As the days of 2014 dwindle down to a precious few the question of whether to do 365 Day Photographic challenge for 2015 arises. It has its fans, gives me an excuse for a post every single day on my Facebook Studio Page, and provides a calendar of photographic files. But maybe for me as an artist, the most important is the photographic journal aspects. This weekly posts chronicle where I am in my exploration of the photographic process and dry darkroom skills.
Like many an artist and photographer I do revisit certain subjects like shadows and reflections in an effort to capture it better. This year over last I have probably done less photo manipulation than last year. This is strange is as my photographer friends seem to be doing more. They are going crazy with layers and painting programs and I find myself falling back on the basics. Lots more black and white, and reduction of saturation. More playing around with tone and contrast. Love how that cam out with this stand of aspen I have photographed again and again.
Old trucks are also a frequent theme in my photographic explorations, but they are also a canvas for post processing and lots of color. But even they can be reduced to black and white and reveal wonderful form and textures when processed in such a way.
I am going to take the liberty of stepping out of the usual format for these blogs of "by the numbers." The week divided into frequent subjects and a new exploration. So frequent subjects first.
Window reflections, aspens and their shadows and old trucks, and then probably the oldest subject in a blog post of photography - snow capped mountains.
When I first began this blogventure photography was the tool by which I presented my paintings. And I got a comment on one such blog about the snow capped mountains in my paintings. "New Mexico does not have snow capped mountains." It was spring but spring after a heavy winter so I grabbed my camera and put together a collection of photos of snow capped mountains. And so began the then occasional photographic blog. This is Wheeler or Old Mike (one hides behind the other depending where you stand) peeking through the clouds after a heavy snow on the high peaks. I have a handful of select spots guaranteed to give a good view of the heart of the Sangre de Cristos. This was a new spot. Like Monte Verde Lake in the foreground.
Now on to the new photographic adventure: Seeking the creative SLR selfie. There are rules. No tripod. Like all the iphone selfies out there the SLR camera has to be held. If you put the camera on a tripod and shoot remotely or with a timer it is a self portrait and not a selfie. Rule two - it should say something about you beyond your face. Admittedly most iphone selfies do not adhere to this rule. But I think they should. There ought to be something besides stupid face which gives a sense of personality or place.
The collage selfie involves not actually in that photograph taking your own picture. This is a 3D collage or still life which includes a photograph of me. All the objects in the selfie also say something about me. I used to make masks, I love to explore in various media, and I love eclectic containers for brushes and pencils.
The reflective Selfie. Probably the easiest way to take an SLR selfie involves a reflective surface. In this case mirrors. I have this tiny little half bath down stairs which I have decorated with mirrors. So this is not merely a picture of me but of my things.
And the above selfie goes back to pictures of me. I am in this collage of refrigerator magnet photos four times in various stages of my life. And my friends are here too. I was rather surprised when looking at this one carefully how many of these friends are now beyond this realm. But that too says something about my journey.
But so do all the photographs I take. I could argue all my photographs are selfies whether or not I am in them literally.