Thursday, August 30, 2012

Light and Shadow

Light and shadow provide many beautiful and interesting aspects of a photograph.  The light can bring forth forms, while the shadows create hiding places.  The lightest light and the darkest dark have many tonalities between them.  The relationships of lights to lights; darks to darks and ultimately light to shadow are marvelous.

Art genre: Architectural art photograph

Complimentary decor: traditional, modern

Photography tip: Find a common thread in the work.  In this case, it is the grid of light and shadow

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Engineering & Architectural Genius: Nature

On a recent visit to the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, I was struck by the genius of nature in its ability to perfectly engineer and architect structures.  The water lily is a perfect example: from its seed holders to its buds to the ultimate flower.  The housing for the seeds of the lily is perfectly formed to hold the seeds.  The graceful stems can support the buds and the flowers several inches in the air or gently floating in the water.  The leaves are beautifully shaped to create a bed for the plant.  Nature's marvelous designs and constructions are lessons in perfection.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Atget Revisited (Again & Again)

Influences are sometimes like wonderful photos that I carry around in my mind.  At any given moment I can call one up or it will pop into my head like a few bars of a favorite song.  Atget has been influencing my art photography for as long as I can remember.  Every once in a while, Atget will come along on a shoot with me.  The great photographer is more an influential presence than an actuality, of course, but his images are strongly imprinted on my artistic sensibilities.  On a recent walk around NYC, the Parisian master photographer "strolled along with me,"  pointing out composition, values, photographic possibilities.  My efforts to pay attention follow his shop window masterpiece.

The Master: Atget

NYC: 6th Avenue,  Downtown
NYC: Midtown
NYC: Union Square

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Influences: Yousuf Karsh

About 30 years ago I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Yousuf Karsh, frequently called Karsh of Ottawa, several times in small social settings.  Indeed I was impressed with Karsh's magnificent body of portrait photography and the marvelous photographer who had photographed everyone from Queen Elizabeth to Muhammad Ali to Albert Einstein to Winston Churchill and all the other icons of the day.  However, I was also glad to have the opportunity to get several insights about photography from this master.  Karsh advised me to concentrate on composition and values.  His velvety darks were always set off by the lights that counterpointed the shadowy areas.  Karsh as he was called, told me that the sitter of the portrait would determine the composition.  A profile would dramatically differ from a full faced portrait in placement and design of the photograph.  I am grateful to have had the experience of meeting and learning from one of the true greats of photography.  I am honored that Karsh praised my own work and encouraged me to pursue my photography. I listened.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Nature's Patterns

Perhaps nothing humans can devise is as complex and beautifully designed as nature's intricate structures.  Somehow even the most chaotic forms and tangles of patterns work in tandem to create beautiful compositions that might seem forced or false if not nature's handiwork.  Here is a cluster of coleus,  perfectly constructed by the master: Nature.