Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Week 52 - 365 Day Photography Challenge 2013

Day 258

First let me say there are eight days in this week. I haven't a clue why. I began this challenge on Tuesday, January 1st, 2013 and the 365 days took me to New Years eve. In spite of some errors in day numbers I caught and corrected with my weekly blogs here nothing cosmic happened. The day numbers came out right but there is eight days in this last week.

I will not mention what week number my internal filing system says this is. I blame that on not beginning to put my photos into weeks on the computer until I had already did six or seven weekly blogs. Like all calendar systems I can only assume mine is just a bit off. But then I am an artist.

Day 359 - a Hawk in a Pine Tree

A photographer friend and I were discussing our divergent goals for our photography recently. She is a birder. I am not. Well, except for casually. Yes, there is a hawk in the sentinel tree but the photograph was about recording the light on the trunk and the patterns in the snow. I took the photo on the fly as it were. I was walking out the front door with the dogs dancing around my feet ready for their morning walk. I braced against a support on the porch. No time for tripod.

My friend falls solidly in the tripod school; sure that the only way she will get $3000 a photo is to always tripod for absolute and acute clarity and detail. I am a happenstance photographer. By the time I went inside and got the tripod and set it up to snap this picture that wonderful sense of light would have been gone and perhaps the hawk with it. Dogs would have definitely vanished up the hill and be somewhere behind that tree.

Guess I will never get $3000 for a photograph but then I am a painter that takes photographs as possible things to paint. I have won prizes in all but one photographic show I have entered but for me it is all about recording what is artistic; not what is painfully real. Case in point - Jessica's tea pots.

Day 360 - Jessica's Tea Pots

I am not even sure that my new 24.5 megapixel camera isn't a step too far toward that stark detail I really do seem to avoid like the plague. Since I got the Nikon D3200 I have discovered all the blur and selective focus options on my post processing program. Well, maybe not all but I am moving rapidly toward that goal. And this next year want to work on layers and filters.

Day 361

And if Mother Nature gifts me with a photo already somewhat out of focus I jump on it. Love the rising fog between the trees and the far mountains. It accentuated the distance to the far horizon, which is lacking on a totally clear sunny day.

Day 362

And I love the abstract. I seek out and find textures and colors and effects of light. I try to take the ordinary and make it extraordinary. Okay, I confess. I spent too much time reading Alice in Wonderland. And I am first and foremost a painter. A camera is just another way to create a painting for me.

Day 363 - A Painter's Tools

In fact I still print out a photo I took or pull it up on the studio laptop and use it as inspiration for colors or details of light in a painting I am working on. I have sat with my sketch pad and altered what the camera recorded to make it a bit more artistic for the painting I am conceiving. I am willing to concede that I might not be a photographer after all.

Day 364

But there is also the argument beginning to build among photographers that there are divergent aspects of this relatively young medium especially since the advent of digital. Nobody has come up with a name or names yet. Maybe it will take history to discover it. There is Ansel Adams and his ilk (sorry, I cannot rattle off names here because while I admire them I do not follow them) and then there are those that really just want to paint in pixels and light.

Day 365 - Balancing Act

And so I end with a photograph of one of my papier mache sculptures in my studio. In the year ahead I will continue with the challenge of posting a photo a day or a pixelated art work. Looking back over the last three years of my involvement in photography those works that have won prizes seem to fall into the fantasy or creative end of photography. And those have been the works which sell the most.

It may be a bumpy road but I have a sense of where I am heading this year. Hang on. The road may not always be smooth. And the stark reality a camera can capture may make appearances from time to time if I find it worthy. I may even get out my tripod.


  1. Love the balancing act! I love the detailed clarity that can be achieved with photography - but like you I think I'm leaning toward using the photograph as a base, a departure point for my own creative expression.

    1. Yes, with all your filters and treatments I see you heading that direction too. I like where your photography has gone this last year. You said you get sales on FAA. Are those more of the creative ones you do?

  2. Interesting how some painters try to be as realistic as a photo, and some photographers play with their pictures till they are more like paintings. Gues it is all a matter of drawing attention to the magic of reality? Computer enhancement has been a godsend to my friend Rosie, whose career was cut short by early onset Parkinson's. She has been doing amazing things with simple shots of flowers.


I appreciate all kind comments on my art and poetry.