Just…

be.

DSC_1848Dream, struggle, create, prevail. Be daring. Be brave. Be loving. Be compassionate. Be strong. Be brilliant. Be beautiful.

Caterina Fake

It’s been a long time since I sat at this desk and it feels really good.

I’m taking time to be.

To enjoy the colors of fall. To inhale the scent of leaves as they change from green to bright red, yellow, and orange.To gaze upon the sunlit waters where the salmon spawn.

But most of all. I’m taking time to just breathe.

 

Photography…

and the photographer’s vision.

dsc_9659The goal of abstract art is to communicate the intangible, that which eludes the photograph and normal seeing.

Curtis Verdun

Hmmm, but does it?

I think that photography is often underestimated and I have found it to be an incredibly complex and fluid medium.

I believe that you could line up a dozen photographers in any setting and come away with a dozen distinctly different images and that to me is one of its inherently beautiful traits.

I don’t know what you might see when you look at this image but for me it encapsulates the beauty of one river from its garnet sands to the play of light on the rippling currents.

My style of shooting begins with a focus on the larger picture and from those images I begin to focus down on the elements that to me speak the loudest.

Sure, I could have photographed the river, as a river, but for me it’s more about the feeling. I like to really pare things down until you simply cannot remove another element.

What thoughts go into your images? When do you feel like you’ve captured the image?

Expressing energy…

can be as simple as losing focus.

dsc_9903-2The modern artist… is working and expressing an inner world – in other words – expressing the energy, the motion, and other inner forces.

Jackson Pollock

Much is made of “tack sharp” imagery in photography and how to achieve the sharpest of detail.

Yet, in the world of photoshop and beyond, there are a myriad of filters to plop over your image to change it into something else.

I’m still holding firm that the image should be created with intention in the camera itself. I think that it is the only way to truly develop a body of work that you are connected to.

I was recently asked to participate in an upcoming exhibit that will be showcasing photographers with distinctive styles. That to me was a huge compliment.

The image above is one that I painted with my camera. In other words, I used soft focus and the motion of the water to create an image that for me highlights the kokanee spawning.

It’s life and death drama with the males staking out the best “beds” for the females to lay their eggs. They defend these beds against other males and towards the end of the spawning it’s rather like two old boxers duking it out in the ring, clutching each other and too tired or injured to do more than go through the motions.

The next time you pick up your camera spend a little time thinking about what you want to say with your images. Play with your focus, your depth of field, change a lens!

I paint with my camera, what do you do?

Explore…

other artists and at the same time, challenge yourself!

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Chaos in nature is immediately challenging and forces a good artist to impose some type of order on his or her perception of a site.

Wolf Kahn

I was taking a pastel class and our teacher, for the week’s homework, sent us out to paint…of all things…landscapes!

I was horrified and almost got queasy at the thought of attempting a landscape. “You don’t like landscapes,” that inner voice whispered in my ear. “You will most definitely fail at this assignment.”

Dreading the onslaught of things that would soon be bombarding my senses I decided to do a little research and see if I could find anything that resonated with me before heading outside with paper and pastels.

I discovered Wolf Kahn and immediately fell in love with his view of the landscape. This was something that I could relate to. The colors were bold and the subject matter was just abstract enough to make me believe that I too could choose to see things differently.

It was a turning point in the way that I began to use my camera; more as a paint brush that could move and meld images into the way that I would love to see them. Not always as they were but as they could be!

I am eternally grateful to that teacher and mentor, that talented artist who was able to see that pastels were not where I needed to be and that it was okay for me to spend my time in class repeating my work with my camera.

Those pastel classes freed me to accept my love for the camera and to commit to following that medium wherever it would take me.

This is a landscape. These are birch trees. They calm me and at the same time send my imagination soaring.

Don’t be held back by preconceived limitations and be willing to step out of your comfort zone and explore other mediums. You might be surprised at where it leads you and the friendships that you might build with other artists.

I envision some day doing a show with a group of artists all looking at the same “scene” and then interpreting it in their own medium and own style. I think it would be fascinating.

And for those who take the time to teach and encourage what they see in others artistically, I am incredibly grateful.

Thank you, Nan…