Sunday, January 21, 2018

Week Three - 2018 in Photographs

Day 15

It has been a gray winter. The snow we have gotten has been an inch or two at a time and then soon gone. It has never been enough to cover (or water) the grass. It is so dry the ground is cracking. When we get just dusting of snow I go out hopefully with my camera seeking something memorable to record. Processing in black and white is one way to make it look less like fall.

Day 16
 Snow would cover the backyard junk yards. But there is something sculptural about a dusting of snow. I take detail photos basically to use as reference for paintings and drawings. I particularly like the way the photo of Ponderosa Pine needles with snow looks. I will probably use it for my note cards.

Day 17

Day 18
The tree on the hill across the road

Day 19
A bird in the tree across the road

Day 20
What it looks like after the snow melts

And I am particularly fond of the neighbor's repurposing of an old snow tire as a marker for his drive way and a perch for a Blue Bird house. When I begin to get bored with the landscapes I find interesting details to focus on.

Day 21

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Week Two - 2018 in photographs

Day 8

In search of note cards. If the weather will not give me snow to change my photographic focus than I will change my focus by aiming to take photos for a purpose not considered when I go out with my camera. So for this week I decided to be a note card photographer. There are wedding photographers and portrait photographers so why not note card photographers?

Reminded me a bit of when I set out to write romance novels. Very easy, the author of dozens said, at a workshop. No plotting, no difficult language. Just a heroine who doesn't get in bed with the hero (through no fault of her own) until 2/3rds the way through the book. Actually she mentioned a specific page. Most publishers of romance novels have guidelines which specify page. To begin you have to read at least a dozen. I made it to three before my brain melted. Fortunately that only took a weekend.

Being a note card photographer took an afternoon to bore me. 

Day 9
 Plan two was to focus on whatever detail caught my fancy. Maybe they could become note cards. There is four in this group of seven for the week I am using on my note cards. The fortunately are not cards I intend to sell. Just send.

Day 10

Days ten, eleven and twelve are my favorites. Ten and eleven having the most uses on the face of a blank card. Rather regretting to myself the promise to use no image more than three times.

Day 11

Day 12

Day 13

By the end of the week I was truly bored and back to DSLR selfies and trees. I think an unusually warm winter has misled the aspens. I do believe they are putting on buds in preparation for spring. Maybe  a surprise snow will save me.

Day 14

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Week One - 2018 in Photographs

Day one

The New Year is all about color. Snow finally arrived in a limited amount this morning but the first week of 2018 it looked more like fall than winter.

Day Two

But we finally got some freezing nights and in combination with the days it resulted in some wild ice patterns on small local ponds. And you cannot fault the dawns.

Day Three

But when dawn fails me for color I have gone to the greenhouse for inspiration.

Day Four

Day Five

And even a sunset. My studio faces toward the east and I have to actually go outside to catch a sunset. Below is the faithful Sentinel tree with the setting sun to the right and out of the photo casting color on the clouds behind the trees.

Day Six

And one of my new year intentions is to communicate more via paper. I bought some blank kraft paper note cards to paint or draw on. And even paste a photograph on. So I find myself looking to capture some still life images which would be great in this role. The cards will be signed and sent in response to those who write me via snail mail. I have this pile of communications I need to catch up on. Writing by way of pen and paper seems to be coming back. Maybe I should buy a fountain pen.

Day Seven

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

Bristle Cone Pine Cone
Sticky Stuff
So once again I a culling through photo files to come up with submissions for a contest. This one to the New Mexico Garden Clubs. I am new to garden clubs. And seem to go for weeds in the horticulture category I am split between submitting the Bristle Cone Pine Cone above or the Monk Thistle below. Wise to note I won the flower show with an onion blossom. So I did not even consider any of my photographs of cultivated flowers.

Musk Thistle
carduus nutans

But after horticulture it doesn't get any easier. There is a butterfly and an insect category. I have three pictures of butterflies. I joined the garden club to identify flowers I took pictures of and now I am identifying butterflies.

Small Wood Nymph
Cercyonis pegala

Painted Lady on Cone Flower
vanessa viiginiensis
echinaea paradoxa

Sylvan Hairstreak on Thistle
satyrium sylvinus

Leaning toward the first two with one in the insect category.

Doe and Fawn in the snow
Mule deer -  odocoileus hemionus

Deer above or Chipmonk below for wildlife.

Least Chipmunk of Northern New Mexico
tamias minimas 

And for bird. Though a turkey is also wildlife.

Wild Tom Turkey on the make
meleagris gallopavo

Which brings us to Landscape category. Frequent visitors to this site have seen a lot of my landscapes but because it is a garden club I am leaning toward the field of Cowpen Daisies below.

Skipping through the field of Cowpen daisies
verbesina encelioides

But I also like the one below.

Reflections on the High Plains
Stubblefield Reservoir

Like I said, decisions, decisions, decisions. 

Best Artistic - 2017 in Photographs

Raton Door

I separate myself from the average professional photographer in that I am not concerned about all the obsession with F-stop and acute detail. I am not looking for the perfect feather by feather photograph of an eagle. National Geographic does it better. Nor do I fit in with the digital manipulators who want to insert a wolf into a street scene of downtown Manhattan. 

I first used my photography as my way of avoiding plein aire painting. I would take a picture and go back to the studio and create a painting as I wanted it to be. Then I began realizing I could create that on the computer. And then print it on canvas. Many who buy these works of art believe they are paintings. Digital paintings actually. Art is art and of what importance is it in these days the medium used to achieve it?

Studio Chair

 While some photographers seek accuracy above all I am in search of the fantasy created by light and color. And this year I pushed my previous restrictions by even playing with dawns which are a dance of light and color without my help. But there were so many beautiful dawns this year they got a little boring. So to make the daily 365 day post they begged to be manipulated.

Dawn in Black Lake

I have always manipulated flowers. Poppies especially. But this year I successfully grew a sunflower which posed for me every day it bloomed. In the photo below it became less about the flower but the pose and the colors. It is a painting.

Sunflower in Garden

And in previous years I have done trucks. Fewer this year. Need to go to new territory to find trucks I haven't immortalized. The red truck in the photo below has been a subject of many a photograph but I love this one of just the tail gate.

Ranch Pickup

Another Black Lake Dawn

I snapped the picture of the stain glass fairy in my studio window just as a been there photo but found it was fun to play with and it received more likes on my page than I felt was decent.

Studio Fairy

Orchid Up Close and Personal

And to close an abstract approach to an orchid. Here again a bored artist is dangerous. This corsage orchid bloomed for a couple weeks and not just one blossom but a cascade of blossoms. It was over the top totally on it's own. But it also was rather Georgia O'Keeffe. It begged to be painted digitally. 

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Best Black & Whites - 2017 Photographs

Wheeler Peak in the Clouds

Photography 101 in college at University of New Mexico was all about black and white. And darkroom. I liked black and white when I could manipulate the images in the darkroom. After college, with no darkroom at my disposal, I didn't much like black and white any more and immersed myself in color photography.

My sister does the most awesome black and white photographs of flowers but I was reluctant to let go of all my colors. Bored one day while photo editing I reduced the saturation on a few photographs. Not totally no color but just a hint. Together below was one of my first. It was easy to play with snow because the world is so white to begin with. Together sold promptly.

And lots of snow launched my exploration in earnest with black and white, Ansel Adams inspired. I even printed up a series of trees in the snow for a Ralph Solano exhibit. Memory of Trees was a four photograph series. Memory of Trees 1 is on exhibit at Enchanted Circle Brewing in Angel Fire. The other three, featured below, are hanging in Binford-Bell Studio in Black Lake.  Come visit.

In Memory of Trees 4

In Memory of Trees 2

In Memory of Trees 3

Shadows figure large in my explorations of black and white. But so do trees as they cast long shadows. Photography is about light and ergo shadows but black and white is also about patterns made by branches, backgrounds, clouds or reflections.

Standing Tall

Lying Low

It is easy to delete color when you are dealing with the whiteness of snow or the monochromatic world of a sandstone canyon but I knew I had been totally seduced back to the now digital world of the darkroom when I took a picture of yellow cottonwoods on a blue lake and deleted the color.

Reflections of Light

I have printed four of these photographs and three remain in my to be printed folder. The last photograph, Reflections of Light, is also in that folder but in the color version. It is also awesome in color.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Best of Flowers - 2017 Daily posts

Back of Monk Thistle

I joined the Angel Fire Garden Club at the end of summer this year. I think my sister thought I had lost it. But I figured if I was spending so much time photographing flowers I ought to support them on at least a local level. I had always shunned them in the past, the club and perhaps the flower, because I hated manicured gardens and rather looked down of artist who painted flowers. And I raise things I can eat and spend my time with supporting those.

I have euphoria in my studio and hollyhocks and oriental poppies outside because they just do their thing. But this was a wet summer and I had a deck to decorate with beds around it. And for some reason, beyond explanation I developed a focus on photographing flowers. And especially thistles.

Phalaenopsis Orchid

California Poppy

Green Stemmed Paper Wildflowers on the path

Hollyhock bud


Australian Rose