Open Wide–Now Scream

I’m amused at all the candid photos on Facebook that show people with the mouths open as if in surprise. Trendy? A reaction to older, more formal candid shots? There’s even an emoji with mouth open–also surprise. However, there is a big difference between an open mouth and a screaming mouth.

Edvard Munch’s painting The Scream is not expressing surprise or posing for a trendy candid. His scream begins at the toes and literally empties emotion. That scream is a protest.

hqdefault

My scream photos are also seeking to express something beyond the trendy mouth-open shots. One is taken underwater. The other is reflected in glass. In both cases, I reminded the model of Edvard Munch’s painting and asked for a similar expression. My models did good jobs. And I think nudity, in this case, adds to the sense of vulnerability.

PS It’s also trendy to ask models NOT to express emotion. This school of thought wants to focus on the figure. I think real emotion is expressed by the whole body and sometimes that can be the focus. What do you think?

Click on photos for larger view.

scream5smscreamsm

Mother Nature Sings to Her Flowers–Mythic Storytelling Photos

There are photographers who picture reality–gritty street scenes is one example.

There are other photographers who go to great lengths to set up scenes often with disorienting, out of place aspects that jar the viewer’s sense of reality.

Somewhere between those two extremes are photos that add elements–like the veil here–that create a mythic/storytelling quality. Sometimes I like to introduce an element like this veil and see what happens. In this case, I’m pretty sure I actually photographed Mother Nature Singing to her Wild Flowers. It is a photograph that is larger–more mythic–that what I thought I was setting up. Magic is everywhere. Just wait for it.

Mystical Photograph–Such a thing?

Photography balances somewhere between art and science. For a long time, people debated whether or not it was art. Photography was supposedly just the science of capturing images of the real world, it was argued. The art, of course, is in the composition of the photograph. In today’s digital world, the art is often in how the photograph is manipulated. Then this happens . . .

Notice that the reflection shows the face of a very old woman. It is not at all a true reflection of the model’s real face. Water distorts reflections. That’s why water is such an interesting element to add to a photograph, but . . .

I didn’t see this old woman image when I shot this photograph. When I saw it in the captured print, I was startled. How did that happen? I love happy accidents. In this case, it’s almost mythic, mystical. The image seems to ask if this Is a picture of reality or something more?

Our Lady of the Forest

Catching a reflection on the surface of a pond is fun. Capturing both the reflection and the complexity of the pond habitat is better. In fact seeing the depth and living dimensions of the pond in the reflection gives this photograph a mythic quality, I think. Seems like a goddess has paused for a moment amidst the forest world where she lives and rules. Again you have to look carefully to see that reflections can also be windows to what’s beneath the reflection itself.

I like this photo a lot because it does that.

Photos with Reflections and What Makes Them Work

I’ve been doing a series of these Janus images based on the Janus myth.

 

In ancient Roman religion and mythology, Janus is the god of beginnings and transitions, thence also of gates, doors, doorways, endings and time. He is usually a two-faced god since he looks to the future and the past. The Romans dedicated the month of January to Janus.

Janus-Vatican

Here’s an example from the Vatican Museum.

In my case, I’m using a reflection in water as the second image. Reflections only work if  they seem to interact with the original image. That means, both images are somehow greater because of the reflection. In this case the interaction is enhanced by the arm–underwater–seemingly touching the reflection. Because the arm is underwater, it’s a bit ethereal. That makes it appear to be halfway between reality and reflection. I think it really adds to the overall composition. This is an image I’m particularly proud of.

Janus Myth–The Challenge

januswebWhile taking a class from Karin Rosenthal ( www.krosenthal.com) I was challenged by her to create a Janus image.

According to the ancient Roman religion, Janus was the god of beginnings and endings. He marked transitions. He was often placed in doorways and always shown as having two faces–one looking backward and one looking forward. We were working with water, so the challenge was to use the water to create that kind of image. I came up with three that I like.

Note that some are more peaceful than others. How would a god of transitions appear to you?

BTW Janus is the god of January.

 

janus1web

Karin Rosenthal Class–WOW!

LadyofLakewebTook a class from Karin Rosenthal (www.krosenthal) and wow! I think she is the woman photographer who is doing the most interesting things with nudes and water. Nudes and water–everything I love. I was excited and then found the class extremely challenging. Left thinking, I’d been pushed too far, too fast, and kind of lost my own point of view in the process. A couple of months later, when I had a chance to really work with the images I’d shot there, I suddenly realized I-loved-that-class. I was so much, so fast, I just had to have time to digest. Rosenthal is intense because she really cares about all the images.

This is one that I brought home. And here’s another.

If you have a chance to take a class from her—do it!

Beauty VS Discomfort

brokenfacesmBeauty is a problem. Most of us, like it or not, have let fashion photographers and moviemakers decide what kind of bodies are beautiful–young, overly thin–mostly. The fine art nude photographer needs to work against that norm, or embrace it and try to find something new in it. Art is not art unless it shows us something we haven’t seen before. Connie Imboden www.connieimboden.com goes one further, she like to discomfort and distort images, forcing the viewer to see something he/she might not enjoy except as art. Here are a couple examples of photographs that I’ve done that are intended to discomfort. What do you think?

In the case of the black and white image, water distorts the face as it breaks the surface.

In the case of the colored image, a sheet of mylar reflects a distortion of the body, including those floating fingers.

Invitation to Longmont Show and my Photo

Don’t often to get accepted into shows in my local area. I’m blaming midwestern uptightness and my general subject matter. That said, I took a chance on a show called “Interpretive Landscape” that’s opening in Longmont, Colorado June 12 at 6 p.m. and got in!!! My idea of interpretive landscape is to add a nude–of course. Don’t know the gallery. It’s called DARKROOM at 515 Main Street. Could be big and impressive or small and intimate. Doesn’t matter, it will be showing my photo called “Lady of the Lake” and I’ll be at the opening. Hoping, maybe, you’ll stop by as well. I’m told June 12 is 2nd Friday in Longmont and lots of galleries will be open. You could make an outing of it. Hope you can make it. And, yeah, for a little Colorado love of my art.

PS the thumbnail here doesn’t show the whole photo. Check my galleries for the full experience or come to the show!