Photography, when created in the 19th Century, was meant to fulfill
the purpose of sharing with others, what something or somebody really
looked like. Also, so others could see for themselves what actually
happened yesterday. It wasn’t long before there were some who
realized, that a photographer could interpret, both literally and/or
abstractly, what people, things, and events looked like, as to share
with others what they the image maker felt inside, as well as what
Today, the vast majority of the world walks around with a camera in
their pocket. Very little happens anywhere that isn’t shared. While
that has surely proven that too much can be shared, there does remain
that opportunity for people to put their own personal stamp on what
and who they see and how they feel about it or them.
Photography has changed very much in my lifetime, even in the time I
have been a photographer, yet the principals remains the same. Show
the world what you see, but do so by using “who you are” as a tool
just as much as is your camera.
In life, we should “own who we are”, for better or for worse. If we
do not like who we are, then we can change. The act of creating an
image should be no less a statement of ownership. Change or evolution
can be pursued photographically when necessary, as is the case in
I rarely write an article such as we have today, and then go about
searching through my images for photos that prove my point. Instead,
as is so often the case, I pick photos at random, and then tell you
what they either mean to me now, what they meant when I made then, or
none of the above. Usually, I write about my first reaction to the
photos when I came across them in my files.
No matter what I write, I own them. A piece of me is in every picture
of mine that I show, and that includes the “ good, the bad, and the
Speaking of the good, the bad, and the ugly! I think of all of the
creatures I have made pictures of, slugs or snails without a shell if
you will, are the most hated by those that view them. While I don’t
count them as my favorite critters, and I nauseate at the thought of
eating a snail, I find them interesting and even somewhat photogenic.
All God’s critters have their place.
I caught this one “smelling the flowers” if you will, on a summer’s
day in 2008. My trusty Nikon 105mm Micro lens (and a camera of course)
and a sturdy tripod was employed for the deed.
Speaking of little critters. A year earlier on a June day, I captured
this Pearl Crescent Buttery on the hood of my car. Not the most
natural of environments, but I always took them where I found them. In
fact, I have always enjoyed this image. In some ways, the reflective
hood made for a fascinating and artistic perch. The apparent darkness
you see resulted from my using of electronic flash to light the
subject and its immediate surroundings. The background was too far
away for the flash to produce detail. I used 300mm macro lens.
Can a literal image of an animal be an abstract as well? This is a dew
covered caterpillar. The sharp, crisp partially eaten leaf, contrasts
with the subject and its “bad hair day”. The literalness of the leaf,
makes the caterpillar more otherworldly and abstract.
When large waterbirds preen, there is art to be had. All we need to do
is recognize it.
I would guess a fair number of the wildlife photographers I have known
in my life, would never take the time to photograph either a common
Canada Goose, or a Ring-billed Gull. Just as is the case in my
dealings with people, I have never discriminated.
Large waterbirds of all types, create a sort of “contortion art” out
of keeping their feathers in good shape and flight ready.
The goose and gull below were photographed on the same day and were
quite close to each other while they preened. I was sitting relaxed
in my own car and enjoying every artful moment they provided for me.
The male Canvasback Duck you see below was photographed at a different
locale. Ducks shed many of their flight feathers once a year and
become tied to land and/or water while they grow new ones. He
performed for me for quite a while and I said thank you (yes I really
did), and moved on.
There is always another picture to make. We just need to “see” them,
make them, and take ownership of them. Gulls.
My preferences for photographing manmade buildings, was usually to
find old ones. With that said, this old one near an historic
lighthouse, attracted me for the blank whiteness of most of it, along
with the shocking red rood which contrasted (warm red against cool
blue) against the sky. Clean, simple and old.
Of course, reducing a subject, in this case the old lighthouse that
lives next to the above building, to only shape and color (that being
the sky), is another way to create simple elegance.
We see first with our eyes, but secondly with our “vision”!! They are
not necessarily the same thing.
We need use front light, and the detail it provides in order to show
movement in a picture. The artistic and rhythmic movement below was
provided by a duck in the predawn hours, some beautiful water ripples,
and an artistically flawless wake that followed the duck.
In the last sentence in the above paragraph, I said that the wake
followed my subject the duck. Make no bones about it, my subject was
not just the duck, they were the duck, the ripples, the wake and the
color. Four subjects reside in this photo. They were equal, and
mutually dependent on each other.
I could spend a month contemplating and photographing something as
simple as moving water and a rock. Specific subjects are only as
important as we make them. There is wonder to be found and shared in everything.
Well there you are, an eclectic, non related bunch of images made over
many years of time. Some may be good and some not so much, but they
are mine. I own them. Literally and figuratively. To me, they
represent brief moments in my life.
Life is in fact, a series of moments which when added up, constitute a lifetime.
To answer a recently asked question of me, no I am in no way done commenting on politics, and I will never be done commenting on my Christianity. At least not until the Lord as called me home.