Caustics… envelopes of light waves reflected or refracted from a curved surface and projected where they can be visualized. Some of the earliest drawings were done by Leonardo Da Vinci, as he drew reflected caustics from a circular mirror in his notebooks.
I’ve photographed these types of images for years, drawn to them perhaps because of their transient nature. Fleeting, ever changing, flashing prisms of color—they’re related to rainbows.
My father, who was an artist, would have enjoyed this conversation but he’s not here. He died twenty years ago and even after the passage of two decades, I keep him close. He wasn’t perfect, but he loved me and made sacrifices in his role as a father.
Fathers…they step up in ways that can go unnoticed. They stay when they shouldgo, they give when they should take, they abandon dreams in their quest to provide security.
Happy Father’s Day to the amazing men who are fathers, or filling in for fathers. You make the world a better place!
Nature is ever at work building and pulling down, creating and destroying, keeping everything whirling and flowing, allowing no rest but in rhythmical motion, chasing everything in endless song out of one beautiful form into another.
I love a good storm. There’s something about it that makes you feel alive. It engages all of your senses in a way that never happens on a sunny, clear day.
Clouds scud across the sky and if you’re lucky some of the more unusual cloud formations appear. These mammatus clouds appeared ever so briefly, perhaps 4 minutes, but it was amazing to watch them develop and slip away into a swirl of gray.
So excited to add them to my ever growing collection of clouds.
My wish is to stay always like this, living quietly in a corner of nature.
What if you could live a quiet life? How much of the stuff around you do you really need? How much of it actually brings you joy?
I’ve been on a mission for the past couple of years to simplify and move towards living quietly. It’s so easy to get caught up in the stuff and to form attachments to things that have long ceased to enrich your life in any meaningful way.
Another component of this way of living is being mindful of time. How do you spend your free time? Who do you spend it with? Are you stretched thin accepting every invitation that comes your way whether or not it’s something that you really want to be doing?While it is important to not be closed off to human interaction, to get out and to interact with people socially, it’s also okay to say no to doing everything.
How does this relate to photography? I make conscious choices when heading out the door to shoot. I don’t need to carry every lens in my arsenal and just that very act jump starts the creative process, sets the tone for the images.
“First you must have the images, then come the words.”
Robert James Waller, The Bridges of Madison County
I photograph first and then I write, for it’s the images that speak to me.
I rarely go out with expectations of what I’m going to photograph. It’s far more interesting to look around and see what’s there, which was how I ended up under this bridge. I can’t even begin to estimate the amount of travel this bridge sees as it leads to one of the most picturesque mountain sites in the country.
Great movie, by the way, the Bridges of Madison County. Written in eleven days after the author spent some time photographing bridges proving once again that inspiration can come from the most simple of events.
Light is meaningful only in relation to darkness, and truth presupposes error. It is these mingled opposites which people our life, which make it pungent, intoxicating. We only exist in terms of this conflict, in the zone where black and white clash.
Looking at this image makes me think that there really isn’t much hope for humanity. The simplest concept that the earth could go on without us but that we can’t survive without its natural resources seems to elude a large percentage of the population.
Perhaps those are the same ones that love to dwell in conflict. Where everything is never enough and the concept of accountability is just a word that’s too long to pronounce. The conflict becomes too intoxicating to put down and common sense falls by the wayside.
But I digress…
I”ll likely not be around in 50 years but those tires sure will be.
Learning and innovation go hand in hand. The arrogance of success is to think that what you did yesterday will be sufficient for tomorrow.
So many of my blog posts lately stem from some great conversations that start out having nothing to do with photography. Like this one about how we learn and how the ability to see ourselves or our artwork with any degree of objectivity molds our progress, dictates whether our work evolves or stays stagnant. Weighty stuff over a morning coffee perhaps but that’s exactly the kind of spark that ignites my creativity.
It’s easy to get lulled into a false sense of security when you have supportive friends and family “liking” and “commenting” on your latest work. For me that’s an essential part of a supportive journey and greatly appreciated, but it has little to do with reality. The reality part is my responsibility.
This time of year I really like to take a hard look at my body of work and see how it’s grown over the year or even better, decade or more. That gives me the information that I need to continue to grow, to see the nuances in my work, and to be a better artist.
Some images still hold the test of time and can be pulled into current work easily while others show the importance of being able to turn a critical eye on your own work. We all have them, those ones from years ago that make you wonder what you were thinking. It’s good to have those reminders that hopefully show you how far you’ve come.
And that’s why some people move forward and create better work, while others stay exactly where they are. That disconnect in the ability to recognize what you do know and more importantly what you don’t because it’s recognizing that that propels your work forward and keeps you from stagnating in a pool of murky pond water.
Because you know…it’s (almost always) about the water.