“The object of a new year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul.”

RangeCrossing


Friday,  December 28, 2012


The object of a new year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul.  G.K. Chesterton

If we are lucky, we grow into a new person every day of our lives, leaving the old behind and welcoming the new. Experience is our truest teacher, lighting the path ahead. This is my last post of 2012. I plan to live a new life in 2013, the life I have now, being the person I have become, now. The past is forgotten, the future has not arrived, so I plan to live here, now.

This seems like an appropriate image for the new year. To me, it captures the incredible, changing beauty of our precious world. Every moment is different and new if you will allow yourself the space and time to experience it.

Enjoy,
Tom

“Photographs that we call powerful or dramatic communicate the photographer’s passion as surely as they represent natural features.”

OldLobsterBuoy


Wednesday,  December 26, 2012


Photographs that we call powerful or dramatic communicate the photographer’s passion as surely as they represent natural features.  Galen Rowell

If we are to be creators instead of just recorders we must harness our particular vision to that beast of burden we call craftsmanship, to create a new entity from that marriage which transcends the ordinary into an image that touches the inner soul of the viewer with a bit of the passion we experienced in the capture and creation of our images. Whew, sounds daunting, that’s because it is, especially at the beginning of a career, but over time it becomes more natural, if never easy.    The consolation prize is the joy and fulfillment of creation, along with the satisfaction of being able to share your vision with others.

This is an old lobster buoy, no longer in service, but used as a decoration on the outside of a cabin sitting along the Penobscot Bay in Maine. No longer an item of functional use, it has become transformed into an item of “decorative” art. Now, I have continued the transformation into an item of “wall art.” All of life if full of such transformations, which I find fascinating.

Enjoy,
Tom

“In this mortal frame of mine….there is something…called a wind-swept spirit for lack of a better name, for it is much like a thin drapery that is torn and swept away at the slightest stir of the wind.”

HereComesTheSun


Friday,  December 20, 2012


In this mortal frame of mine….there is something…called a wind-swept spirit for lack of a better name, for it is much like a thin drapery that is torn and swept away at the slightest stir of the wind.  Basho

Sting wrote in a song, “How Fragile We Are.“ This quote is in the same vein, recognizing that our lives are tenuous. This being so, what could we gain by being less than ourself. I know the world pulls us in many directions, seemingly encouraging us to be anything but our authentic selves, but the wise amongst us have always cautioned against the folly of going against out true nature. Remembering our time is short, and its length uncertain can be a true motivator to use it well and to seek our true path to love and happiness.

What could be more uplifting to the human spirit than a sunset? Here is a lovely one, captured on Penobscot Bay along the Maine coast in October. If you look closely, you can see a lobster boat just making its way out to the traps.

Enjoy,
Tom

“Selves are dull compared to everything else. Self-expression doesn’t interest me. The rest of the universe is so much bigger, more varied and more interesting than any self and, in any case, the self is never left out.”

RedRock_SteensMountain


Wednesday,  December 19, 2012


Selves are dull compared to everything else.  Self-expression doesn’t interest me.  The rest of the universe is so much bigger, more varied and more interesting than any self and, in any case, the self is never left out.  David Vestal

I have believed for many years that the “cult of personality” so prevalent in the modern art world is a dead end trip. Because “the universe is so much bigger, more varied and more interesting than any self…” I try to approach all my work, especially capture with “beginners mind.” I try to see anew each day, even ordinary things from everyday life, this keeps my vision clean and clear, everything remains interesting and new.

Here is another image from the amazing Steens Mountain, rising up out of the desert by French Glen, Oregon. If you look closely you can see evidence of birds using this interesting rock for a perch. There are many, many varieties of birds throughout that area of southeast Oregon.

Enjoy,
Tom

“A photograph is an instrument of love and revelation that must see beneath the surfaces and record the qualities of nature and humanity which live in all things.”

ColumbiaGorge_VistaHouse

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Friday,  December 12, 2012


A photograph is an instrument of love and revelation that must see beneath the surfaces and record the qualities of nature and humanity which live in all things.  Ansel Adams

With this in one’s heart, it will not be terribly impossible to create work that matters, for with such love in one’s heart, a person will surely work hard and long to become the best that they possibly can at their love and craft. Such a person, who can “see beneath the surfaces” is a natural artist, and is certainly capable of revealing to others the mysteries that surround us in the world.

The Columbia Gorge in western Oregon is a marvel of nature and I never tire of capturing its many and varied moods. This is an early morning view down the river with the famous “Vista House” in the frame.

Enjoy,
Tom

“I know the importance of highly trained awareness of the “moment” and the immediate and intuitive response of the photographer…”

RockPlateau_FrenchGlen

Wednesday,  December 12, 2012


I know the importance of highly trained awareness of the “moment” and the immediate and intuitive response of the photographer...  Ansel Adams

To my mind, this “highly trained awareness of the “moment” may be the most valuable skill a photographer can attain. I’ve said it before, some my very best images are images that were there for a “moment”, then gone! If I had not been ready at that instant, without having to think about settings, composition in the viewfinder, my camera, etc., they would have been beyond my reach. Technical skills can be learned fairly easily, but it takes a lifetime to learn the artistic ones. The best way I know to learn them is by constantly studying the masters of art from early to late, consider composition until its automatic when you look through the viewfinder, know where all the controls are on your camera so you don’t even need to look, these are the skills that will serve you well as an artist.

These interesting rock formations and plateaus abound in southeastern Oregon, relics of an earlier geologic era. I captured this image as a passenger in a Jeep, heading north out of French Glen, Oregon. I was going to be long gone by sunset, so fell back on my “the light you have, is the best light” theory.

Enjoy,
Tom

“Knowledge without wisdom is a load of books on the back an ass.”

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Friday,  December 7, 2012


Knowledge without wisdom is a load of books on the back an ass.  Japanese Proverb

Ha! Ha! Ha! What a lovely quote! So true, as well. You can have endless knowledge, but without the wisdom to use it well will leave you with less than desirable results, never more so than in the arts. No matter your skill level or knowledge, nothing, to my mind beats simple elegance when it comes to crafting my images.

This is one of those lovely stone walls, in a state of beautiful disrepair found throughout New England, this one in the state of Maine, near South Thomaston. You come across them, even in the deepest woods, they look, for all the world, like no one has hiked into them for the last 100 years, a reminder of those early homesteaders that populated these woods in the early days of this country.

Enjoy,
Tom

“You can’t learn passion, either you’ve got it or you haven’t.”


Wednesday,  December 5, 2012


You can’t learn passion, either you’ve got it or you haven’t.  Martin Parr

An unfortunate truth that haunts the “gear-heads.“  All the money and gear in the world cannot make up for lack of passion. Passion is the fuel that nourishes personal vision. Without it one may obtain technically perfect images, but they will lack the subtle qualities that “grab” the viewer and draw her into your unique way of “seeing” the world, simply because you view won’t be unique without the passion to fuel such a view!  The interesting thing, however, is that I often meet gear-heads that look with disdain upon images that aren’t captured with the latest , most expensive camera or that aren’t tack sharp, totally missing the stimulating content and creative originality contained in the image they are viewing.  I’m well aware that this is a never ending argument, but I’ll, personally, go with “passion” every time.

In the east was a most amazing sunrise, with the lobster boats moving out into Penobscot Bay along the Maine coast, but when I turned around, there was this charming image, with the new morning sun touching the cabin where I was staying, as well as the full moon, not yet gone to bed.

Enjoy,
Tom