“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.” – John Muir, Our National Parks
Take a few minutes to learn a little about the thought processes that go into my imagery and the philosophy behind the art exhibit I did, showcased on this Tennessee Wildside television program. They recently ran this story about my exhibit entitled “Missing Nature” that was displayed at The Parthenon in downtown Nashville. It celebrates some of the special areas that The Nature Conservancy has protected in Tennessee.
Time in nature is marked in moments. I feel that art in general and photography in particular is uniquely suited to sharing those moments. When I created this image I had already spent the morning photographing from just before dawn. I sat down to take a little break and, as so often happens when I clear my mind from concentrating on a subject, a brand new perspective unfolded before me. I now purposely use little breaks interspersed in my creative day to allow myself some time to step back and seek the new perspective…..
Black and white changes the mood of a photograph and draws attention away from color content focusing it on the shapes, composition and graphic nature of a photographic image. Sepia, on the other hand, brings a somewhat more 3D effect to the graphical nature of black and white, alters the mood of the image and opens other options when used as a design element.
Converting an image into black and white or sepia can highlight striking details, which may be overlooked in the color version. Almost all of my photographs can be converted to black and white or sepia to fit your needs.
Click here to see a sample of my images prepared in color, black and white or sepia. Notice how the mood and emphasis changes in each one.
Some mornings are so beautiful that it is hard to decide which way to go for creating the type of photographs I am after. I came across this sunrise scene on the way to another potential location. Needless to say this image stopped me in my tracks and I never made it to the original destination that I had in mind….
This increasingly popular Eastern aesthetic philosophy guided my work even before I understood what the term meant.
As it pertains to my work, “wabi-sabi” is best defined as an artistic technique that provides deeper insight into Nature by finding beauty in impermanence and imperfection.
I sort of stumbled into this approach intuitively. My art has always centered around finding the extraordinary hidden in the ordinary. Even before I understood what wabi-sabi was, my work seemed to celebrate taking the most humble things in nature, a leaf, a rock, a fallen log, a spider web, etc. and celebrating the beauty that they contain.
Of course, the best way to understand wabi-sabi is to experience it up close and in detail. Designing with this simple and uncluttered aesthetic is a perfect way to enhance the mood in any environment.
Click here to view a special selection of my “wabi-sabi” photographs.
I usually blog about nature and my photographic art but I just had to take a moment to recognize the outstanding musical art created by Zoë Keating. She is a superb classically trained cello player who uses a process she refers to as layering to build mesmerizing soundscapes. She creates these layers upon layers of music from snippets of her playing recorded by her computer and then played back while she is performing. All in realtime! It is a process not totally unlike what I as a photographic artist do in Photoshop to finish an image in layers. Her pieces often sound like an entire orchestra even though they originate entirely from her cello, her computer scripts and her mindboggling sense of timing. I highly recommend her music for anyone. What does this have to do with my photographic art? I find that listening to music as I prepare for my photography gets my creative juices flowing. Zoë’s music is my go to choice to set the stage for my photographic image creation!
I am always on the lookout for subject matter for my photography. A few days ago while out exploring, I noticed these leaves on the ground. They were dropping from the tree in the summer. Their color was as striking as autumn leaves. I grabbed my gear and created this photograph. I am fascinated by the Japanese esthetic of wabi-sabi in nature and art. These leaves are a good example of the beauty and art that resides in the worn and ordinary.