Friday, September 13, 2013

Back in the saddle again (again)

O.K. Here we go again.

I know, I know. I've said it before. I'm going to be more consistent with this blog. I'm going to be better about posting.

At least I didn't wait three years this time. That's something. (Isn't it?)

It was so much easier when I had to do the weekly blog thing for one of the papers I worked at years ago. With my personal blog, it always seems so easy to adopt the "I'll do it tomorrow" attitude. But, to quote Dan Fogerty, "Someday never comes."

This is something of a departure from earlier posts. But maybe not so much. 

I recently finished reading the book "Just Kids" by musician, author, poet, artist Patti Smith. It's her story about her year's-long friendship/relationship with the late Robert Mapplethorpe. It was an extremely touching, in-depth examination of the personal lives and artistic development of two people I've always considered inspirational.

Say what you want about Mapplethorpe: He's famous (infamous?) for his highly controversial nude work. I won't get involved in that controversy beyond noting his lighting and composition are amazing.

Lesser known, but equally inspiring, are Mapplethorpe's black-and-white still-life work with flowers. And those works are the inspiration for a new series I've started working on.

I'm not claiming to be the next Robert Mapplethorpe. But I've always loved macro photography, examining the often-unseen miniature world through the lens of my camera. People (myself included) don't look at the intricacies and details which make up most of the every-day items around us. 

Simple sand, salt or sugar take on an other-worldly appearance when viewed at the macro level. A photograph can reveal the individualism of a single blossom which can be lost when viewed with others of its kind.

And I've always loved black-and-white photography. It's where I started. It's my roots. And getting back to those roots is giving me a renewed sense of vigor and inspiration.

Black-and-white photos are all about light, shadow, shape, form and composition. That's not to say light, form and composition aren't as vital to good color photography. But a color photographs can fall back on bright, flashy colors as its sole reason for being. 

And, now, I'm going to stretch myself a bit. I like to think I've got a pretty good grasp of lighting technique. One thing I've never really done a lot of is studio still-life photography.

Now, hopefully, that's going to change. I'm going to press myself to explore that area of photographic imaging, one I've never really been comfortable in. 

I've become, I think, almost complacent in my photographic work. This is an attempt to break through the walls of that complacency and push myself to different levels. And I think I can already see an impact on the images I'm making for the newspaper.

I'd love feedback. Please, feel free to comment. And don't be afraid to prod me if I'm not posting as often as I should. 

This is probably (hopefully) going to be a mix of my personal work and some of my work for the newspaper. So, let me know what you think.

Check out more of my recent work at: DeviantArt Portfolio


No comments: