Create Love

“Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.”

– Lao Tzu

Create LoveCreate Love – My Interpretation of Graffiti

f3.5, SS 1/60, ISO 800

Nikon D800, 24-70mm f2.8

Vision vs. Technique

SmileMake Art – My Interpretation of Graffiti

I recently read a blog post “Wow, how did you do that?” by Cole Thompson, an amazing photographer.  If you have a minute, I encourage you to read it.  For those who don’t have time, here is the part of the article that really spoke to me.

“However when I see people focusing on technique first, I find they usually never get around to putting that same energy into finding their Vision, and as a result their work is technically perfect and masterfully imitative. Technique alone misses the mark.

So instead of focusing on Photoshop and its hundreds of features or following the latest fad technique, put most of your time and energy into your Vision. I promise you that this approach will yield better images and much more satisfying results.

Technique is not the key to a great image. Vision is.” – Cole Thompson

I am so thankful for Mr. Thompson’s words of wisdom! I have had so many conversations recently through which I have been told that I need to master Photoshop and manipulating images because that is the way to go. I have always held to my belief that shooting to capture my vision is the best way to work – I suppose I am a purist, but I want to capture what I see, what I feel, and what is inspiring me. I want to use the light to make my images, not have to go back at the end of the day to try to make what I thought I saw by using a technique that someone else is using.  To me, that would then become me using a vision that belonged to someone else.  I don’t want to lose my vision, or myself to what others think I should be doing to be successful.  Success will come with patience and through hard work and sharing my vision.  The beauty of working with my vision, and using manual settings on my camera and not focusing on a technique, is that I can successfully use a film camera or a digital camera to capture my vision.  Kind of cool, I think!

I’ve been told by photographers that they shoot with the purpose of using the image for an idea they have in PS, or other editing software. To me, that is digital art vs. photography. To call it photography don’t you have to be using the camera to capture light and use your artistic vision to compose the image and use the light to successfully create your vision?

To be clear, I am not opposed to post processing a digital image, after all, isn’t the software for digital imaging like the darkroom to film photography? In fact, you have to process an image to some extent, don’t you?  Some images are fabulous straight out of camera (SOOC), but others need a little processing – a color burn, a dodge, a color balance, etc., and there is nothing wrong with HDR work when done effectively so that the subject doesn’t look fake.  The reality is that no matter how hard we work to achieve the perfect image in camera, the camera doesn’t always see what we see.  My goal is always to get as close to accurate as possible with exposure and white balance and the best possible composition – do the very best at what I can control and edit what maybe I couldn’t control as well.

I think that Mr. Thompson’s  insight is accurate as far as differentiating artistic vision using photography vs. the art of digital manipulation and creation.  A little dodge and burn, etc. are post processing tools that even the greatest photographers used in the dark room.  But the over saturation and complete manipulation of an image to the point that the original image is lost, to me, is another art form – digital art, which, in and of itself, can be amazing when done right, and should not be discounted as an art form, just designated as digital art vs. photography.

Another link to check out is the website of Jerry Uelsmann.  He is a film photographer that has been called the father of Photoshop, not because he uses Photoshop, but because he uses tools, techniques and expertise in the dark room to develop his negatives.  Through his years as a photographer he has overlaid negatives, and done amazing, and sometimes crazy, things to create images, often using multiple negatives to do so.  His work is thought-provoking and time intensive.  But, his work was all created through his vision captured in the form of photographs.  He often combined his visions to create new visions, but because he used his vision and captured that vision in the form of photographs it still falls into the realm of photography, to me at least.  The title applied to his techniques; “the father of Photoshop” certainly applies as he inspired the digital art world to become what it is today.

Realizing this post has the possibility to be controversial to some, I want to note that I am in no way trying to offend anyone or discredit the work of any photographers or their techniques.  I’m just stating my opinion and explaining my thoughts and letting you, the reader, know how I work.  I thought Mr. Thompson’s article was very valuable and may perhaps inspire and help others to find and use their vision and grow as photographers vs. attempting to do the work others are doing.  The reality is that none of us can truly copy another’s work when it comes to photography because photography is capturing a moment in time using a vision that will never exist with the same light again. I think the key to successful photography is knowing your vision, knowing how to use your camera to capture your vision through manual settings, and following your heart to further develop your vision through post processing.

Another link I’d like to share with you is the website for the International Center for Photography in New York City.  One of the current exhibits is titled “What is a Photograph?”.  I can’t wait to see it and hope that some of you make your way to visit the museum as well.

Enjoy going out and creating “your” art this weekend!

Fan of Ambition

Fan of AmbitionFan of Ambition

SS 1/100, F 16,  ISO 200

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” – C.S. Lewis

Description of image title:  Green represents ambition and the leaves form a fan

Reversed Cheer

Reversed CheerReversed Cheer

SS 1/160, F16, ISO 200

“Anything that excites me for any reason, I will photograph; not searching for unusual subject matter, but making the commonplace unusual.” – Edward Weston

For those who may not have visiting my blog before, or those who have, but might have forgotten, the Gerber Daisy represents cheer in the Victorian Language of Flowers – thus the title.

Antique Books and Daisies

Reading Amidst CheerReading Amidst Cheer

SS 60, F3.0, ISO 2000

“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

Cheerful BookmarkCheerful Bookmark

SS 60, F3.2, ISO 1250

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

 If you recall from pervious posts, the Gerber daisy represents cheer in the language of flowers, thus the titles of the images posted this evening.  


Joy and Cheer

Cheer and JoyCheer and Joy

F 4.2, SS 1/60, ISO 1000 Nikon D800, Nikon 60mm F2.8 Micro

 

 

 

Cheer and InnocenceCheer and Innocence

F 3.8, SS 1/60, ISO 1000 Nikon D800, Nikon 60mm F2.8 Micro

“When you wish someone joy, you wish them peace,
love, prosperity, happiness… all the good things.”- Maya Angelou

 

Christmas Cactus Series – 2013

Christmas LoveChristmas Love

Christmas JoyChristmas Joy

 

“And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow,
stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons.
It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags.
And he puzzled and puzzled ’till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before.
What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store.
What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.” – Dr. Seuss

 

 

 

 

Behold Snow

“Kindness is like snow – it beautifies everything it covers”- Unknown

Beautified by SnowBeautified by Snow

“When Christmas bells are swinging above the fields of snow, we hear sweet voices ringing from lands of long ago, and etched on vacant places are half-forgotten faces of friends we used to cherish, and loves we used to know.”- Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Loves CherishedLoves Cherished

 

“How did it happen that their lips came together? How does it happen that birds sing, that snow melts, that the rose unfolds, that the dawn whitens behind the stark shapes of trees on the quivering summit of the hill? A kiss, and all was said.”- Victor Hugo

A Kiss of SnowA Kiss of Snow

Subtle Beauty of Thankfulness

T-H-A-N-K-S-G-I-V-I-N-G

Thankful for

Happiness and hugs

And basic

Necessities.

Kind hearts, and

Selfless souls.

Grace.

Individuals

Vivaciously

Influencing others through

Noble

Generosity.

copyright Robyn Graham

Beauty of Thanksgiving

Subtle Beauty of Thankfulness

Exhilarated Beauty

“When I work, and in my art, I hold hands with God” – Robert Mapplethorpe

Exhilarated BeautyExhilarated Beauty

“Exhilarated beauty” is the image I chose today because I have just come off of an exhilarating experience with my first solo exhibit.  There is actually one day left, the gallery is open from 10 to 6 tomorrow, but the artist reception was Friday and I volunteered at the gallery several hours over the weekend.  I am excited to be able to report that I have sold several pieces and have met some incredible people, talented artists, and received wonderful compliments and words of encouragement.  It has been a great pleasure to share my gift with others!  I chose the quote in continuance of the calla lily/Robert Mapplethorpe series and because I truly believe my photography is a gift from God…his miraculous works are all around us and he is using my camera, lenses, and me to capture them and share them with the world in a unique way.

I must add that this series, as with almost all of my floral images, has been done using only natural light and my camera settings, with the only edits being black and white conversion.