Today’s post is first and foremost about sharing the work of three great photographers. It has been too long since I have done this. I will weave their imagery and mine together throughout the post just to keep it interesting. As is often the case, my own images were selected by opening a few folders and just grabbing whatever I saw. They are in no way meant to compete with the artistry of the three magnificent photographers who’s work I am sharing.
Firstly, as has always been the case whenever I view a Guy Tal image, that I am impressed by the artfulness of the selection of subject, and by his personal composition. Gentle yet powerful at the same time.
I believe the location is his native state of Utah. Over all, Utah may be the most photogenic state in the U.S., however an image such as this could have been made in much of the country. Much of the world. One first has to “see it”, and then they need to have the skillful knowledge of how to bring it to fruition. Guy has both.
The next four images are mine, and they are of one of my favorite subjects, sand dunes. The first two are from White Sands New Mexico, with the remaining two from Great Sand Dunes Colorado.
Sand dunes like most subjects, are about light. The color and quality of such, yes, but the direction it comes from, and where it is going are paramount. Will it create visual fissures that serve notice of texture? Ripples will only exist visually, if there are separations of light and dark. Low moody light produces both obvious texture, and drama. Notice that the warm color of the light, make White Sands not perfectly white. 2
Light can produce colorful subjects, even beyond their natural appearance. Such is the case below but it is wind that has “made” these images interesting. Wind is the driving force here for creating patterns of swirls and other designs in the sand.
In the first image below, I like that the four hundred foot high dunes, are put in context with their environment. That makes them look as big as they are.
In this second one, we have an abstraction that reduces the scene into only patterns. We do not know if they are four hundred feet high, or four feet.
In some respects, this looks good enough to eat. Grab yourself a spoon.
Back to the stars of the show.
Great third generation photographer/artist Marc Muench created this dreamy yet stark B&W rendition of the Mammoth Lakes area. I would imagine that a long exposure helped create the “wispiness” of the clouds. When creating landscapes that are devoted to being art, one’s only requirement is to marry your own imagination and technical skills together to achieve your vision.
Let us walk away from pure nature for a moment, and explore a stark but beautiful image by renowned travel photographer Brenda Tharp. This building with those amazing stairs would be great in and of itself, but those two small figures near the bottom, in their native Middle Eastern garb, make the picture. In addition to subject and composition, the technical (exposure, depth of field etc.) skills that Brenda has are also apparent here.
I will close with an image of mine. This one much like Marc’s (his is superior) image, is somewhat of a time exposure. A slow shutter speed of ½ sec, was employed to capture the dreaminess of those Lake Michigan waves just before sunrise. You can see the sky beginning to light up with a golden hue from the sun which is still mainly below the horizon at this time.
I have known a lot of different photographers in my lifetime, and all are to some degree unique.
Some photographers are all about the subject. In their world, there is nothing better than a subject that they are interested in. Give them a good, technical shot of a subject they care about, an that is as good as it gets. They will often even applaud a bad photo, if they love the subject. I’ve known a few other photographers, who care only about their photographic expression of a subject, and not what that subject actually is.
Those that care about subjects, will likely never get a great image in and of itself, of a subject they do not care about. Those who care only about the art, do not understand the joy that some feel at the photographic capture of a special animal or place.
If I’ve done anything right in my life as a photographer, is was to appreciate both subjects, and art. Each by themselves, or combined. Limiting ourselves is to miss half the joy of it all.
I hope you enjoyed your visit and come back soon.