Calendar of Posts
June 2013 M T W T F S S « May 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30
- ‘Senior Splendor’
- The ‘No Matter What’ Deal…
- I Dance with Flowers
- Full Moon Blooms Rare Night Lillies
- A Dance that Turns Snow into Flowers
- Monet lights a fire under my ass!
- My Heart Attack and Conversation with God
- Off to the Fat Farm – Back in 3 Weeks with a New Improved Model!
- Uptight Bunny, Hidden Alien & Floral Floss.
- Bertha and Hank Make Progress in Counseling and Dead Trees
Category Archives: creativity
I Dance with Flowers.
I love getting up close and personal with nature, especially flowers. ‘Macro’ photography refers to taking pictures of small things at close range in which the image appears at least as large as it does in reality. In my studio I have a process that I call ‘The Dance,’ an intimate relationship that develops between me and my subject.
‘The Dance’ begins with a single flower – finding just the right flower, one that has something special to share. Not all do and even the ones that do, do so when they are damned good and ready and not a minute before – if at all! I usually dance at night, when I can … CLICK ‘Macro Floral Gallery‘ for the rest of the story!
I can usually see it coming and dread it’s arrival as it makes me somewhat crazy.
I hear it’s not just me. Talking with doctors in the ER, they say that during full moons, they’re swamped. A full moon, for me, is a mixed blessing, similar to my Bipolar disorder, in that it blesses me with polar opposites. I fluctuate between bursts of energy as well as spontaneous plunges into mild depression. Both of these states elevate my creativity. Most people would think this is a good thing and I suppose it is, from a ‘get a lot of really cool shit done kind of way,’ but it sucks a lot out of me. It’s as if I can’t stop, even if I tried and I do try. It’s as if the energy will have it’s way with me, until whatever it is that I point my head at – is done!
My latest collection ‘Night Lilies’ demonstrates my state(s) perfectly. Last week, I saw the full moon coming. I told myself “Self, this will be like any other day. No need to do anything different. In fact, I’ll work on getting more sleep, meditate and take it easy.” That was my plan. What actually happened …
About 10:00 pm, tossing and turning after getting to bed early, I got up, paced the floor and noticed 2 lilies I had gotten with the intention of shooting, and hadn’t. I knew better than pick up my camera, or even looking at them – but I did. Next thing I knew, I had the flowers in a bud vase in front of my blackout cloth in my studio, camera set up, one small light back-lighting, turned on the camera and “DAMN – there was no turning back now.” The flower decided that I will record it in all it’s glory.
I shot, and shot and shot, carefully adjusting my macro close up lens, nudging the flower in 1/16″ increments, repositioning the light to illuminate every possibly line, shadow and color. 3 – 400 times later, around 4:00 am, I was done – I mean ‘spet’ utterly and completely spent! It’s as if the flower enlisted the power of the full moon to force me to record what they so freely want to show me.
So, here are my two lilies, showing off for you, in all their glory. I do hope that you enjoy them, and if you do, please share it with others. There are many ‘share’ buttons below.
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PS. I am working on a new ‘Fine Art Graffiti’ collection. Should be out next week.
I’m 58 now and don’t feel (or act) much different than when I was 5, especially when it comes to the excitement of that first snowfall of the winter. I love to get bundled up and walk around our amazingly beautiful village of Langley (Whidbey Island, WA). One of my favorite parts of snow days is hunkering down in the quiet of my studio, light a fire, put on some quiet music, garb my camera (an extension of my eyes) and lose myself within a flower. I call this ‘the dance.’
When I say lose myself – I mean totally and absolutely in the zone! I shut off all the lights, turn up the music, place my flower(s) in a bud vase surrounded by black cloth backdrops, set up my camera on a sturdy tripod, screw in a macro (extreme close up) lens, grab a small handheld reading (led) light and drop deep into the zone. Me and the flower – that’s it. We dance, sometimes for hours with one single flower. Funny, I am scared to death to dance with Sandy, my honey, but feel right at home with my flowers.
This particular ‘dance’ took place over two wonderful days. I experimented with flame – specifically a handheld candle flame as the only source of light from behind the flower. Low light results in very long exposures – this is where the dance term originated – as the shutter is open, sometimes as long as 30 seconds, I carefully move around the flower with my light/candle, all the while watching the effect on the final image. Then the shutter closes and I can see the magical nuance of each flicker on the final image. For some of the these final fire-flower images, I repeated this dance dozens of time to get it ‘just right.’ Being a perfectionist, obsessive compulsive has it drawbacks but in my final work, I consider it an asset. I hope you do.
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Oh Wahhhhhh! I haven’t created any new work, in months, because I haven’t been inspired. My excuse … so many life events getting in the way – in the way of what makes my life, a life. I’d forgotten what I’d learned about inspiration, perspiration, creativity and passion (or lack thereof). My friend, Monet, plucked me out of my pathetic pity pot, lit a fire under my ass and helped me back up on the horse again. Damn, way too many metaphors, but then again, it’s my blog – I can mess it up however I want.
Friends often ask, “Where do you find your creative inspiration?” or… “I wish I could be creative but the mood, the inspiration never comes.” I tell them about the ‘cart before the ass’ technique that I’d learned (and forgotten) a while back. Quite simply, as Thomas A. Edison said, “Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.” I also refer to this technique as ‘the 5 minute rule.’ This rule, which has served me well, for many years and many creative accomplishments (including walking across the country) says; no matter how I feel, get out there and try, for five minutes – that’s all, five minutes. This was non negotiable – 5 minutes regardless of my mind’s negative dribble. The result – 99% of the time – slowly, but surely, the inspiration would creep in and next thing I knew, I’d been out there for hours, actually creating something. The cart, before the ass!
So, this latest attempt started on a cold, cloudy Seattle day. My love Sandy, and I decided to head out (in a not so motivated mood) to drive around and see if we could get inspired. Like I said, I’ve rarely found inspiration on the living room couch. So, we wound up in a beautiful park in Seattle. We wandered around with our cameras – each in our own world, discovering new worlds. We came across some large pools with late fall colors still present. Instantly I was drawn in, truly excited with the intense vibrancy that I was immersed in. I would picture Monet, with his easel, capturing this magical spot. We were there at least an hour – each capturing the scene in very different ways.
A few days later, while editing the shoot, once again I was drawn into Monet’s world – as if he were speaking to me. I was lost in his world. I’d always wanted to paint, my whole life, yet was constantly frustrated because, well, I sucked! With my camera, I can paint and with Monet hanging out over my shoulder, I can paint well. I’ve included a few photographs from this shoot. I love them. I hope you do too, and if so please share this post/website with your friends and family
Museum quality, fine art prints (canvas and cards) are available at Rochon Print Gallery. – under ‘NEW WORK.’ There are many affordable, fully customizable print/frame options available.
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