Now for something completely different. I have been publishing a lot of different portraits lately. People I have met and worked with, so I thought it was time to mix it up a little. Flowers are always so beautiful that I can’t help but take pictures of them. Especially when visiting a conservatory as lovely as the Bloedel Conservatory in Vancouver BC.
It is april in Calgary, and I have heard that spring bulbs are starting to appear in people’s gardens, not in mine, and we are going to have snow today, with colder than normal temperatures predicted for the rest of the week. I do miss the flowers.
For this image I used Nik Silver Effects Pro to creat a black and white layer then reduced the opacity to allow a small amount of the color to come through. Since the flower in the original image was a bright red, it came through with a little color while the rest remain dark.
Rock Balancing, a stone stacker on English Bay Vancouver BC.
Rock Balancing, or Stone Stacking, here the portrait features the art more than the artist.
This young man was busy at work, we were out for a stroll along Vancouver’s English Bay, that is the seawall in the background, and helps to eliminate any distraction and isolate the subject. Stone Stacking or Rock Balancing is considered a performance art, and if you visit Flicker you can see lots of pictures of rocks that had been stacked in nature. Rocks are balanced on top of one another in various positions. There are no tricks involved to aid in the balancing, such as adhesives, wires, supports, or rings.
This young man was completely absorbed in the task, and I am guessing that for some the activity would be meditative, I was reluctant to disturb him to get a name and or more information about how long he has been stacking stones. I guess I will have to go for another walk, this time to have a conversation.
Quite some time ago now I was out walking when I found this lovely eagle feather, I knew immediately that I wanted to create this image. I could picture it in my mind. Time passed, travels, and other projects became a priority and this lovely feather sat in a basket on the coffee table for many months. Last week I finally took time, made it a priority and photographed the lovely and delicate feather. Then using Kim Klassen’s texture Phoebe as an overlay I was able to achieve the image I had in my mind the day I picked up the feather.
I don’t use textures a lot in my work, but it is a tool I have explored and worked with on occasion. Kim Klassen Cafe has workshop, tutorials and above all wonderful textures to work with. Head on over to her site for some inspiration!
I am not sure that I am entirely done with this image, as it is staying with me. It might need some text, or a haiku, I will have to sit with it a while to decide. Let me know what you think
Walking the Camino, The Way of St. James, to Santiago de Compostella, we were awake, and walking early in the morning, and each day saw camino art, wonderful expressions of creativity, some of it related to the camino experience some of it related to other subjects.
Located in Burguete Spain, a little town made famous as Hemingway’s trout-fishing base in the The Sun Also Rises. I wondered if the mural was a tribute to the writer.
Ile de la cite, Paris France, and the evening river cruises
I am a big fan of Henri Cartier-Bresson, there is so much to be learned from studying the work of someone you admire. While most of us do not want to just copy someone else’s work, there are lessons to be learned by walking through the process the photographer might have used to capture an image. I believe that as much as you might try to copy someone’s work that our equipment, the processes that are available to us, our skill level and our personalities will all show in the images and separate your work from the original.
Take this image for example, the original inspired by Henri Cartier-Bresson taken in 1952 would be difficult to copy today, yes with Photoshop it could be accomplished, but what is to be gained by that, except well, to improve or show off your Photoshop skills. I have my own memories of Paris. Memories of Paris of today, with the river cruises, the grey skies, the yellow and orange leaves of autumn. This is the Paris I want to capture in my images. But I did pick this spot to take picture not just because it was beautiful but because I had seen Henri Cartier-Bresson’s images, and loved it. I purposefully choose early evening because I wanted to show some of the city lights, and I choose a slow shutter speed to show how the River Seine is now a very busy place.
So while my image was inspired by Henri Cartier-Bresson it is quite different, and meets my objectives for the images.
Back in June I worked with a young lady to create “figure and form”, and wanted to try the same process with a male figure.
While the lady was a soft shadow, I choose the harder more defined lines for the male subject. Here you can see some details in his face, and I used a darker grungier rock texture. So the two images while following the same process look quite different. Let me know what you think.
Bath Abbey, considered one of the largest examples of Perpendicular Gothic architecture in southwest England. We visited a couple of years ago, and I was struck by the height of the column, the large stain glass window at the end of the of the tall clerestory, and the beautiful vaulted ceiling with fan-shaped columns.
Formerly a Benedictine monastery founded in the 7th century, it later became an Anglian parish church, it was rebuilt in the 12 century and restored in the 16th century. It is amazing to see such beautiful architecture, repeatedly restored and cared for over the centuries, and through the generations. Coming from Calgary Canada where everything is new, or if it isn’t new it is tore down to make way for new, it is stunning to sit in such a building an image the people that built or work on it or passed through it’s doors, and the changes in the world that have happened while it has been standing.
Instead of a lady in red I have a lady n’ lace. I couldn’t really say “in” lace because there really isn’t enough lace to be “in” .
I have often read that in order to learn our craft, be it painting or photographer we should study the masters, taking my inspiration from the Shawl Project, and photographers Ginni Savalli and Jeff Klingler I wanted to study light, or more precisely one light in portrait and studio photography. It was their work that most inspiring for me, and I am looking forward to experimenting and learning more. I think something like this in high-key would also be very interesting. or maybe a red background and red shawl?
If you know anyone in the Calgary area who is interested in sitting for photos and helping with this study let me know.
The photo group I belong to was going on a photo walk last night, the rain dampened by enthusiasm for the project! So rather than going for out in the rain I decided to stay home. I have the gorgeous glass paperweight, that I thought would make some interesting macro photographs. So many little glass bubbles, swirls of color, set on a light table, with high key lighting it makes a beauiful abstract image.