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: macro
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.
Thanks for showing up.
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.
Thanks for visiting.
If you like my work, please use one of the SHARE buttons (below) to share with your (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) friends. Thanks!
New photographs (and their stories) are constantly added to THE BLOG. You can subscribe on the blog site.
4 1/2 years ago, I was horribly depressed, (Bi-Polar depression), desperately trying to maintain my sanity and remain alive. One night, I was at the end of my rope, seriously contemplating suicide when I remembered the story of the Good Dog/Bad Dog. In essence it suggests that there are two dogs always fighting for our attention – one with positive life-affirming thoughts and one with negative, self destructive thoughts. Which one wins? The one that you feed. This simple story quite literally, saved my life.
I started writing down positive quotes and did my best to focus on them thru the day. It wasn’t long before I started feeling better and the depression lifted. It never really goes away, but it lifted long enough to catch my breath and build some strength.
Well, back the story of ‘The Dog’ – I started sharing these quotes with friends, who shared them with friends and it soon spread around the world – literally in dozens of countries. This simple idea of feeding the ‘Good Dog’ resonated with folks from all walks of life.
Today marks a bitter sweet moment for me – the day of the last ‘Dog.’ My passion for photography requires my undivided attention – at least the way I do passion. There just isn’t enough time for both. I’ve decided to let go of my precious pup.
In honor of this work, I’ve included a gallery of some of the graphics that I created for ‘The Dog.’ I hope that you enjoy them. If you’d like to read more about ‘The Dog,’ check out the Good Dog Website. If you would like to see more of the graphic images I created, click Good Dog Images.
CLICK on any image to Enlarge!
I almost made it to the car but got kidnapped by a bunch of exceptionally colored sunflowers which called out across the parking lot, “Shoot Me, Shoot Me.” Naturally I approached said floral phenomena cautiously when I discovered truly unusual colors and patterns within these beauties. But could I trust them? What’s a boy to do, these desperate ladies, all dressed
up and no where to go. I just had to help, so… I scooped them up and headed straight for my studio. As usual, I turn off all the lights as these girls are very shy and only expose themselves in the dark. Lucky me.
So here I am, in the dark with these naked beauties and I must say, having my way with them as I set up the camera, dancing around them with mini lights and a remote control switch in my mouth all the while playing loud piano classical in the background. It really is a dance. I must look totally insane but I really doesn’t care because ‘dancing’ is my bliss. I don’t know what it is that I connect with, but connect I do and don’t want to minimize it by putting a name on it.
This series was shot in the complete darkness, using handheld lights with very long exposures (30 seconds +) to capture these colors and the energy within the flower. In these conditions, the flowers speak to me, reveal themselves on an intimate level that is always there but rarely seen. Let me know what you think. _Louie
So, my brother Charlie, and his sweet fiance Jaydee came up fromSo Cal to visit Whidbey Island (WA), where they plan to get married in early September. Jaydee LOVES flowers of all kinds, so I invited them up to my studio/home to show them how I work in macro. We went into the garden where she picked a flower. We went into the studio, where I placed the flower in a bud vase against an all black cloth backdrop, set up my camera, turned off the lights, grabbed my remote control shutter release with my teeth to allow me to position small hand-held lights and thus began ‘The Dance.’
I love this process, as I can see real time how my movements, timing, shutter speed, shadows etc., effect the image and best of all, the flower provide the light as I back-light, allowing the flower to show it’s true colors, from within. Keep in mind, these were shot very quickly (over about an hour or so as it was a demo) … but I think they came out all right. I will print and matte their favorite as a little pre-wedding gift. Their real gift will be thousands of real flowers that I’ve planted and nurtured at my mother’s house, the site of their upcoming wedding. Let me know what you think.