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Point of View

August 28th, 2019

When I was starting as a young photographer, one of my only concerns was style or point of view. Everyone else was concentrating on equipment. I would say the world of consumer photography has been plagued by this dichotomy since its inception. Everyone likes a good gadget. The more these gadgets take pictures and expose pretty well by themselves we can be in awe of their technological prowess, then just point and shoot. This does nothing to develop a point of view. It is easy to point a camera at just about anything and take a picture. Imagine a painter doing the same thing. We might find tha a little odd, don't you think? So, just because we can take a picture of something does not mean we have to. Develop a relationship with your subject matter. Learn how to look at a subject in terms of line, shape, form, color, texture, and take a position. Learn to emphasize an aspect or two, or isolate an aspect or two. Practice doing this over and over again. You will eventually find yourself looking at a subject through your own eyes and not through a lens that someone else constructed. You have to find your own unique vision, stripped away from what you should do based on another point of view. It is OK to mimic and copy in order to practice things. It takes a long time to develop your own eye, but it is essential for all authentic art making. Please step away from your camera and learn to see without it, and you then will be able to use it to express your true self. This happens a little at a time. After several years of commercial art experience I would go with friends to go and photograph. Half the time I would not take my camera and still enjoyed what I saw. You have to learn to enjoy seeing in your own unique way. Learn this and you will have found your unique point of view. One thing that bugs me the most is when I look at a gallery of photography and the first thing that comes to mind is, "what is this person's unique perspective on this subject matter?" I mostly experience that this approach to the subject matter is just about like everyone elses. Like lemmings, everyone is following the last one over the cliff and nobody ever notices. You have to notice. You first have to look at a gazillian images and see what others are doing, in order to convince yourself this is not what you should be doing. Check out artists that you really like and ask yourself why you like them. You may like their point of view and that they are not doing it like everyone else. Do that and your work will improve.

Discouraged but Truthful

August 27th, 2019

I sit at my desk for my day job wondering how I can even exist in a world where I am always bouncing from roll to roll, identity kind of split the same, just bouncing between day job, to student, to artist, to husband, to etc. I have found the most challenging thing of my life is integrating all this into a whole self. I have always desired to be identified as A, B, or C, and then as X, Y, or Z. I know what I love. I like to help people, love to be loved and love, and I like to make art. Ever since I was a budding commercial artist I always wanted to define myself as something I did, something important. I am now 61 years old and think I wasted a lot of time hunting for the right title instead of just doing the work. My artistic expression comes in fits and starts, and then long stops. I am now at a place where basic human connections are at the top of my list. I have no idea if anybody will ever purchase anything from me and have to let that go. I am willing to build a network of people to surrond myself with that are good and loving, perhaps willing to be in the boat with me, a kind of Noah's ark for creatives who are just waiting for calmer waters and a trip to the other side.

Abstract Photography Blog

August 27th, 2019

This blog highlights my personal journey as a photographic artist. It also includes comments, articles, opinions about abstract photography in particular, as well as comments about the process of photographic intent, capture, and vision. This is not a place where equipment will be discussed unless it relates specifically to creating a particular work and is essential for the treatment being discussed. This is about vision, and vision cannot be discussed with context and history. I have been strongly influenced by Abstract Expressionism particularly. I am also influenced by religion, spirituality, and especially contemplative practices and pursuits in both the Catholic and Buddhist tradition. These ideas and practices direct my own practice of capturing images more than just about anything else. I grew up in the middle of film and all the wonderful film processes and the darkroom. Even though I have moved into the digital darkroom the ethos of the red light and reflections off the solutions in trays, as well as the smells and such are all still a part of how I create my images. I treasure my past training and the people who nudged and pushed me forward. These are the kind of ideas and information you will find here.