The disconnect…

that keeps you from being a better artist…

dsc_2437-editLearning and innovation go hand in hand. The arrogance of success is to think that what you did yesterday will be sufficient for tomorrow.

William Pollard

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.

 

This holiday season…

enjoy every moment.

DSC_3355-EditThe past, like the future, is indefinite and exists only as a spectrum of possibilities.

Stephen Hawking

This image brings to a close over 12,000 hits, four years of weekly blog posts, and a whole lot of changes.

I remember writing my first post and agonizing over the image choice and the words to accompany it. Today I realize that choices are just like pathways that we encounter on a daily basis and the more we get in touch with ourselves the easier it becomes to decide which one to take.

Today’s image was taken Christmas morning, just at the point when the sun was able to burn through the layer of fog shrouding the hoar frost covered landscape. It was reminiscent of one of my best selling images, Chair 6, captured from a chairlift on an equally foggy Christmas morning several years ago.

It’s those unique moments when a landscape becomes more than its physical self and is unlikely to ever look exactly that same way again.

For me that might have been the best gift of the day shared with a man who also shares my love for our natural world.

Photographing atmospherics is a passion of mine. It transforms a landscape and creates an image that speaks to infinite possibilities; a perfect image to accompany the approach of the New Year.

Stephen Hawking also encouraged us to be curious and to make sense of what we see, and to wonder about what makes the universe exist.

I am continually reminded to take each day as it comes, to make it count, and most of all, to never take it for granted.

Thank you to all who have been with me from the beginning and to those who have joined me along the journey.

May your New Year be filled with joy and a spectrum full of possibilities!

Winter Solstice…

a perfect time to reflect on the year.

DSC_2745-Edit-2-3Let the dawns

come late,

let the sunsets

arrive early,

let the evenings

extend themselves

while I lean into

the abyss of my being

Joyce Rupp Winter’s Cloak

I love the starkness of a winter landscape when the trees are laid bare.

I love the extra time in the mornings to look at the night sky.

I love the feeling of solitude that comes with ours being the only tracks on a blanket of fresh snow.

For those celebrating the Winter Solstice, I hope your day is filled with peace, love, and joy.

In need of therapy…

take a walk in nature.

DSC_2679-Edit-EditSometimes you stumble across a few chords that put you in a reflective place.

David Bowie

I’m reminded on a continual basis that “time” is not a given and that every moment is precious.

I’m reminded that “home” will never look the same for me as it once did.

I’m reminded that the memories of my “past” will be forever changed.

I’m reminded that all of that is okay.

And all this from a river view of geese in the early morning.

Cheap therapy.

Outside…

of the frame.

DSC_2513Every action of your life touches on some chord that will vibrate in eternity.

Edwin Hubbell Chapin

A hike in the mountains with me isn’t for the faint of heart because rarely is reaching the summit important, and the person that can come with me and take pleasure as well in the findings along the way is a true gem.

The woods are full of stories. Stories of rebirth, life and death struggles, hope and renewal. We found these scars encircling this tree scraping higher and higher. All around were other trees burned, some to charcoal, others merely kissed by flames.

Black bear we figured. We like to think he survived the fire of 2017 but can only imagine how many animals did not.

I had a recent review of a group of five photographs done by an industry professional whose words struck a chord with me. He referenced a serenity and poetic quality in my work and spoke of how most offered elements that existed outside of the frame.

I’m still thinking about those words and how to dig deeper, not just when I have my camera in hand but every day for it’s not just in the image where elements exist outside of the frame. 

Something to think about as this year draws to a close…

And in a moment…

everything changes.

DSC_2238-Edit-3Now Autumn’s fire burns slowly along the woods and day by day the dead leaves fall and melt.

William Allingham

Don’t wish for the season to change.

Don’t stay where you’re not happy.

Don’t wait for a better time.

Don’t forget to say I love you.

Architect…

as a verb.

DSC_1817-Edit-2It is the life of the crystal, the architect of the flake, the fire of the frost, the soul of the sunbeam.This crisp winter air is full of it.

John Burroughs

I watched an inspiring speech by Mathew McConaughey this week, thank you LH for posting it, that talked about being the architects of our own lives. To not do the things that put our souls in jeopardy. To find out who we are not in order to then learn who we are.

Timing…sometimes that’s the critical element that allows a message to really sink in and for me the timing was right to hear words about simplifying my life.

Every time I pick up a camera I choose very deliberately what will be within that framework so why then is it so difficult to use that same process in life?

We are each as individual as the snowflake pictured above. We each value and follow different paths in search of that which brings happiness and contentment. If we were to compare those snapshots of our lives each would look entirely different.

Following along the lines of last week’s blog post of a self-portrait, I am going to spend more time treating my life as a photograph, carefully framing its elements, removing those that no longer suit, and filling it with those things that feed my soul.

Architect as a verb…that works for me.