I blink therefore I am
Well, I’ve blown my posting schedule so I will stop making promises about regular posts.
One reason is all this running back and forth to San Diego. It has been fun, but exhausting. I also just got a shiny new car and have had fun getting it all tricked out. Got some tasteful license plate frames that sparkle subtly and a custom license plate with my name, Bethany, on it.
After I bought the custom plate, Geoffrey reminded me that I had better watch what I say on NextDoor as I will be highly visible in our neighborhood now, LOL! Oops.
Back to this post. I recently attended an Art Wolfe seminar. Wolfe is a pioneering photographer, known world-wide, as well as artist and author (over 100 books). He has been everywhere that any of us could imagine wanting to take photographs or sketch or paint. In fact, he was among the first photographers to climb Mt. Everest some 45 years ago. But Wolfe is both a pioneer, a master and an iconoclast.
His instruction in this particular day-long seminar was about finding extraordinary art in ordinary, everyday places and subjects. He tells his students that there is little excitement in taking the 2000th shot of the Tetons or Iguassu falls, penguins on ice in Antartica or a monastery jutting out from a cliff in the Himalayas. Lots of people have been there and done that.
Instead, he looks for beautiful possibilities in plain or even ugly places and objects. Up for a challenge, I took 100 pictures all around Valencia and sought out the ugliest things I could find. The results were really encouraging. This post features just a handful of my processed pictures.
As always, I used my four digital cameras (mostly the Nikons, D800 and D610, with their best lenses) and shot in RAW, then turned the best 75 of those shots into TIFs in Lightroom; then took the TIFs into Photoshop to make any further adjustments (like cropping in tight, while maintaining the original ratio so size and information were not compromised, or straightening them or removing excess noise or distracting artifacts, etc.). Often that was all they needed, but I also ran some of them through the various programs in Topaz (I have them all, the latest versions of Textures and Glow, being my favorites). I selected the best 50 or so and turned them into the final, lossy JPEGs.
The originals would really make you laugh and can be seen on my Flickr photostream.
Now when I am out with my cameras (and I always have at least one with me, or use my phone when desperate), I purposely seek out subjects with exceptional characteristics Wolfe listed in his neat little summary: line, color, texture, or all three. He takes people on photographic safaris all over the world, all year long, so I plan to sign up for one when I can snag a block of time. Pretty exciting.
The meaning of the title of this post is conciously conceiving of your eye as a camera, or deliberately making your camera do what your eyes and mind do automatically. When we look at something, we immediately process it in our mental machinery and the result is usually added values. If we can train ourselves to use our eyes and camera together as one artistic assembly, we can produce limitless, original works.
Wolfe frames and sells many of his to museums, offices, homes, and public spaces. When you see them framed, you realize the genius of his eye and mind. I hope to train myself along those lines. All of these pictures in RAW were over 40 feet wide in their original format.
Another reason I have been so busy and therefore absent for longer stretches here, is that we have decided to buy a condo in Downtown San Diego. My next post will be about that. I cannot tell you how thrilled I am at the prospects there.
My in-laws have planned a family trip to a resort scheduled for two weeks this summer and then my family is making their annual pilgrimage to Plum Island in July, so I have a lot of decisions to make, upcoming. I am now just keeping a set of suitcases in the foyer. With all this traveling, no point in putting them away.
We plan to head to the beach in Ventura on Saturday. It is supposed to rain, but that just makes the prospect of dark waves and lots of wind-whipped seafoam all the more attractive to my Yankee heart. If we do go, I will be bringing the cameras, natch.
Miss you all and love you! Stay tuned.
Images: Chez BeBe assets: Art of the Real originals