Selected for Show in Cape Cod

It’s always fun to be selected to be in a juried show. Means somebody liked my work and are willing to make it possible for others to see it.

This entire show is also on-line. Check it out!!! http://www.cultural-center.org/black-white/

I like the other photos. That’s also a plus. Like being invited to a party and discovering that you like the other guests!

Doesn’t get any better!!!

Shadows are Complicated–Have Own Image

We all know that depending on the angle of the sun, shadows can be elongated or shortened.

Sometimes shadows can multiply or fatten or become the focus. You have to look carefully to see that.

Check out these two images of evening shadows caught on a cloth interacting with the form behind. Nothing simple about them.

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In this one, the shadow seems to walk away from the actual person casting that shadow.

 

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In this one, the shadow seems to be holding the cloth rather than the other way around.

Keep your eyes open. Notice shadows!!!!

Male Vs Female Models

I’m sometimes asked which I prefer–male models or female models. No preference. No difference in how I work with them. However, it’s almost impossible not to notice that my photographs feature female models much more often than male models. I’ve even been accused of using too many young women in my work. I actually use many models who are in their 30s and 40s. Susie shown here is in her late 50s. Here’s the problem: culturally we seem to be more comfortable with female nudity than male nudity. Full frontal in both cases is cause for many people to suddenly turn on their prude, but male full frontal is ten times more shocking somehow.

That said, I think these examples are equally interesting and serene. Both were shot same day, same pond.

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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?

Too Posed VS Just Right

One of the things I try to watch when working with models is the “too posed” shot.

Yes, the model is beautiful and graceful (she’s a dancer, after all ) and, yes, I like the fan of water coming off her hip, BUT this is a bad photograph.

It’s my problem, not the model’s. She is trying too hard to give me something and suddenly “strikes a pose.” If I take the shot, that’s my bad. What I need to do is give better direction. “OK, that’s good, but could you shake it out, relax, and then just be yourself,” is a good example. Or “Just let it happen.” Or “Great, but you’re working too hard. Just be yourself.”

Do whatever you need to do to get to this, which is a much-much better shot in the same situation. This one feels real. It is the way someone would react standing in a waterfall, especially a cold one.

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Abstracted by Water

I love the way water will abstract the body. In this case you can’t really identify the person in what seems to be a portrait. On the plus side, I think that adds universality to the image. I also see depth, mystery, beauty. What do you see?

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.

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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.

It’s All About the Shadow

Normally it’s all about the figure. The figure in this photograph is good but the composition is all about the shadow. It’s a shadow that has been made complicated by the sun and water. Adds considerable interest. And because the photograph is mostly about that interesting shadow, black and white is my choice for presentation. Black and white emphasizes light and shadow. Perfect combination. BTW, this was shot at noon, not a photographer’s favorite time, but that high angle of light contributed to the shadow. Hope you agree.

Soft, Soft, Soft

soft nudewebThere are some images that are best as hard, finely focused photographs. Some are better soft. In this case, both of these images were deliberately blurred. I like them this way. But I’m not sure I know how to explain it. I simply find them more pleasing somehow. Maybe you have the words to explain it. Leave a comment.