After losing my mother last month I decided to take a break from creating. During my down time I thought a lot about how serious we take ourselves in the pursuit of money and a career. Getting back into the routine of making photos again I wanted to take it easy, and just try to have fun again. Reminding myself that not every photo has to be a “masterpiece” or your “best” work. Sometimes we should do things just for fun. Remember why you chose your line of work in the first place. Not for the sake of having another job, not for awards, or likes and follows, but simply for the enjoyment of taking photos. To create for your own satisfaction. I haven’t even been taking my big, “serious” work cameras out. I’ve just been taking snapshots with my point & shoot, or mostly using my iPhone. Truth is, when it comes to posting on social media, most people don’t even recognize the difference anyway.
I’ve always been in love with Kodak’s Areochrome infrared film. But since it’s been discontinued for some years now, I’ve never had the pleasure of actually using any. Thanks to the advancement of digital technology we are now able to replicate a similar look in our photos. Of course it’s not exactly the same, or better, it’s more like a simplified approximation of the original.
Lately I’ve also been trying to spend as much time as possible in tranquil, peaceful, environments. Trying to employ different methods to lessen my stress at all costs. Enjoying the simple pleasures in life, not taking small blessings for granted. I was born under the water sign, so water has always had a calming effect on my spirit. The cool breeze and crashing waves help to soothe my nerves. Spending time near water has been extremely therapeutic for my healing process. From the very beginning photography has been medicinal, so combining the two has been beneficial to both my life and art. Creating for fun has brought a degree of joy back into my life.
Being an artist that loves experimenting with different techniques made choosing infrared for this series very easy. Although I wish it were the real thing, I am content with the results I’ve been getting digitally. So much so, I’m even considering making a more significant project, using infrared as my primary color grading method. But, that’s a decision to be determined at a later date.
For now, I’m not putting any pressure on myself. There’s no timetable for anything. The goal is to use my art to help me heal, however long that may take? Whatever work is created during that time will be whatever it is. And although I’ll probably share this work publicly, it’s not for the public. It’s for me and me only. I’m not interested in opinions, or commentary, I just want to have fun. What’s the point of spending all this money on equipment and working hard for years if you never get to enjoy yourself? That’s one of the biggest issues currently plaguing the artistic industry. Unfortunately, so much of the joy, fun, and love is totally missing from the different art forms now. Music, movies, photography…it’s truly very sad to witness.
So I have to do my best to bring the fun back for myself. I can only hope that others will routinely re-examine themselves and follow in my footsteps. It’s very easy to lose your happiness, thereby becoming lost in the serious business of work. Sometimes questioning your purpose, and even falling into deep depressions. But we all have to remain protective of our joy. It is sacred. The undeniable fact is, we don’t have to create to impress others, or to be the greatest ever…but we must remember to constantly try to have fun. That will ALWAYS be an important aspect of our lives!
Please remind yourself to actively enjoy the process of creativity.
Happy Birthday to my first born. I can’t believe that you’re 20 years old today! Where did all this time go? Sometimes I sit back and think, it really trips me out that you were actually born in the 90’s. I’m so proud of the woman you’re becoming. As a father you make me so happy! I wish you all the best going forward in your life. You’re one of the sweetest people I know and I pray you’ll always stay that way. Oh yeah, you may look just like your mom but, you act just like your old man! 😉 I love you so much!!!
Some color & black and white street shots from Old Town 2017.
A beautiful sunrise I was fortunate enough to capture, handheld, while out walking one morning last month.
I know it’s been a little while since my last post. I never really imagined a time when I would constantly fall behind in my blog posts. The truth is, I’ve been traveling so much more lately. I’ve been trying hard to just enjoy my life, explore, overcome my fear of flying and shoot as much as possible. In fact, I’ve been shooting so much that now I’ve become totally overloaded with images! I have so many new photos now that I spend most of my time struggling to edit, as well as organize these massive catalogues. I’m not complaining at all because, I know this means that I’m finally doing the things I’ve always wanted to do.
I wanted to share some images I made back in August. I was testing a new lens that I was considering purchasing so I decided to take it for a spin in the downtown area. Normally I would never use an 85mm focal length on the street, but I really didn’t feel like dealing with the hassle of scheduling any portrait sessions. Fortunately I chose a beautiful day to go out! The sun was shining, there was a great breeze and people were everywhere. I took my time, walked slowly, and engaged with random people as I created images in a much more relaxed fashion than I normally would. It was an awesome feeling to just slow down and think about what I wanted to capture, rather than running around frantic as I typically would.
At the end of the day I loaded the photos to my laptop, and to my surprise the lens performed brilliantly. I was very skeptical that I wouldn’t get any usable images considering the lens is so tightly cropped on the subjects. I had to stand further away than I normally would and it was a learning curve for me since I like to get closer to my subjects by moving my feet. It almost felt as though I was cheating! But needless to say, the test was a huge success. I knew that I would be making a new purchase and adding a new lens to my arsenal. Now that the 85 is in my bag I never actually use it on the street, unless my mission for the day is to specifically capture head-shots. If I accumulate enough good portraits with the 85 I will definitely post them. I just have to remember to use it more often!
For now I hope you enjoy these test images. I will probably post a follow-up set of images later this week.
(Please click on each image for larger view)
“Youth is fleeting, before life begins…innocence blows away, like whispers in the wind.”
-Robert N. Jones
I’ve been having some very trying times lately, so I wanted to post something positive and show a little love to my favorite time of year. To my surprise there has been more colors in my area than it’s been in years, making it feel much more like a real a autumn season. These colors have lasted much longer than I anticipated, but it appears that they’re rapidly disappearing. I hope to get out and capture one more round of fall colors before they’re all gone. Until then, I hope you enjoy!
(Please click on each photo for a higher resolution view)
The sun rises early upon another fall morning. I am thankful to witness it’s natural glory.
-Robert N. Jones
Like me, my kids have never owned a pet. The other day they heard a kitten crying from inside the sewer near our house. I went outside to see if I could locate the sound. I did my best cat impression for a few minutes and soon after the kitten emerged from underground. It was immediately clear that she was bruised, tired and hungry. I told my kids the story of how my grandmother, uncles, and I use to rescue and take care of strays when I was a child. Naturally she was very apprehensive at first, but eventually we were able to get close enough to feed her and give her milk. Shortly after she decided to show her appreciation by rubbing up against my leg and purring, which I explained is what cats tend to do for affection. My daughter thought it was one of the most adorable things she’s ever seen! She said, “Everyone loves you daddy!” “Even animals!”
Since the kitten was starting to warm up to us I decided they could keep her under the condition they’d have to care for her. I assigned my daughter the first order of business which was to give her a name. She quickly settled on “Ginger”. We all agreed on Ginger and the kitten seemed to actually respond to it. Next, we made her a bed with a warm comfy blanket inside and found a nice spot near our back door in order to monitor her. We then added a fresh bowl of milk, and some chopped turkey to ensure that she would quickly regain her strength. We planned on giving her a bath and taking her to the vet, but unfortunately the next morning she was long gone.
We’ve searched for her for the past few days, but still no luck! We all hope for the best, but like I explained to my kids, that’s how it goes sometimes with strays…My daughter seems to be the most saddened by the departure but we haven’t given up hope just yet. We’ll continue our search for Ginger, but if we can’t find her we’ll remember our very brief encounter with her. I sincerely hope someone finds her and takes good care of her. I am happy that my kids were able to at least learn a quick lesson on responsibility and what it’s like to care for a life other their own.
(Please click on each photo for a larger view)
A stray cat followed me home…
For whatever reason there are always certain images that the artists who captured them favor more than others. This particular image is one of my personal favorites! I’m not exactly sure if it’s the expression, the details, the moment, or all of the above? But, there’s something about this shot that just makes me really happy. This photo is actually apart of a small series that I’ll be posting very soon, but I had to share it on it’s own first. I know other’s might not feel the same way that I do about it and that’s ok, I certainly enjoy looking at it so I figured “why not?” If you’re viewing this post I hope it at least makes you smile too? Have a great weekend everyone!
(As always please click on the image for a larger view)
My second set of images in a series of local bird portraits I’ve taken over the past few years.
This time it’s a brown Muscovy Duck
(Please click on each photo for a larger view)
Just a few shots where I focused on the subtleties of the neutral tones and small details of random objects at a local park.
Here’s an image I shot a few weeks ago of a man walking a bike with what appears to be all of his personal belongings? It was created by shooting through the window of a moving car along a busy street.
A small collection of random sights in the downtown Columbus area specifically focusing on colors, shadows and reflections.
The sun rising above my house bright and early this morning.
I’d like to share with you some of the beautiful and exotic looking sea life I experienced while at The Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. I hadn’t been to an aquarium in years! I use to love to go to the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago as a child. Going as an adult and photographer was a much different experience because, I was finally able to capture images of all the interesting sights that I can now keep forever. This was a very lovely facility full of enthusiastic people and I hope that I get the chance to go back very soon. My favorite exhibit was the color changing jellyfish. They were so strange, yet so beautiful to watch. If you’re ever in Las Vegas I highly recommend taking your family to check out this very cool exhibition.
(Please click on each image for a larger view)
I’v been out in very rainy conditions lately searching for fall colors. To find these particular colors I didn’t have to go very far. All that was needed was for me to direct my attention downward. The cool thing about these photos to me is, I didn’t arrange these patterns, this is exactly how I found them in their natural formation. This further proves that the rain and gloom can’t hide nature’s beauty. There’s always something interesting to be found even on what most would consider a bad day.
Out in the heat of the wilderness all day yesterday. Out in the cold and rain all day today trying to find some peace… I use my camera to help me get through tough times. Thankful I have an outlet.
Thank God for Autumn! I’m getting out more, seriously enjoying the weather and shooting more often. As the fall season has started to fully transition I’ve taken advantage by hitting the streets in search of my favorite targets: colors, textures and details. This is a daily process so I will continue to update my progression over time, but below is small collection of my findings so far. I hope you enjoy!
(Please click on each photo for a larger view)
Die-hard fans of the Back To The Future movies show off their best renditions of the time traveling DeLorean at the 30th anniversary celebration in Las Vegas.
This early morning skyline has two uniquely contrasting cloud formations creating an interesting pattern, and color palette. In the second photo, the clouds at the top of the frame resembles burning flames against the dense, pillowy texture of the clouds in the lower half of the frame. I believe this is the first time I’ve ever seen this strange combination? Nevertheless, the sky seems to always provide us with a dramatic light and art show across the atmosphere at any given moment. All we have to do is look up and pay close attention.
A young man, his best friend, and his passion. Taken in downtown Columbus.
I was given a Coke bottle with my name on it so I decided to have a little fun with it. Have a Coke and a smile!