“Photography has no rules…“

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Photography has no rules, it is not a sport. It is the result which counts, no matter how it is achieved.”     ~Bill Brandt

I have tried to say this, many times and many ways, especially today when people like to argue about post processing, what’s acceptable, etc., but Mr. Brandt nailed it long ago!

It’s the final image that counts, no matter how it’s achieved! Sure, the better the image in the camera, the better your starting point. Some images take little post processing, others more, it’s all up to the artist. Whatever it takes to express her vision is what is right.

Here is an image that took very little post processing. It is a closeup of the Painted Hills in central Oregon. The colors and textures are quite unreal, except for the fact that they truly exist! Before I took a trip out there, I didn’t even know there were Painted Hills in Oregon.



“There is only you and your camera…..”

Monday, September 27, 2010

There is only you and your camera. The limitations in your photography are in yourself, for what we see is what we are.”     ~Ernst Haas

Just you and the camera… what a lovely way to say it. The better you learn your camera, the better you learn to see, the better you learn the way your camera sees, the less limitations you will encounter.

But limitations are also a great instigator of creativity, so it doesn’t matter that all limitations cannot be overcome, one learns to work with them and even embrace them within the creative process.

Here is a shot that challenges the limits, but can still be rendered quite well.



The artist need not know very much……

Friday, September 24, 2010

“The artist need not know very much; best of all let him work instinctively and paint as naturally as he breathes or walks.” ~Emil Nolde

I must say I have always loved Nolde’s works, especially his poppies. I can also state that some of my best images are the spontaneous ones, where I have to act instantly of miss the shot. This quote is especially refreshing with all the emphasis on workshops and training today. Don’t misunderstand me, everyone can benefit from the occasional workshop, but many people make a career of it, just like the professional student who gets degree after degree, but never really accomplishes much.

My advice to myself and others; work much, study some, refine your craft and vision! Work is the key!

In honor of Emil, here is one of my several poppy images.



“Art is the desire of a man to express himself…“

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Art is the desire of a man to express himself, to record the reactions of his personality to the world he lives in.” ~Any Lowell

That’s why each person’s vision is unique; each of us has a unique personality. Each of us have our own personal reactions to the world as it comes flowing by us. To “go with the flow” is really to accept our own unique experience of the world.

Any image you may capture, someone else may simply pass-by or capture with a completely different perspective. Here is an image of an outdoor marketplace, another person might have seen it differently, but to me this image captures what I saw and felt while I was there.



Things are distinct not in their essence…

Monday, September 20, 2010

Things are distinct not in their essence but in their appearance; in other words, in their relation to one to whom they appear. This is art, the truth of which is not in substance or logic, but in expression.”     ~Rabindranath Tagore

As an artist I love this quote. It says what I feel to be true so well, the truth of art is in expression, not substance, or logic! It also touches on the unity of all things, in essence, if not in appearance. Very powerful ideas put into just a few very well-chosen words, just like the image maker will try to put power in her images with a simple, well-chosen subject.

Here is an image where I challenge the viewer to disagree that this is indeed a very lovely couple!



Autumn is a second spring…

Friday, September 17, 2010

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.”     ~Albert Camus

This is especially true in places like New England, but many places turn colorful in the season of harvest and getting ready for the winter to come. I love it when the days are clear, with an intense blue sky, crisp mornings and warm afternoons… they remind me of my childhood, growing up in Connecticut, when the forest would erupt in an incredible array of fiery colors. Now I live in the Pacific Northwest more subdued for sure, but colorful none the less.

Here is an image more subtle than New England, but colorful still.



A man’s interest…

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

” A man’s interest in a single bluebird is worth more than a complete but dry list of the fauna and flora of a town.”     ~Henry David Thoreau

Good advice for an artist; in plain words, focus on your main interest or subject. Spend enough time with it to gain an inner relationship with it, discover what appeals to you and capture that feeling and you won’t go far wrong.

The main subject of this image is obvious, but there is a whole story here; mood, season, wildness and more are all revealed.



What would life be if we had no courage…

Monday, September 13, 2010

“What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?”     ~Vincent van Gogh

Am I good enough? Can I ever compete with the pros already established? Do I have something original to say? These voices come at us from inside our own heads every day.

A little courage is all that’s needed, along with a lot of hard work to develop our craft and more courage to follow our vision and convictions! The world is made up of many things and many people. If we take the courage and put in the time to learn, if we create work that truly means something to our self, it will touch others.

Here is an image of a popular icon, but I feel I have been able to create something fresh and new with it.



One of the joys of photography….

Monday, September 6, 2010

“One of the joys of photography is that you never know what will come at you from around the next corner.” ~Tom Ang

I wholeheartedly agree, but because of this one must be every ready to capture what comes at you. Some of my best images came at me so fast I didn’t even have time to think, press the shutter now, or completely miss the whole thing!

This is one of those images, I was out on the water in my brother-in-laws boat and all of a sudden, to my backside, this young man comes along on his lobster boat, all I could do is quickly turn and press the shutter, capturing life as it happens, what a joy!


Strong passions

Friday, September 3, 2010

What a mistake to suppose that the passions are strongest in youth! The passions are not stronger, but the control over them is weaker! They are more easily excited, they are more violent and apparent; but they have less energy, less durability, less intense and concentrated power than in maturer life.”     ~Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton

Hopefully, mature passion promotes mature work, work that is more subtle in its representation, but yet full of discerning insight and vision. You can see it in the works of Elliot Porter or Ansel Adams. There is nothing there that hits you over the head, but if you let it draw you in, you begin to realize just how much rich content it contains.

Here is a quiet image that speaks of place, mood and a whole way of life.