"For the artist communication with nature remains the most essential condition. The artist is human, himself nature, part of nature within natural space." Paul Klee

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Sunday Morning Light

Got up this morning at 5:30 and went down the road a piece to the lake. I love that early morning sunrise light. The wide shot was shot at ISO 200, f16 @ 20mm, aperture priority. Camera picked 30th a second. Shot at 6:17am. The close up was about an hour later when the sun came up, camera left, and gave a beautiful glow to the vegetation. Shot at ISO 200, f5.6 @ 135mm @ 30th of a second. Both shots on a tripod. Was home by 8am sipping an espresso.

Friday, July 23, 2010

It's Like a Sauna

Yesterday was another hot one. 95, it rains and then wooof! it's like a sauna! I went down to Brushy Creek park to see if the butterflies would cooperate. They didn't so I snag this and went home for a cold shower. On a monopod at 1ooth of a second, ISO 100, -.o7 exposure compensation, 27mm at f5.6 with a polarizer.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Black and White and Blue

Yesterday I took one of my older boys to Texas State San Marcos to register for fall classes. As he went through counselors, orientation, and other ho hum stuff I walked around campus looking for something to shoot. It was 95, the camera got progressively heavier as I dragged myself around the portals of academia. Not much. I found this staircase inside (air conditioned!) and said "Let's play with this". Dutching the camera left and right I found some interesting lines using the stairs, railings, edges, windows, and the light bouncing around. I then post processed in camera using the Retouch Menu/Monochrome/B&W to see if I needed to change any settings. So this is the shot right from the SD card (sized for web). Shot handheld at 1/25th of a second, ISO 800, f3.5 at 18mm. Whew! and ho hum.

We all know from science class that the sky is blue because of our atmosphere and that the blue wavelengths (475nm) being the shortest are able to scatter like crazy. I've always wondered if our atmosphere was less dense (for want of a better description) would that have allowed longer wavelengths to fly around?, like orange (590nm). How would our spectrum look if the natural color of the sky was cantaloupe? Just a thought, must have been the heat. Here's three pictures using blue as a major component.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

What the heck?!?

I've always loved that "What the heck?!" attitude in art. Images that made me stop and take a second look and think, "What the heck?...and then try and figure out what I was seeing. That visual ambiguity was always very interesting and made me wonder if the artist was inviting the viewer to try and get inside the joke. A few artists that have made me stop and stare include Salvador Dali, Jackson Pollock, Man Ray, Ralph Gibson, Robert Rauschenberg... just to name a few. This attitude, spewed out of abstract expressionism born of dada, is still very much a part of our visual vocabulary today. I look for those hidden images in nature. Sometimes I find them lurking among the brambles and arroyos or maybe just hanging around behind the garbage can in the alley. If it looks quirky and gives me pause, I'll try and make something happen in my viewfinder. And then maybe a little saturation boost in post but always retaining the original captured image.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A Turning Point

Every so often you learn something so totally new that it knocks you for a loop, off your rock, turns you around and spins you in a new direction. I was trying to think of such moments in my journey. At the Art Insitute of Boston (what year you ask, '75 to '76) we studied photography all day long, from 9am to 4pm, five days a week. There were many subjects; chemistry (mixing our own developers), the documentary, journalism, history of photography, the zone system, densitometry to name a few. The composition class was taught, not by a photographer, but by a painter. I forget her name but she taught us how she created an image using line, form, shapes, contrasting/complimentary colors, chiaroscuro, texture, etc. At some point it clicked that I too was creating an image. The word "photograph" took a back seat, it didn't quite convey what we were doing. But "creating an image" did. So I started thinking that I too was an image maker not a photographer. That was a very liberating idea. The photograph was what I held in my hand but the content was an image. A new perspective, a different approach, a turning point.

Monday, July 19, 2010

A Nod to Teachers

Before I go further I must give a hearty nod to three teachers I had for photography. Two at the Art Institute of Boston, Guy Russell and Eugene Richards. And Charles Harbutt at the Maine Photographic Workshop. Photographers I met along the way. Thank you.

Day Two. No Lightning bolts yet.

Day two of my first blog. I'm slowly going over my images and will select a few now and then for posting. I'm hoping that this exercise will one: get me off my duff and look back over thousands of images, some as far back as the sixties and two: create some verbage about the images that makes sense. That may or may not happen. Sometimes I know why I made an image but many times I do not. Guesswork may happen.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Gotta Start Somewhere

That's right, gotta start somewhere. I went to high school during the sixties and had a very hip New York painter as an art teacher. She introduced us to Robert Motherwell and other ny painters. And eventually Monet, Picasso, Kandinsky, the impressionists, the expressionists, dada, futurism, various other isms, and of course the list goes on. As I proceed with this blog I will remember other influences, especially from studying photography for a year at the Art Institute of Boston. The first photographers that really made me look at things differently were Aaron Siskind and Wynn Bullock. Many more to come, I'm sure.

The Water's Fine

Jump in, the water's fine. So here's my first blog. Was it worth it? Don't know yet. I've only been doing this for a couple of minutes. I will be posting some of my photo images and perhaps if I can think of anything clever to say about them...will. But really sometimes when I look at my photos say from last year, I can't remember why I took them. I think the simple reason is that at the time I take a photograph I see something that just looks so darn interesting I have to try and make a image out of it. Sometimes it comes out pretty good...other times...wha? Not so deep? Maybe. The bucket of grey pudding between our ears is quite unfathomable at times.