Beauty can be seen in all things…

Monday, August 30, 2010

“Beauty can be seen in all things, seeing and composing the beauty is what separates the snapshot from the photograph.”    ~Matt Hardy

Seeing and composing, sounds so simple, yet they take so long to master. Once mastered, however, a keen eye can find something interesting in almost every circumstance.

I don’t know if I would call this image beautiful, but certainly interesting.



The well designed city…..

Friday, August 27, 2010

If the city is not well-designed, its impact on the surrounding nature will be lethal.”     ~Javier Cenicacelaya

It’s not perfect, I know, no city is, but overall Portland, Oregon is such a beautiful city. I feel fortunate to live here and love its mixture of urbanity and nature, the blend of bikes, joggers, and walkers all sharing existence with the autos, buses, trucks and the hustle and bustle of city life.

Here is a HDR (High Definition Image) image that expresses some of what I’m saying. It’s interesting to me, in that it captures time. Since it’s a compilation of three images of different exposures, there are three images of each jogger as they travel on their journey. I, of course, could have eliminated the “extra” two, but it seemed more interesting to leave them, thus capturing part of their passage and, in effect, time itself.



Damn everything but the circus!/Almost black and white….

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Life is like a good black and white photograph, there’s black, there’s white, and lots of shades in between.”     ~Karl Heiner

Lots of shades indeed… in the world of politics, it seems everything is reduced to black and white, in the real world things are very different. The real world seems to be chuck full of contrast, full of many shades of reality, shades of skin, many and variable cultural norms. e.e. cummings likened the world to circus, saying,

Damn everything but the circus!

…damn everything that is grim, dull,
motionless, unrisking, inward turning,
damn everything that won’t get into the
circle, that won’t enjoy, that won’t throw
its heart into the tension, surprise, fear
and delight of the circus, the round
world, the full existence…

In my own images, I try to capture life and the world as it comes at me, in its many flavors and styles. In fact that seems to be my style, to capture the world as I experience it, in all its endless delight, tension surprise and fear.

Here is an image you might think to be a black and white image until you look more closely. The contrast was so great it gives that appearance, but there is color in one leaf and in the bottom right corner.



Mystery vs Joy

Monday, August 23, 2010

“Don’t look for obscure formulas or mystery in my work. It is pure joy that I offer you. Look at my sculptures until you see them.”     ~Constantin Brancusi

When I was a much younger man, I went for mystery. Now it’s the joy I go for!
Speaking of joy, I can’t help but feel that these gulls are having a great time.



The artist’s conundrum….

Friday, August 20, 2010

Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.” ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The artist’s conundrum…it was a cold wet spring where I live in the Pacific northwest. Drab, grey, but in my backyard is a hydrangea bush. It was completely covered in buds, more than I have ever seen on it, just beginning to burst into wonderful color in an otherwise color deprived environment. For a couple of weeks, each time i walked by it or looked out my window into the backyard, I was quietly taken by it, and yet I hesitated to take a shot of it. I mean, how do you do a hydrangea creatively? Make a fresh statement? One major problem, of course, is that’s is just so darn common, everyones has seen one, has one in their yard, and has seen a dozen paintings and photographs of one. It’s like trying to be creative with a dandelion, and yet… its beauty kept calling to me. If I were to…. should it be of the whole bush? How do I edit out the deck rail, house, etc.? Should it be up close and intimate, if so will I be able to capture its subtle essence? I mean.. the calling of an artist is to share his experiences with the world at large, but how do I capture this experience, so subtle in its nature?

Well, the funny thing is, now that I have my image, I can look back and write all this stuff about it, but I swear to you, during the actual process, I never thought of any of that once! It was all seeing and intuition, until finally, almost in a dream, I just pulled out my camera and shot a few images. I didn’t even touch them for a month or more, sure I wouldn’t be able to do much with them, then one day, I opened them up and went to work. My colorful spring companion, once again, revealed its beauty to me.



Start living now…

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Start living now. Stop saving the good china for that special occasion. Stop withholding your love until that special person materializes. Every day you are alive is a special occasion. Every minute, every breath, is a gift from God.”     ~Mary Manin Morrissey

Ah life! How sweet it is! Especially when you have the courage to follow your vision and your dreams. Life in itself is an act of creation, and we were born to create until we pass onto the other side, and who knows, maybe we continue to create, even then. You can see people creating everywhere, even in the most dire of circumstances, it is part of our living soul to do so. Like the bee is drawn to the flower, we are drawn to creation.

Here is an image that I truly love, taken on a warm summer evening while on vacation on the coast of Maine.



Do not fear to be eccentric…..

Monday, August 16, 2010

Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.” ~Bertrand Russell

Refreshing thought for a creative person, is it not? Every creative has their own vision. Truth be told, although I love the work of many of my contemporaries, I always feel I could “do it a bit better.” This is not ego, it’s just that my own way of seeing things appeals to me most, simply because it is my way of seeing.

Not that I don’t see work that just blows me away, where I feel, “wow, wish I had done that!” It’s just that every artist must believe in their own vision or why bother to create?

Here is an image, the way I saw it, of the Hawthorne Bridge in Portland, Oregon.



An artist’s eye….

Friday, August 14, 2010

“Maybe because it’s entirely an artist’s eye, patience and skill that makes an image and not his tools.”     ~Ken Rockwell

Despite the modern concern for the latest and the greatest, the artist’s eye is still the most important tool in the bag! Hard work and experience develop patience and skill. The tools we have at our disposal today and wonderful indeed, but without vision, we are still lost.

Here is an image that I am especially please with. It was not posed per se, I mean, I did supply the pitch fork and the potato, but the couple just sort of did their own thing and this one image of several was the one!



Street Photography

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Street photography is a renewable resource. If you don’t like what you see wait 5 minutes or walk a hundred feet.”     ~Craig Coverdale

I can relate. Monday’s image is quite grand in scale, today I offer up an image I probably would have passed by, except for the sticker on the doorway. The freeform painting extended quite a long way along the wall, but it was the sticker that made it image worthy for me.



Something which is built up from within….

Monday, August 9, 2010

When I’m ready to make a photograph, I think I quite obviously see in my minds eye something that is not literally there in the true meaning of the word. I’m interested in something which is built up from within, rather than just extracted from without.”     ~Ansel Adams

In this way, building up from within, rather than just extracting from without, photographs have slowly changed from literal representations to works of art, that represent the feelings and emotions of the photographer, as well as the mood of time and place of the subject photographed.

This image, while representing real places, goes beyond that, becoming almost idyllic in mood.