Art, Color and Beauty are Everywhere
I recently attended a contemplative photography retreat at beautiful Hui Ho’olana on Moloka’i. The next several posts will be from the retreat.
Beauty was everywhere I looked. It presented itself along every path, around every corner. It seemed that it was just asking to be photographed.
Red, green and yellow
Spiked leaves shoot out like a star
Just asking to be noticed
Door Handles – Raymond Library, Yakima Valley College
My friend exclaimed “LOOK!”. I turned and saw these interesting door handles. They looked more like little sculptures than handles. As I squinted, the glass doors became darker and the light reflecting off the handles became less harsh. It gave me a little feeling of mystery, “What is behind these doors?”.
“Diagonals and Contrast”
Look forward, turn and look around, look down, look up … it is amazing what gifts are out there waiting to be received. Light, shadows, shapes, diagonals abound everywhere. It is ours for the seeing. This simple skylight in Glenn Anthon Hall (Yakima Valley College) caught my interest. I just walked around to get the diagonal perspectives and balance I was looking for.
Sunlit Entryway – Yakima, WA
I have been working to develop my process for contemplative photography. My assignment today was to take a walk with a fresh open mind not looking for any specific thing to photograph. The practice objective was to just wander and let the world around me catch my eye. If something caught my eye, I needed to keep my mind open, take my time, and explore specifically what was it that captured my eye, what was important, and what was not. Only then I could raise my camera and frame the image.
Walking along Front Street, I saw a bright orange flash that stopped me dead in my tracks. It was in stark contrast with the surrounding area of old stucco and bricks. Shadows from a metal gate added to the contrast. Soft mottled shadows from a street tree graced its surface. The vertical bars of the gate framed the brilliant orange. What a wonderful gift I was given.
Sandhill Crane Landing Abstract
Last spring I took 3500 images of Sandhill Cranes near Othello, WA in a 3-day period. After the trip, I quickly went through and picked a couple of my favorites. Today, I decided to go back and pick out a few more of my best images. I found this one of a crane landing in a field. I used an equivalent of a 600mm lens, but still did not get a good close-up. This image was further enlarged by a factor of 4. As expected, the resultant image was not very sharp.
So what can you do with a fuzzy image??? Why not try an abstract processing method. I used Topaz Impression to get this result.
Lesson Learned: Don’t take so many darn images. It is a real pain to review 3500 images. (I am still not done.) I took a break to post this one.
For reference, below is my original image:
Chihuly Museum of Glass, Seattle, WA
It is a dreary winter day today. I needed a little brightness and whimsey. I looked to the brilliant display of Chihuly glass at the Seattle Museum of Glass. To add a little more energy, here is a 9-image vertical pan combined into a single image. Let your imagination flow!
Washington Arboretum, Seattle
I constantly look over my previous images to review how I have achieved a certain look so I can improve on it. Today I was reviewing my images for examples of pulling a viewer into the frame through the illusion of depth. Well, this image has nothing to do with that, but it still caught my eye.
The image is a double exposure of a couple of maples in their fall glory. They had strong dark branches with the leaves receiving side lighting. I was in a light playful mood, so I tried a double exposure. I like the way it came out.
Boat Graveyard & Repair Facility – Charleston, Oregon
I spent a couple of hours exploring an old boat graveyard in Charleston, Oregon, I was fascinated with all the chipped paint on the old boats from a by-gone era. They had seen a much better time. I can just imagine the stories these old boats could tell. I picked an image at random and played with it in Topaz Impression. I applied a Van Gogh painting style as an overlay. Today I needed a break from reality
It looks like a sail … sort of? Maybe some moths got to it??? Maybe it is just an abstract line drawing??? Maybe we will never know. Does it matter?
I was photographing textures on old ships in a boat “grave yard” / repair facility in Charleston, Oregon when I saw it.
Face Abstract – Valley of Fire, Yellowstone National Park
Photography has taught me to keep my eyes open and be ready to see the unusual. Walking along a path in Yellowstone’s Valley of Fire, I gazed down into a bubbling hot spring and saw this face looking up at me. I stopped worked the scene and captured an image. On my computer, I softened the image and added a little impressionistic touch. Can you see the face?
Photography, vision, and imagination go hand in hand.