at creating art is to stop trying! Can you try? Of course you can!
Another potential pitfall with negativity… other people. Who in your life is whispering into your ear that you won’t succeed? Maybe they don’t whisper, but say it directly to your face or in front of all your friends? Have you been told, “You can’t do that?”
Don’t listen to them! Let go of or avoid anyone who tells you that you can’t accomplish your goals. Surround yourself with positive, supportive people who encourage you to be your best.

5) Revamp Your Space
When you walk into your creative space it should make you sing with joy. It should support and stimulate your creative juices. The space should say to you, “Create something!” It should not make you feel tired, overwhelmed or leave you thinking, “Geeze, I really need to clean up this mess.”
If your space is cluttered, clean and organize it. If it is dark, add lights. Fill the space with things that inspire you to create. Hang some photos of your creative heroes. Post some beautiful images you admire and wish to emulate. It is not about getting it “right” because there is no “right” way to design this space. It is all about customizing a work space that inspires you to do your best creative work.

Apply these five creativity basics and make 2018 your New Year to Create!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Sunrise First Day Of Summer


---BEFORE SUNRISE---

Just before sunrise, the first day of summer looked like this.
It turned out to be hot and muggy but at least it started well.
Since we, in the mid-west, have been having 
August weather in June. I can't wait to see what we get 
when it is really August.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Townsend Wye







--- STREAM DREAM ---


Aside from roads and pathways, I have always been fascinated 
by the shapes and patterns made by flowing water.
Add to those patterns a bit of reflection and we get something beautiful.
This was taken near the Smoky Mountains at the Townsend Wye in Tennessee.
After sitting for a while, watching and photographing 
the patterns change with the movement of the sun,
 I felt that this was the most pleasing arrangement of the day.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The View From Hyatt Lane

 ---Scenic Summer ---

Early evening light falls across the mountains.
Every time I go through the cove I see new things.
This is from Hyatt Lane looking back to the east.
The warm glow, soft light, and great sky 
make it all come together.
All in all, a perfect day.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Spring In The Mountains

---Green Glade---

A cabin in the mountains surrounded by the new green 
of spring with just a touch of warm early evening light
to help with the glow.
We had returned from a long hike around the perimeter of the property,
arriving from the back side of this familiar cabin just in time to 
catch this view in perfect light.
The vibrance of the color is normal for this time of
year. A brief shower came along to remove all the dust
just before this was taken.
A sky of scattered clouds gave a spotlight effect to the scene.
Don't you just love it when a plan comes together?
Even if you did not really "plan" it this way.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Early Morning Light

---Spring On Sparks Lane---

Early one morning last week. We were out on Sparks Lane.
No traffic, beautiful light, still a hint of the fog that had been there.
A classic pathway photo.  
I have always been fascinated with roads, lanes, and pathways.
They seem, to me, to be a metaphor for life.
The road ahead...beckoning, calling us to explore.......
What, I wonder, is at the end of our road.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

New Year


---Frosted Forest---




So, it's a new year and I'm not even going to try to look at my 2009 goals to see how I did. It would be pointless since all that went up in smoke with illness and personal situations which required a great amount of my time and energy. Nothing would be served by my  beating myself up about what did not happen this year!  (although, I know I will be doing it anyway, at least inside, workaholics do that sort of thing)
So, just to make myself feel better, I made a list of those things that I did get done:
*  Two major photo trips covering 7 States
*  Three one person shows, each with 20 + images (all new images)
*   Managed to spend some time house hunting in Tennessee (not  moving yet, just looking)
*   Had my work used as a cover page by the US GAO  
*   Sold 20% more work than last year (but had to work much harder to do it) (darn economy)
 There were a lot of things that I did not get done. Mostly due to the above personal situations, but, all things considered, it turned out good enough. I am just happy to be able to do what I love for a living. When you can do that it is not work.



Friday, January 22, 2010

A New Year





From last week when we had the frozen fog.
After 2 weeks in bed with some illness or other I
am finally back at my computer.

I found this posted by that great author: Anonymous  


New Year:

I am the new year.
I am an unspoiled page in your book of time.
I am your next chance at the art of living.
I am your opportunity to practice what you have learned during the last twelve months of your life.
All that you sought the past year and failed to find is hidden in me;
I am waiting for you to search it out again and, this time, with more determination.
All the good that you tried to do and didn’t achieve last year is mine to grant --
providing you have clearer intention and fewer conflicting beliefs.
In me lies the potential of all that you dreamed but didn’t dare to do,
all that you hoped but did not perform, all that you prayed for and did not yet experience.
These dreams slumber lightly, waiting to be awakened by the touch of an enduring purpose.
Yes, I am the new year.

Enjoy




Monday, December 21, 2009

Holiday Greetings


--- Hillside Frosting ---


Happy Holidays To You All !

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Cove Fire


 --- COVE  FIRE ---

Another in the  "Destruction For Creation" series.
This, with the fire about a third of the way along its path.
It is still in front of me at this point.
Fortunately, the wind is coming from behind and to the right
of me. At about the 8:00 o'clock position and the heat is not too great.
A very wide view would show that the entire left side
is in flame. the only way out is either straight back or to the right.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Destroy To Make New



--- Cades Cove Blaze ---


"Every act of creation is first an act of destruction." 
                Pablo Picasso


The park service has decided to allow the grasses in Cades Cove to revert
to the original grass that covered this area many years ago.
So, they are burning off the "modern" grasses.
So, when this long strip was set ablaze, we made it a point to be on hand.
I was allowed fairly close to the fire.
Close enough to really feel the heat from the blaze.


It was an absolutely unforgettable experience. We were
privileged to be a part of it.
I will be posting more photos from this as I get them processed.







Friday, June 26, 2009

Barn Wall


What a busy month!
The show at Springfield Museum has been taken down.
I count it a success. Lots of great comments.
Thanks to all of you who took the time to come to see it.
I wish that I could meet you all personally.
My next scheduled show is Oct & Nov
at the Gallery at Carriage Hill Metro Park.

That gives me time to work on other projects
and to catch up on printing & shipping orders.

Enjoy



Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Spring At The Ogle Cabin


Although you may not realize it,
the most expensive part of photography
is going on location.
I would love to be able  create a photo like this in 
my backyard. But no, I spend 12 hours driving 
to and from the location just to get this photo.

Leaving Sunday afternoon, driving 6 hours.
a motel room for the night,
work all day Monday for this and other photos,
A motel room for Monday night,
a 6 hour drive back home today.

After all that, I had better come back with good photos.
People think that the cameras are expensive.
In the "old days"  they thought film and processing
were expensive.

Let me tell you. It does not take very many 
trips to and from a location to add up 
to the cost of your camera.

There is an old photo expression,
"F/8 and be there".
Well, the F/8 is the easy part.
The "being there" is the hard part.
The time and $$ part.

If you are just starting in this field,
my advice is:
 always take the time to do it right the first time.

BUT

There are some projects that are worth
whatever it takes to get the photo
that is in my mind.

This was one of those.....
I had this photo in mind for a month
before I had the opportunity to create it.
I knew that the trees around the cabin would
bloom a wonderful white.
I also knew that they would turn green
very soon after the white bloom.
There was a very limited window of 
opportunity to "Be There".
So, multiple trips over several weeks
were necessary.
The weather was a factor, it needed to be
a high overcast day. 
Bright sun  would have killed the delicate
high values of the leaves.
A dark overcast would not have had
the sparkle that I felt the scene
just had to have.
Sometimes, it is all worth while.
I am just glad that I got the right 
combination of bloom & weather this year.
Many of my works have taken years to accomplish.


Monday, April 13, 2009

Fall At The Ogle Cabin


From many years ago.
It does not look like this now.

It is true that all we have to show for
all our experiences are our
Photographs and our Memories.


Friday, April 10, 2009

Gone But Not Forgotten


While looking over some of my old photos....
The ones taken with a film camera.
I ran across this gem.

The barn has now gone back to the earth
and the guardian deer no longer
hang out at this spot.

But once, it was a favorite place of mine.
A place to relax, to watch nature,
and to interact with the natives.

Gone, but not forgotten.


Monday, February 23, 2009

Mountain Memories


A quieter time, more peaceful than the rush
of today.
A time of friends, family, and community.
A time of living in harmony with the rhythms 
of nature.
A time of being close to the God of your understanding.
A time that we all have and hold in our  hearts.
A time brought back to mind by our preserved history.