Moonflower_Homage to O’Keefe

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The flower which is single need not envy the thorns that are numerous.
~Rabindranath Tagore

Thursday Feb. 20, 2020

The Moonflower blooms for one night, filling the air with the sweetness of it’s scent. Only one night, but that’s more than enough for something so fragile and beautiful. For anyone who doesn’t believe that this globe is chock full of magic and beauty, they only need to come across one such as these and inhale it’s essence that it gives so freely to all.

I have always loved the flower paintings of Georgia O’Keefe and this was a chance to honor her memory. She, like the flower brought great beauty into this world.

Enjoy,
Tom

“Snow was falling,”

Winter Ice & Leaves

“Snow was falling,
so much like stars
filling the dark trees
that one could easily imagine
its reason for being was nothing more
than prettiness.”
~Mary Oliver

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Even nature doesn’t always follow the rules, such as “moving water won’t freeze.” In Maine I captured this image of water frozen solid as it flowed in two small streams. Infact, sometimes even the small salt water bays and harbors, along the ocean will freeze, which is quite a sight to see…so, in art and photography,  which certainly can be art, rules are simply guides, good to follow until you are experienced enough to know when and how to break them in order to best express your feelings and vision for a subject. Creativity and insight always trump “rules.”

“Snow flurries began to fall and they swirled around people’s legs like house cats. It was magical, this snow globe world.”
~Sarah Addison Allen

Enjoy,
Tom

“The only thing worse than being blind…

FountainInPark_2

“The only thing worse than being blind is having sight and no vision.”
~ Helen Keller

Tuesday October 1, 2019

“Vision.” You hear the word tossed around all the time by creatives, including photographers, but what exactly is it? What is meant by “having vision?” Well,
I suggest that it may mean many things to many people. Most often you hear it
used by people who are saying or implying that you must plan your image far in
in advance, often going great physical trials to “get the shot.” But as one of
my favorite photographers has said: “To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place… I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.
~Elliott Erwitt

That said, let’s consider the image above. To me it represents one type of vision, the
spontaneous. To me, spontaneity is an essential quality in creating within any medium, and especially in photography. It requires the ablity to see and then act, often quickly.
In this image, speed wasn’t necessary, but “vision” comes into play. What you see in
this image is what I “saw” immediately, and what inspired me to capture it, however, there were literally dozens of people between me and the shot, sitting, walking, running etc. I asked every-one if they could move, but they declined. 😉 Never-the-less, I saw a great image and removed them all in post without even a tiny shred of guilt, thereby capturing my “vison.” Another may have passed the shot by, thereby missing what I consider to be a wonderful image that I am proud to have created, and it was, in fact, created and not just “taken.” And, I didn’t have to climb a mountain three times to “get the shot!”

Enjoy,
Tom

“The mountains are calling and I must go.”

BlueRidgeEvening_2

“The mountains are calling and I must go.” – John Muir

Friday Aug 30, 2019

The mountains are “real” in one sense, and very “unreal” in another. Especially so when filled with clouds and mists that make them seem more like a dream. I seem to be called to both mountains and the seashore, as they are nature at its most powerful and seductive, making us feel just a little bigger and a little smaller at the same moment. Time seems to stretch to eternity, calling us to expand our consciousness, our soul wants to expand and flower as we feel the vastness of eternity surrounding us. Both the silence and the sounds reach deep inside and vibrate in a way that invigorate the spirit. 

Again, this image was enhanced in post to represent what I was feeling inside, rather than just capturing the literalness of the scene. It’s our feelings that make us alive and unique. Some say, “why take photographs at all, there are so many photographers today?” Well, to that I say, there are an finite number of notes, but and infinite number of ways to combine them into songs and music. Same with photography, find your own voice and vision and your work will be your song, reflecting your individual essence. 

That is the purpose of our lives, as well as the joy, to become and then to be ourselves, not all will respond to your own particular vision, but if it is authentic, there will be many who will relate to your work. We cannot expect to please everyone, and why should we even try, just open the door and see who comes in…

Enjoy,
Tom

 

 

Through the dancing poppies…

HilltopPoppies

Through the dancing poppies stole A breeze most softly lulling to my soul.
~John Keats

Wed, August 21, 2019

So let‘s get real, shall we? Let’s talk about a truly overused phrase in photography. “Get it right in the camera.” Don’t get me wrong, I am a bit of a perfectionist and I am well aware that “art” is not easy. I understand very well that one should master one’s equipment, rather than being at it mercy. BUT, in the end the camera is a MACHINE, in fact today’s cameras are computers. That said, it’s important to get the basics you need to fulfill your final vision right in the camera, such as spacial composition, leaving out as much as you can of unimportant details, however, that done now you must decide are you an artist or a technician. No one but you can make that decision, but I decided long ago to be an artist, and I have spent my life working every day to become one. That includes studying the work of artists of all media. One of my favorite painters is Emil Nolde, his paintings of poppies are awe inspiring. Therefore, it is with the greatest humility I capture and create artistic images of poppies, but I am inspired by his creations to create my own. 

Now, the image out of the camera was interesting, but, to me, it fell far short of what I would consider “art.” So I began working in post until I found my way to the image above, now I am satisfied that I achieved something worthwhile. If you are an artist, you will very seldom “get in right” in the camera. You have to bring your artistic vision to the fore and work to realize it in your image. To me, that is the joy and pain of being an artist. A journey not to be missed!

Enjoy,
Tom

I read and walked for miles at night along the beach…

 

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I read and walked for miles at night along the beach, writing bad blank verse and searching endlessly for someone wonderful who would step out of the darkness and change my life. It never crossed my mind that that person could be me.
~Anna Quindlen

Wed, August 14, 2019

OK, I am dedicating myself to post here once a week, more if the spirit moves me. So what to talk about? Well, there are countless blogs, etc. telling you how to use your software and camera. So I don’t think we need another, so lets talk about why we do what we do and what are the limits to creating a work of art that suits our particular soul. If you don’t agree with what I am proposing, fine, don’t even bother to post, just go to communities that are in line with your own beliefs and feelings. If you are onboard, please become a member here and share what you have. To get a feel for what I am proposing, please check out the link above to “A Featured Article,” this will give you a good insight to where I am going with this blog.

By the way, cool Beach House, eh?

Enjoy,
Tom

“. . .sometimes one feels freer speaking to a stranger than to people one knows. Why is that?” “Probably because a stranger sees us the way we are, not as he wishes to think we are.“

WeirdPirates


Wednesday March 5, 2014


. . .sometimes one feels freer speaking to a stranger than to people one knows. Why is that?”
“Probably because a stranger sees us the way we are, not as he wishes to think we are.“ ~Carlos Ruiz Zafón, The Shadow of the Wind

For me, one of the joys of being “on the road” is meeting unexpected people in unexpected places in unexpected ways. It’s often easy to hold conversations with strangers on the road. All parties are relaxed and have no need to put on a facade. 

Met these folks in the redwoods of northern California. They had just been to Burning Man and returning to the Captain’s home in southern Oregon. We stopped at a rest area and they were there with their huge bus they called the “Black Pearl.” They are, from left to right, Blue, Feather and Captain Bowrain. They call themselves pirates. Blue and Feather are from Australia. The Captain and Feather first met on a bus in Mongolia, Blue was along for the ride. We spent about an hour together taking pictures and trading gifts, a good time was had by all.

Enjoy,
Tom

“If it weren’t for the rocks in its bed, the stream would have no song.“

RockSculpturesBandonBeach


Wednesday February 25, 2014


If it weren’t for the rocks in its bed, the stream would have no song.~Carl Perkins

Everything in nature, whether we discern it or not, has a purpose. Usually, many purposes. In some Buddhist sects, rock are even considered alive. I won’t get into that argument, however I understand the principle, it is a deep respect for all created things and beings. I feel this respect and try to capture it, as well as I can, in my images. 

The Oregon coast is dotted with interesting rock formations, none more unique that those on the beach in Bandon.

Enjoy,
Tom

“Come forth into the light of things, let nature be your teacher.“

CapeBlancoLighthouse

Wednesday

February 12, 2014

 

Come forth into the light of things, let nature be your teacher.~William Wordsworth 

To an artist, especially a visual artist, the light is all. The dark can reveal the light, but the light is what we cannot do without, as artists and as living, breathing beings. Many creatures who live in darkness actually create their own light. We humans must also create own own light in the darkness of the soul. It is our most precious possession and can lead us from mediocrity to greatness, in our personal lives, and in our work. To me, my job is to reveal the light of the world. I know others choose to reveal the darkness, but that is not my path. 

Those who travel on the seas cannot do so safely without light either, so we build lighthouses to guide their journey.

Enjoy,
Tom