I really enjoyed photographing different parts of California with my phone stylized in infrared. I had so much fun I decided to share a few more of my favorites here in portrait orientation. Photography is hard work, but we must always remember to make time to enjoy ourselves. Never stop having fun!
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.
The destruction caused by Hurricane Irma was far reaching, extending into parts of Georgia in the form of a tropical storm. Although the damage was far less than expected in the Columbus city area, strong winds toppled large tress, and power lines. The winds also scattered debris across the city’s streets causing some roads to be blocked off. There was also some minor flooding, power outages, as well as school and work closings. On the worst day of the storm I spent most of my time out walking the streets trying to document the damage. Below are a few samples of just some of the things that I saw.
(Please click on each image for larger view)
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)
I’d like to share a few photos that I captured last weekend. Due to the excessive heat I only ventured out for a little while, and the city was basically a ghost town anyway. The few people that were out were all near the water trying to cool off. I wasn’t able to shoot very much for very long before I could no longer stand the heat, but below are a couple of shots that I thought were cool. Better luck next time I guess? This is the time of year when shooting can be tricky due to the amount of heat and humidity, especially in the areas of this country that are prone to higher temperatures such as the south. You really have to pick and choose when to come outside. More often than not when the sun starts to go down, effectively giving you much less time for actual shooting. It truly makes me look forward to fall and winter! That tends to be the time of year when I shoot at a much higher volume.
Anyway, I hope everyone enjoys their weekend!
(Click on each image for a larger view)
Spending time in one of my favorite vacation spots is always an instant remedy for stress. The moment the cool air from the water hits your face you can feel it’s healing powers take over your entire body. The happy sounds of tropical music fills your ears, while the delicious aroma of fresh fruit and grilled Gulf seafood teases your sense of smell. Your next thought is always how you immediately know you never want to leave. It’s been far too long since my family and I have been on a vacation anywhere together, so this trip was definitely long overdue! It’s been a tradition of ours to go to Florida at least for a few days to relax, but our last trip was suddenly interrupted by an unfortunate emergency. It’s been well over a year since our last trip and going back we can see right away that a few things have changed. Gone are all of the wild spring-breakers of the past, replaced by a more family oriented crowd which was absolutely perfect timing! After check-in everyone races to the room to drop off their bags and head straight to the beach. Finally!!! The moment you dream of for months at a time has finally arrived, and you couldn’t be happier! Ahh…time to kick your feet up, chill, and enjoy all of the new attractions at your leisure…after all, there’s no room to worry about time here. For once time excuses itself for your enjoyment.
Never without my camera, I documented the trip as usual and I’d like to share a summary of the various sights with images organized more or less in the order in which they were taken. I hope you enjoy the photos and your weekend!
(Click on each photo for a larger view)
I get asked these questions so much now that it drives me crazy!!! So once again I will address this subject hopefully for the last time?!
“Do you still shoot with people?” Yes!!!
“Are you retired?” No!!!
I really don’t like unnecessarily placing labels on things, especially myself, but if I had to label myself I’d say that I am foremost a portrait photographer. Portraits are what I love to create. Over the past 3 years I’ve taken time away from shooting people as much to concentrate on the other styles of photography that interests me. Because of this decision the local public seems to think that I no longer shoot with people, even though I still post people pictures! Shooting with people, models and children is still what I love to do, but the truth is, I’ve had so many issues with the models AND people where I live that I’ve basically been forced to stop working with them. It’s not that I want to stop, it’s more about being tired of all of the drama in order to do what I love. I know that nothing is perfect and as long as you deal with people there will always be problems, but it should never get to a point where the drama outweighs the fun and starts to steal your joy away. Well that’s exactly what started happening to me. So I made the conscious decision to become extremely selective in who I work with as well as what I post. I know that this has definitely confused many, so to clarify my position, I LOVE SHOOTING WITH PEOPLE!!!
I also love shooting on the street, and I love shooting nature. These are the different styles of photography that interest me the most. But, as long as I have a camera I will shoot ANYTHING that I think is cool, fun, or sparks my interest. I never limit myself as far as what I capture even though I might concentrate on one style more than others at a particular time. What I want people to understand is that my current work reflects my environment. There isn’t an abundance of street photography or nature photography opportunities here, but those opportunities are more readily available to me than capable models are. The bottom line is this, I’d love to shoot with more people, but, until they can act right I will continue to focus on the other areas. As long as I’m busy working on something I’m happy so it’s all good to me!
Now, here is a photo from my most recent test shoot with a beautiful young lady named Marquetta. This was a very loose and fun shoot despite the number of difficulties we encountered. I’ll admit, working with her made me miss all the model shoots, and made me want to jump back into it full steam, but…we’ll see…only time will tell? Honestly I’m not very optimistic about it. I’m just going to keep moving forward, and if I happen to meet people along the way that want to move with me then we’ll do to together. If not, I’ll be fine. I’ve always been a loaner so I’ll always have myself to fall back on.
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)
Wow, my first post in quite a while. This is totally unlike me, as I like to post regularly to stay consistent as well as challenge myself to continually post something. I never planned to stay away for so long because, I really do enjoying blogging. Real life just has a way of changing your plans for you. I’ve made some huge changes recently prompting me to do a lot searching deep within myself. I’ve had both personal and professional difficulties that I’ve been forced to address lately. As artists we’re often confronted with periods of downtime that can lead to huge slumps and even depression. These issue tend to work themselves out with time, and or a healthy dose of inspiration. Unfortunately right now this awkward predicament is my current status. I’m stuck inside a difficult battle within myself. My creativity is in a fierce fight with my reality. My heart wants to be set free but my mind won’t allow me to become too lost in my dreams. I already have the answers that will solve most of my issues, but right now they’re just out of my reach. No worries though, I will continue to push through until I’m closer to where I want to be. Until then I won’t force a thing. I have tons of photos accumulated over the years that I will share as the mood strikes me. I’m confident that eventually I’ll be back up and running at 100% creating even greater work!
If you’ve supported me over the years I sincerely thank you. Things are tough right now but they’ll get better. Stick around!
With all that said, I’d like to share a peaceful image I captured one morning while out enjoying the soft, gentle breeze. I try to find any little moment I can that will ease my mind, allow me to relax and enjoy myself.
As this year closes I’ve been spending more quiet time alone reflecting on my past and what lies ahead in my immediate future. I’m a very introspective person so as the end of each year approaches it’s common for me to assess the totality of my collective 12 months. I’ve analyzed all of my accomplishments, failures, set new goals, and compiled a mental list of ways to improve upon myself.
I, like most people, like the security of a regular routine, but it can create complacency so I have to frequently break free from my comfort zone and do things I’m not accustom to doing. This regimen has effected the way I view change. Being a creative individual it’s very easy for me to become bored extremely quickly, so forcing myself to sometimes be uncomfortable has presented an interesting challenge for me to overcome. It is this challenge that makes me look forward to change. Over time I’ve learned to embrace it more and more. For instance, 2015 has been an absolute blur! I sometimes find it hard to differentiate 2014 from 2015 because, in my mind they feel almost concurrent. I’ve made so many changes and adjustments in the past 24 months that I literally lose track of time!
With all that said, I am happy with the direction I’ve been taking with my work lately, and I’m always looking forward to progressing even further. I’m also very enthusiastic about the prospect of acquiring more knowledge to further enhance my mind and my skills. God willing, I will spend the last days of this year in preparation for the impending change. I welcome change at it’s own pace so there’s no need for me to make resolutions. I’d much rather make realistic declarations! I declare that as long as I’m able, I will continue to work just as hard next year as I did this year to achieve what I believe in. I see you coming 2016…I’m making room for you right now!
It’s hard to believe it’s already December?! It seems as though this year has gone by entirely too fast! This time last year I was back home in Illinois roaming the streets of downtown Chicago enjoying every second of the freezing Midwestern winter air. I can’t wrap my head around the fact that it’s been a full year! I’ve done so many cool things, and taken so many cool pictures since then. It’s been a fun 12 months, but in my mind I could always be doing much more! Anyway, today I’d like to share more images from The Shark Reef in Las Vegas, Nevada. While editing these pictures I realized just how many I had actually taken, so it’s been very difficult to decide which ones to post?! It’s so much that I could do a part 3, but I seriously doubt I’m actually going to? This has been more than enough work, believe me!
Once again, if you’re a lover of the sea, if you’re curious about underwater wildlife, and if you’re ever in Vegas, please go check this place out with your kids or your family. I’m sure you’ll have a great time, you’ll learn some interesting facts and hopefully come away with some great pictures.
(Please click on each image for a larger view)
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)
After dropping my kids off for school last week I noticed a thick layer of fog rapidly moving in. Since I always have my camera on me I decided to stop off at the park before heading home to see what I could capture. It was dark, gloomy, rainy and foggy but I loved it! I thought about how eerily moody the scenery was. Each area of the park resembled a dense, creepy forest, or maybe the set of an elaborate Hollywood movie. I ended up staying for almost 3 hours, not only shooting but enjoying the view. I couldn’t believe my luck because, I was up so early that I had the entire park all to myself! I will admit, the silence mixed with the weather created a very spooky atmosphere.
Eventually the rain came in and started pouring down so I thought, “maybe it’s time to go?” “maybe I should stay and take some cool rain shots?” The next thing I know I see 2 huge stray dogs roaming around and not looking very friendly so I knew at that point the decision had been made for me! Shoots over! I packed up my camera and carefully drove home. Below are a few of the resulting images.
(As always, for a higher resolution view please click on each image)
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.
A young man, his best friend, and his passion. Taken in downtown Columbus.
I love the carefree atmosphere of the summer months. The long days, the many opportunities for fun and vacationing. All these things are great but, fall has always been my favorite of the 4 seasons. Here in Georgia I’d even go so far as to say that winter might be my favorite time of the year because of the spring-like temperatures during most days. Most winters here are very mild and very rarely cold, especially for someone from Illinois. Although I’m not rewarded with all the wonderful midwestern autumn colors in my particular area of the south, fall still seems to have the most well balanced weather of the 4 seasons.
With that said, I’m really anxious for the summer heat to disappear. The humidity is unbearable at times and makes it impossible to go out and shoot comfortably during the best parts of the day! I’m truly looking forward to putting on a light jacket or hoodie, gloves and boots again. That’s when I truly become inspired! The tradeoff being that I lose some of the more dramatic light of the summer months, but at least I can go out and enjoy myself without heat exhaustion. The photo I’m sharing was taken in February of last year but I promise you, the weather was so perfect. Not like typical winter weather at all. A very mild temperature with a refreshing cool breeze. This is exactly what I’ve been impatiently waiting for.
Summer, you’ve been fun, but it’s time for you go away until next year…Please take your 90 degree heat with you! Thanks.
Here are a few of my favorite random shots from the old school block party in the downtown area a few weeks ago. I walked around quite a bit despite the intense heat but, these photos are from a relatively stationary position allowing the people to walk into my frame. In essence I let them to create some of the photos for me.
Here is the third and final part of my series on shooting in the same area located in downtown Columbus. If nothing else I’ve learned how repetition teaches patience and discipline. I’ve also realized that although I’m sure eventually I’ll get tired of shooting in this area I still love to go there and relax. The relaxation I feel from visiting the water helps to re-energize me to head back out to the streets and try harder to find more interesting opportunities elsewhere. Off to the next adventure…
Whitewater, Downtown Columbus
My sign is Cancer, a water sign, so I love water. I especially love the sound of water. Unfortunately I can’t swim in it but I can’t deny the calming effects water has on me. I’m also from a “Windy City” so I enjoy wind as well. One thing I feel I never have enough of living in Georgia is a consistent cool breeze. So whenever I’m feeling low or need a break I usually go downtown near the water. There I can get my fix of both wind and water with the added bonus of meeting new people that I can also photograph.
Normally I don’t like to shoot in the same places over and over again because I get bored with repetition very easily. I’m the type of person that needs to explore and find something new to do with myself constantly in order to truly feel challenged. But, there is value in shooting in the same areas repeatedly because, the same areas can yield totally different results on different days, or in some cases different results during different times of the day. The photos that I will be sharing over the next few weeks will represent this theory of shooting in the same area at random times and days to see what the resulting images will be.
Here is part #1
(As always, please click on the photos for a larger view)
I’d rather be back on the beach even on a stormy day like this than to be where I am now. Wishful thinking I guess?
To celebrate the return of the warm weather I decided to do a series of photos to show how different women choose to cool off in the heat. First up is the lovely Ariane.
Model Ariane Webb
Makeup Katarzyna Chenkov
Assistant Nadia Jenkins