A quiet moment…

in unquiet times.

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I never paint dreams or nightmares. I paint my own reality.

Frida Kahlo

There’s a beauty in moving forward that cannot be achieved by taking the path of least resistance.

Often the things that you fear the most never come to pass and the unimaginable becomes the reality.

For me photography is a meditation that both calms and inspires me.

This intimate landscape reminded me so much of a painting done by my father. So much so that it felt like I was seeing it through his eyes and once again my camera became the brush with which I paint.

Breathe in, breathe out.

Hand eye…

co-ordination.

DSC_5451-Edit-EditPhotography is like a moment, an instant. You need a half second to get the photo. So it’s good to capture people when they are themselves.

Patrick Demarchelier

I’ve had some interesting thoughts on photography lately and not just about subject matter but how everything pulls together to capture that image.

I’ve had some opportunities lately to photograph some more environmentally themed portraits. People photography is not something that I usually gravitate towards but capturing people engaged in something that brings the light from with-in outwards has been extremely satisfying for me.

I find myself enjoying crafting how I want that image to come out and at the same time getting some exposure to new things like the speed bag.

I don’t want to be one of those photographers who can’t carry their own gear and can only shoot from a standing position because my body can’t move, so for me that means continuing to incorporate more, and more varied, physical training into my life.

I have never tried punching a speed bag before and wasn’t sure that I would even be able to do it having been told by my eye doctor that I don’t track objects coming towards me with any degree of accuracy.

What I found though was somewhere along the way, all this daily shooting has bridged that gap and my focus and timing has improved. It only took one session to realize that this is perfect conditioning for a photographer. Not only does it build and tone muscle in your arms but it greatly improves the hand/eye co-ordination so valuable to the photographer. You’ll also see improvements in cardio by doing timed sets of 3-5 minutes followed by a minute break.

If that’s not enough there’s the rhythmic sound of the bag striking the platform…almost as seductive as the click of a shutter.

A memory of my father…

in frozen rain.

DSC_5494Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you.

Frank Lloyd Wright

This image just reinforces for me why I love winter so much.

I was awakened by the sound of wet snow sliding off of my metal roof; the snow having turned to rain sometime during the night.

I treat almost every surface as a canvas and on this morning my eyes were drawn to the image of a forest, etched in frozen rain, on the plastic side window of my Wrangler.

It was reminiscent of the trees that my father would carve with a palette knife into his acrylic paintings. Many years after his passing I still use that palette knife to carve into my encaustic paintings of photographic images.

Stay close to nature, it will never fail you.

 

Winter’s simplicity…

a perfect reminder to stay calm and let nature provide the drama.

DSC_5063My heart is tuned to the quietness that the stillness of nature inspires.

Hazrat Inayat Khan

This image is exactly how I like my drama; at the hands of nature.

I’ve been thinking a lot about serenity lately and how important that is to me.

How social media is frequently not that social and how often each day we have the opportunity to be pulled into drama and chaos.

This year I want to be inspired. I want to surround myself with simplicity and the clarity that comes with that.

That goes for relationships too. I want to spend more time connecting with people who share the same values.

If you’re in a space right now that feels like rock bottom take a moment and focus on just one beautiful thing and trust that a change will come.

It will…

Sometimes it’s the little things…

that make all the difference.

DSC_5017The stronger a man is, the more gentle he can afford to be.

Elbert Hubbard

We look at images for many different reasons but what compels you to go back to a single image over and over again?

On this day with temperatures in the single digits, I wasn’t outside alone photographing my tiny, intimate landscapes. A first for me, I had a willing participant and the captured image that I loved the most from that morning wasn’t one of the tiny frost covered bubbles, a single snowflake, or an elegant forest of hoar-frost.

I keep going back to this one because it speaks to me of quiet strength and confidence. This is a man who is far more comfortable dead-lifting in a gym, teaching self-defense moves, or performing choreographed fight movements; a kung fu style of moving meditation.

Yet he was a willing participant in my morning single digit temperature photo shoot. That willingness showed me a strength that I had to turn my camera towards. It was one of those moments in photography where you think you’ll be shooting one thing but something else happens.

I think photographers tend to be solitary by nature but having someone to share the beauty of the frozen landscape with, in the moment and not just by a later shared image, was a new experience for me.

First tip of the new year…stay fluid and look for moments. Your image of the day isn’t always going to be the one that you planned!

I have a feeling that this year is going to be very interesting.

Christmas morning…

in my place of magic.

20171225_090052-Edit-4When a moment in front of me appears to be particularly special, whether it be by beauty or experience, I capture it. I usually find a reason to justify taking that photo – symmetry, or color, or contrast – and it’s my hope that my photography sheds light onto what I see and do on a daily basis.

Connor Franta

This is a first for me I think.

As the chairlift neared the summit of Schweitzer Mountain I kept turning to look back with that feeling of anticipation that something was about to happen but this being my first time out for the season and there being only single digit temperatures, I left my Nikon at the lodge and only had my LG K10 smartphone with me.

And sure enough, for the second time on a Christmas morning, an incredibly bright and beautiful sun pillar appeared with diamond dust swirling in its bright light.

It’s easy for people to believe that their photography would improve if only they had the next best latest and greatest equipment. Fortunately that’s not the case and if you have a true passion for photography, you can capture moments with whatever device you have available to you in that moment.

I loved how the lens flare added to this image and worked with it to create this image.

Do I wish I had my Nikon with a wide angle attached? Sure, but on this day I was grateful to see this crystal phenomena and have the challenge of capturing it by cell phone.