“Nothing happens when you set at home. I always make it a point  to carry a camera with me at all times…I just shoot at what interests me at that moment.”



Monday,
January 31, 2011


Nothing happens when you set at home. I always make it a point  to carry a camera with me at all times…I just shoot at what interests me at that moment.”     ~ Elliott Erwitt

These are two great concepts for the artist photographer. One, get out of the house, two, take your camera with you. You could add a third, keep your eyes open for interesting images. These sound simple, but I can remember many times when my mind would tell me silly things like it’s two cloudy, cold, hot, sunny, etc. to go out and look for images. I have always reminded that part of myself that no images are going to manifest while I’m sitting on the couch!

Here is an interesting image that manifested itself by simply going to the farmers market. You can find them everywhere if you stay open to the possibilities.

Enjoy,

Tom

“In art as in love, instinct is enough.”


Friday, January 28, 2011


In art as in love, instinct is enough.”     ~ Anatole France

You can think and study and plan but without instinct you will have a hard time of it coming up with true and lasting images. Even Einstein said, “The best thing is to follow your instincts without too much reflection.” Your instinct will lead you to your true joy and from there, to your true vision. Then you will be able to create from your deepest self and your work will be fresh and original.

Here is an image of Haystack Rock in Canon Beach, Oregon. It has been imaged literally thousands of times, but you can always find a fresh perspective. I basically stayed up most of the night until the moon was just right. In fact, it’s not long before daylight and when you blow the image up you can see the gulls already lined up on the shore.

Enjoy,

Tom

“I take photographs with love, so I try to make them art objects. But I make them for myself first and foremost – that is importan


Monday, January 24, 2011

I take photographs with love, so I try to make them art objects. But I make them for myself first and foremost – that is important.” ~ Jacques-Henri Lartigue

To create first and foremost for oneself, that is important. How can we expect others to love what we do if we do not love it ourself? We must create work that is meaningful and creative to ourself, then it has the possibility of appealing to the public. I not only love creating images, I just don’t fell quite complete when I am not creating. It’s been a lifelong curse! All joking aside, it’s passion that creates great work and passion must work to fulfill its own vision, but that same passion keeps the work vital and universal.

I’m not a car person, per se, but this scene spoke to me and I just had to capture it.

Enjoy,

Tom

“Every time someone tells me how sharp my photos are, I assume that it isn’t a very interesting photograph.  If it were, they would have more to say.“


Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Every time someone tells me how sharp my photos are, I assume that it isn’t a very interesting photograph.  If it were, they would have more to say.”     ~ Anonymous

This quote may be anonymous, but I use it because it goes strait to my heart. It’s so easy to take sharp pictures today and so many people getting “into” photography, fostered, I might add by some photo blogs and books seem to believe that “sharpness” is some kind of end in itself and actually peer at your images looking for it. Nothing could be further from the truth. Have they never seen impressionist paintings? It’s the overall image that counts, the feeling and soul of the image. Some are better sharp; some are better fuzzy, and others somewhere in-between. A photographer of skill and substance is usually more interested in expressing their vision rather than on some esoteric principle of “sharpness,” or any other such principle, for that matter. For me, my images have become more like paintings than traditional photographs. It seems like a natural progression for an art photographer, with the tools at our disposal today. I know it is somewhat different for fashion photographers or journalists, but for me it’s an artistic license I take full advantage of.

Here is an image both realistic and painterly. It expresses the place, as well as the feeling and joy of being there at that particular moment in time.

Enjoy,

Tom

“Sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”


Monday, January 17, 2011


“Sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”     ~ Lewis Carroll

Ha! I can relate, at times, to this quote. Nature, to me, is incredible, with its vast assortment of forms and creatures and, and, and. If it were up to man to create the world world we have dragonflies, butterflies, slugs, earthworms, eagles and so on? To paraphrase Picasso, God is just another artist, he tries everything!

This images is a bit of a miracle for me. I was walking along the Deschutes river in central Oregon, I stepped between two trees to get a better look at the falls beneath, and here is this little critter, perfectly still, at the very edge of the cliff, just looking quietly at the falls. Remarkable for several reasons, not the least being that they are seldom still, usually flitting here and there constantly. I sure he saw me, yet stayed still while I captured his image.

Enjoy,

Tom

“Art is one of man’s few serious activities.”


Wednesday, January 12, 2011


“Art is one of man’s few serious activities.”     ~ Austin O’Malley

This is a secret every artist senses and every layperson would find hard to accept! For many years I ran a gallery, showing mostly my own work and I can’t tell you how many people would tell me how wonderful it must be to “do my own thing,” never guessing how hard I had to work to make it all work. Oh well, we must take our joy from the work itself and not peoples perceptions of our easy lives!

Here is an image of the magical Mt. Hood with PDX in the foreground. I love the clouds of the Great Northwest, they add so much life to northwest landscapes.

Enjoy,

Tom

“Technique is only a vehicle.”



Monday January 10, 2011


“Technique is only a vehicle.”     ~ Callum Innes

There is a lot of debate these days about HDR images and their legitimacy in modern photography. Personally, I find such debate a bit specious. To me, it’s the   image that counts, not how one gets there. I know some will disagree with me, but that’s the way of the world, is it not?

Here is an HDR image I captured of Portland, Oregon, which I feel captures the spirit of the place. I also feel that the HDR technique helped me to express exactly what I was feeling when I captured this image.

Enjoy,

Tom

“A good photographer makes an image by holding the camera to his eye, but the great photographer makes an image by holding the camera to his heart!”


Wednesday, January 5, 2011


“A good photographer makes an image by holding the camera to his eye, but the great photographer makes an image by holding the camera to his heart!” ~ Moose Peterson

And the mediocre photographer makes an image by trying to create an image filtered through a concept in his mind. Its passion that creates art, not concepts, feelings not thoughts. Don’t get me wrong, being thoughtful, in and of itself is a good thing, but when capturing an image, leaving out passion, and feelings will create dull images. Academics seem to be in love with concepts, but artists are more interested in experience that which makes the world go round that which comes from the gut rather than from the mind. The artist is not afraid to immerse himself into everyday life and is able to discover the unique and unusual within it. The academic seems more interested in thinking about life and then making judgements about it based on their subsequent thoughts. If you wait to think, the good image is long gone, you must be able to react quickly to existing conditions, guided by your intuition and your past experience with your equipment and your craft to capture great images!

By the way, the great quote by Moose Peterson above is in a post by Moose on Scott Kelby’s blog. You can find it here.

Here is an image where I was in the right place at the right time, as the sun was shinning directly into the small waterfall, creating a rainbow effect.

Enjoy,


Tom

“Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.”


Monday, January 3, 2011


Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.”     ~ Benjamin Franklin

Well, here we are at the beginning of a New Year. To quote John Lennon,”Let’s hope it’s a good one.” Every New Year, I hope to find myself a better man and a better artist. Trouble is, it’s not really for me to say if I have succeeded!

Here is an image, that although captured in the very early springtime, recalls the wintertime.

Enjoy,

Tom