Friday August 30, 2013
“Once the amateur’s naive approach and humble willingness to learn fades away, the creative spirit of good photography dies with it. Every professional should remain always in his heart an amateur.” ~ Alfred Eisenstaedt
In Zen, it’s called “Beginners Mind” and it’s something I value highly, the ability to wake each day and leave the past behind and see the world with fresh eyes and a fresh mind. Not to become jaded should be the aspiration of every artist, that is the only way to keep the joy of creating alive and well.
Here is another image from my beloved Oregon coast. It is an endless source of inspiration for me, fueling my my muse and exciting my creative instincts.
Wednesday August 28, 2013
“Unbeing dead isn’t being alive.” ~ e.e. cummings
To be alive you must be fully conscious, aware of all around you, with a quiet mind and still heart. The same is needed to be creative. Both being alive and being creative are the blessings of the universe. An artist may be, at times, deeply troubled, as was Van Gogh, but during the act of creation, troubles fall away, stillness and concentration flood in, then and only then does the muse begin to speak. Of course, Cummings quote goes deeper still, he is saying that being alive is more than standing on two feet and moving about…
Oregon is a vast and beautiful state. It’s terrain and climate is varied and often breathtaking, as is this view from Steen’s Mountain in the Southeast corner of the state.
Wednesday August 21, 2013
“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
For me, this is the important part, to be a receptacle. By being open to all that comes your way you can’t help but learn to see in a creative way. And if you learn to see, you will soon learn to create in your own unique way. One follows the other. The key is to remain open, with clear eyes, mind and heart.
Mt. Hood is a subject one could spend a lifetime with and never run out of inspiration. She has endless moods and views. Here she has attracted some little clouds that wrap around her peak.
Wednesday August 14, 2013
“You were born with wings, why prefer to crawl through life?” ~ Rumi
To me, crawling though life happens when one gives up one’s individuality in order to follow the crowd. You can never create original work until you give up worrying what others think or do and begin to find your authentic self, that’s how to use the “wings” you are born with.
This image was made along the banks of the Columbia river, outside of Lyle, Washington. A lone motorboat was moving eastward, against the current. It helps to give a sense of scale to the vast landscape.
Friday August 9, 2013
“It is the photographer, not the camera, that is the instrument.” ~ Eve Arnold
Just read an article in the New York times about how vicious camera enthusiasts can be. The author wrote a review on a Leica camera and received all kinds of flax from Canon and Nikon owners, saying their chosen brand was the only viable choice. I wonder if any of them has even made a memorable image? It’s the person behind in camera, not the camera as most of the greats have stated in one way or another. Viciousness is evidence of a small mind and a closed heart, how could such a person ever create something of lasting value? A camera is a camera is a camera, it’s human beings that create images!
All heathy things in nature grow towards the light. Such should be the desire of a healthy person as well. Cameras are just machines in the service of a person, each person has a right to their personal preferences, if they don’t involve harm to others. Attacking a person for writing a review of some equipment other than you personally use is subhuman. Creation is a joy not a contest, there is no “best” camera, except for the one you have in your hand.
Wednesday August 7, 2013
“One of the biggest mistakes a photographer can make is to look at the real world and cling to the vain hope that next time his film will somehow bear a closer resemblance to it.” ~ Galen Rowell
The fact that’s it’s virtually impossible for the camera to mimic the human eye and brain should make it all the more appealing for the photographer to approach the craft in an artistic manner. Every photograph is already an abstraction when it appears three dimensional, printed on a two dimensional object, the paper, canvas, etc. For me, the beauty of photography is the ability to project my insight, feelings and impressions into the image I create. I try to keep my “personality” out of the equation, but try to find ways to express the hidden nature of whatever subject I attempt to capture. The very limitations of the medium and equipment fire my creative flame to discover ways to use them to express what I envision.
This takes me right back to my childhood. A child in the sand at the ocean, what could be more natural, an yet it is iconic in its own quiet way, for children and the seashore are such a universal symbol of the simplicity and joy of childhood. “Boy/sand/water,” it kind of says it all.
Friday August 2, 2013
“I am not interested in shooting new things – I am interested to see things new.” ~ Ernst Haas
The important thing for any artist in any medium it to “see things as new.” In Zen this is called “beginners mind.” Every artist struggles to keep a bit of the amateur in his soul. Not to be jaded, but to continue to be excited about one’s work is the ideal. Then one never fails to create fresh and inspiring images.
For me, the forrest and the way the light illuminates it are endlessly interesting. It is different at different times of the day, but always striking is one can find the right point of view.