The finale, as it were.
The finale, as it were.
Another Monday another round of images. Things have been keeping me busy and these posts are a nice opportunity to slow down and reflect a bit.
More images from my recent visit to the Washington State Fair. I don’t know if I mentioned but there were lots of other photographers present. Some were obviously using photography as an adjunct to their enjoyment of the fair. Others, like the two older gentlemen with backpack, tripods, and a full kit…were also there for enjoyment, but photography was obviously paramount in their purpose. I fell into the former category. Rarely am I to be found without a camera, but except when engaged professionally it’s as an enhancement of the experience. I have a particularly abysmal memory for events and experiences (facts are quite the opposite). For me, photography also functions as a form of memento vivere that makes re-experiencing those moments easier. Or else they would be lost.
Upcoming, I will have some street photography to feature here on the blog. For the interested, a comparison can be made between these images and my style of “true” street photography.
So actually, that’s all there is for this series of images. Next post will be something completely different.
I have been including fine art flower photography in my photographic oeuvre almost since I first picked up a camera. There’s no real mystery to it. I have mentioned it before but flowers are a fantastic photographic subject because of their availability and infinite form. There are very few flowers that are not a worthy of photographic attention. Of course, like everyone else I have my favorites. I’m very partial to lilies (Peace and Stargazer, thank you), tulips, and now sunflowers.
Yes, consider the humble sunflower. Okay, it’s a pretty popular flower. It’s an evocative flower. The color, the shape of the petals, the variety of different breeds. All of this is in aid of saying that I photographed a ton of sunflowers recently.
As usual, my fine art prints are available at several portals including artspan, pixels.com, and redbubble. Additionally, I’m offering a limited discount on a 20″ by 16″ canvas of Sunflower #6 here (until September 13, 2017).
These images have become some of my recent faves. I find there is something meditative about these particular images. There’s something about the shapes and textures of the sunflower. What do you think?
If I could draw or paint to any acceptable degree I probably wouldn’t be a photographer.
I’ve spent probably close to a year coming to grips with my color photographic work. I began with black and white film (Kodak Plus-X and Fuji Acros being favorites) and for a time really struggled with color work. Especially digital. I finally got to the point where I was comfortable enough…but if you are engaged in a creative pursuit you know “comfortable enough”, never is.
So I would work at it. I now think my color work is as strong as my black and white work. Usually.
At any rate, you can judge because the next post is all about some recent fine art work and features color in equal amounts to monochrome.
As a photographer, part of the deal is developing the ability to see photographs essentially everywhere. Make no mistake that this is an ability, an affinity, that must be cultivated. How? Well, by slowing down and really looking at what’s around you, by never taking anything for granted, and by developing a visual vocabulary all your own.
There are plenty of rules and guidelines to photography, but those are mostly on the technical side. You have the law of reciprocity, the rule of thirds, the inverse square ratio…but these are all tools, means to and end. Never should you focus so much on the technical aspect of your photography that you forget to nurture your particular vision.
Because you have one. Everyone does, nascent or fully-formed. Find yours. For myself, I know that I am drawn to appreciate and make certain types of photographs. I love shadow, the appreciation of minute detail, a sense of narrative in portraiture. I can trace all of these back to the influences on my own visual vocabulary, my aesthetic. Growing up in the 1980’s as a lover of comic books I know that informs some of my ideas of storytelling, my appreciation of western paintings influenced my sense of storytelling in portraiture, an interest in Japanese art still has a heavy influence on my color palette in processing photographs. None of this even begins the address the influence of modern photographers like Ralph Gibson and Gordon Parks.
You can see some of these influences in the images posted today. I saw what I wanted to capture in the form of an antiquated hairdryer and the way the light from a window fell on it. The rest of my particular photographic habits informed these images as they inform all my images.
Fellow photographer, I hope you know your visual vocabulary. I hope you cultivate your aesthetic the way a gardener would cultivate orchids. I hope you find your way.
A few of the first images of 2017. Do you want to hear an interesting observation I’ve made? The right tool can affect how you work.
All of these images were shot with a rangefinder-style camera. I do feel like it is not only my personal style/preference to shoot in a more “journalistic” style, but that this type of camera almost demands it, or at least puts one in the frame of mind that facilitates it. I would doubtless have shot these same types of images with a dSLR, but the discreet nature of the rangefinder (and the stealthy silence of the electronic shutter) does make it easier to put people at ease and still the urge to perform for the camera. It is an advancement of why I enjoyed shooting with point-and-shoots a lot last year (the Fujifilm X10 & X30), but with greater technical capability.
I’m not a gear head, but I have to remark on how much I’m enjoying Fuji’s XF35mm f/2 R WR lens. As a “normal” lens I find it is pretty much living on my X-Pro2. With my preference for primes it’s a part of my “portrait trinity” along with the 90mm f/2.8 R LM WR, and 56mm f/1.2. Speaking of portraits, this is something I plan to focus more on this year both professionally and personally.
How is 2017 treating you and your photography this year?