Appearances

Friday, January 29, 2010

“Photography deals exquisitely with appearances, but nothing is what it appears to be.”  ~Duane Michals

What exactly does the quote above mean? Different things to different people, of course. To me it speaks of the hidden something behind all existent beings and things. The essence that can be felt, but not quite seen, that what the true artist seeks to express, even though we usually fall a bit short. What use is a portrait that’s just flat and cold, expressing no feelings or emotion? A landscape that doesn’t evoke a reaction from the viewer?  We must strive to bring into actuality the life hidden behind the surface of people and nature, then our work will be of lasting value.

Tide’s Goin’ Out

Thursday, January 28, 2010

“Never lose an opportunity to see anything that is beautiful.

It is God’s handwriting – a wayside sacrament.    Welcome

it in every fair face, every fair sky,  every fair flower”  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Beauty can be found almost anywhere, at anytime, but it has been said that it is found only in the eye of the beholder. Some people seem to be able to find beauty in more situations than others. All that is pretty philosophical; of course, but personally I will drive ten miles longer, as the crow flies, to take a more scenic route. I consciously seek beauty and strive to capture it in my images. I find that beauty brings me peace and harmony and calms the agitations of modern life. Not that I don’t find beauty in the middle of civilization, because I often do. Not that I want to avoid all the ugliness in the world, for how would that even be possible? But, beauty and peace once had many benefactors in the world of the arts and now, it seems, has few. Some even argue that beauty does not exist! Myself? I beg to disagree, and my mission will always be to champion it in all I do, including my images.

This image of two ducks standing on a barnacle covered rock as the tide goes out is a great example of the beauty that can be found on this round, wide world in the simplest of everyday experiences.

Enjoy,
Tom

Self revelation in art.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

“In Art, man reveals himself and not his objects.”  ~Rabindranath Tagore

How true this is. In our work others can read so much, our intentions, what captures our attention and so much more. There is nothing amiss with this, because, really, what is our work about other than expressing our own unique vision of the world to others? To paraphrase Picasso yet again, he said that if you saw his work, you saw his life.

That’s why I create what I like, with no concern that some may not like what I do. After all, it’s my life and my vision, not someone else’s!

Face In The Sky/Smith Rock

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

“You don’t take a photograph, you make it.”  ~Ansel Adams

Interesting quote. It applies more than ever today as “post processing” has taken a more prominent place in the equation. It’s still not possible to “create a silk purse from a sows ear”, but with our cameras now being small computers and the amazing software we have on our computers, we do have incredible control over the final output of our images. We are now a combination of photographer and painter, which to me, signals very exciting times for the contemporary artist!

Despite all of the above, here is an image that I did very little with, it seems complete in itself and needed very little post processing.

Enjoy,
Tom

Creativity & The Rose

Monday, January 25, 2010

“There is nothing more difficult for a truly creative painter than to paint a rose, because before he can do so he has first to forget all the roses that were ever painted.”  ~Henri Matisse

I find this quote revealing, I don’t do many still lifes or florals because it is really diffucult to do something original, something powerful, and not trite or banal. When I am successful at capturing such an image, however, it’s very exciting. I truly love flowers and find the still lifes of Cézanne, Van Gogh, and many other artists truly inspirational, but their great successes made it harder for us to create something as wonderful today, they truly did raised the bar, but it’s a challenge I enjoy and sometimes I get it just right!

Wild Tigers

Friday, January 22, 2010

“A photograph is neither taken nor seized by force. It offers itself up. It is the photo that takes you. One must not take photos.”  ~Henri Cartier-Bresson

This image was captured on a very hot summer day, while hiking up a very steep trail, through the woods in Oregon. There was this one little stand of Tiger lilies all alone in the underbrush with a sunbeam illuminating them. It was the only keeper I got that day, but it made all the sweat and discomfort worthwhile! This illustrates the quote above perfectly.

Cheating for the sake of beauty.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

“The moment you cheat for the sake of beauty, you know you’re an artist.”  ~David Hockney

I’m not sure what David was thinking when he said that, but I know what it means to me. If I have a beautiful shot from midday that would look, to my mind, better as a sunset, I will change the colors to sunset colors, If a tree in the way, I will remove it from the image. Some images I hardly touch, but if I deem it necessary, nothing is sacred except the final image. I will not hesitate use every skill and trick I have to bring it to where I am satisfied that I have reached the best result possible. I realize this is somewhat subjective, but it is the artist’s job to fulfill her/his vision and to share it with the world. Vision is usually one part reality and three parts imagination!

Multnomah Falls

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

“The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place; from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spider’s web.” ~Pablo Picasso

Although the lower Multnomah Falls are the most famous, the most photographed and the most painted part of the falls, the upper falls, as you can see here, are quite remarkable. This was captured in late Spring/Early Summer so there was plenty of water flowing into the deep pool at the bottom of the falls, throwing up a nice spray, while mist was rising from the cold water into the warmer air. The fence leads the eye nicely into the heart of the falls. With the help of such a spectacular display from nature, it was an easy task to capture a great image to share with you.

Enjoy,
Tom

Poetry

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

“Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.” ~Leonardo da Vinci

Considering Leonardo proposition, images are poetry for your walls. An apt description, as they convert blank lifeless spaces to spaces of interest, passion, color and life. Every home and office space is enhanced by the presence of artwork on their walls. The lives of the people who inhabit these spaces are similarly enriched by the interaction they have with these works. I try to provide images imbued with heart and soul at a price that most people and organizations can afford to help provide just such enhancement to your environments.

Imagination/Surfer & Dog/Falcon Cove


Monday, January 18, 2010

“It takes a lot of imagination to be a good photographer. You need less imagination to be a painter, because you can invent things. But in photography everything is so ordinary; it takes a lot of looking before you learn to see the ordinary.” – David Bailey

Well, I don’t want to engage in an argument with traditional painters over imagination, and besides many of them are geniuses when it comes to showing the profound hiding within the ordinary. However, I do agree with the sentiment that it takes a keen eye and sensitive sprit to see the special in the ordinary. One person can drive past a particular place day after day and not notice anything in particular about it, while another will stop, consider and produce a wonderful image that moves everyone who views it. I suppose we can call it the artistic insight, but it’s something that must be well developed if we wish to stimulate the interest of others with our work.

Here is a very ordinary scene, a surfer with his dog, but the composition, reflections, as well as the contrasting colors and textures all serve to create an interesting image that can capture our imagination and almost put us in the scene.

Enjoy,
Tom