Our latest feature for our gallery is Pine Cones. This work represents one of many occasions where my inner artist took full control and I go a little wild. Sometimes, I follow a philosophy of “Don’t think, just shoot.” This type of photography is typical of an artistic type of photography known as Lomography. Most of the time, using this philosophy gives me quite beautiful but very unusual, and in the end, for one reason or another, unusable shots. However, I enjoy taking pictures this way due to the sheer artistic nature of the technique.
Taken through a specific type of Russian camera, Lomography is a film photograph. Sometimes blurs, light leaks, and other imperfections caused by the camera occur that represent this style. Other significant indicators of this style are the use of high contrast cross processing. Cross processing is the technique of using the wrong chemical solution to process a film than what the film normally requires. An artistic picture magically appears full of saturated colors and unnatural representations of color.
Pine Cones is an example of faux Lomography. I shoot and process my work in digital RAW. So, obviously when I add the techniques of cross processing and vignettes to the work, I’m doing so from a computer and not a dark room. Just like a darkroom specialist applying the wrong solution on purpose, I’m applying the wrong digital filters, and in the final result no one really knows what result will occur. Therefore, you may have to reprocess the picture several times to get the effect that you are looking for. Or, as is more than likely the case, the picture does not make the final cut and ends up in the digital trashcan.
It’s a laborious process for sure, but one I think people can agree ends up with a final work of art that captures it’s subject in a way that no other type of photography can.
It’s great to announce that things are really moving forward for our gallery in Florida. While A&A Photographic Arts has been a popular destination for the online art gallery aficionado, 3,450 social media followers alone can’t be wrong, and we have also spent the past year really expanding our place in the physical world.
Our Texas locations are still going strong. We are still showing our works in both the Richardson and Addison Café Brazils located near North Dallas and we have plans to expand to other locations soon.
In March we announced our presence to the Florida art world by taking part in a month-long art show presented by Sun Gulf Art Gallery in New Port Richey. We also recently became associated with the Tarpon Springs Art Association. This organization is a very strong group of local artists who are forward thinking enough to see photographic art has as a new and upcoming fine art form. We are always excited to be associated with organizations such as this.
Other real exciting news is our new expansion into Dunedin, Florida. The owners at Downtown Dunedin Deli & Grill have let us display and offer our art for purchase in the front of their restaurant. Dunedin is one of the prime locations around the Clearwater area for fine art. There is a thriving artist community in the city and to present our art for the patrons of the popular downtown area is truly inspiring.
Most people played with pinwheels as a child. It’s a whimsical toy consisting of a windmill type device pinned loosely to the end of a small stick. As the wind blows, the multi-colored paper or plastic spins creating a mesmerizing display of colors and movement. It’s simply captivating to a child or adult.
Perhaps that toy is the orchestrated result of some influential pinwheel flowers viewed by some forgotten toy maker in history. The long powerful floral petals form curvasive fingers out from the center as if to catch an imaginary wind and perform some impossible bouqueted ballet. Drawn to these whimsical yet vibrant shapes, a sublime reminder of childhood reaches back from the echoes of our half remembered past. Can you imagine the petals spinning like a toy of your youth?
Only now, as adults, with greater experience and perhaps a more cynical eye, we understandably view the pure white petals as a quantitative measure of purity in our lives. A view of grandest desire and design. For who does not like to think themselves pure? Yet this view is not without it’s own danger.
The exciting glowing petals suddenly take on an air of smallness. The blackness surrounding each petal pure and full of vibrant life represents our own bleak mortality. Indeed, aware that these pinwheels will not spin with the cheerful abandon of our youth, we wishfully attempt to view them with the hopeful ideal of mobility.
However, the persistent lack of motion results in our metaphoric experience that as we become older we indeed become more fixated and inflexible in our ideals. A view soon encroaches portraying each of us as pinwheels no longer able to spin with the winds of passing time. Yet each of us remains a flower. Our capable beauty exists in a dignified and artfully desirous form, if only for those briefest of moments that make up our lives.
Visiting the tropical gardens of Florida are among one of my favorite places to go to. The endless carousing up and down long corridors of tropical greenery provides ample opportunity for a person to get back to nature.
Between one such corridor of tangled shrubs and brilliant flashes of floral thunder stood this exquisite hibiscus. In full bloom this flower assaulted the air with both fragrance and a wonderful red hue.
Instantly, the artist in me became delighted at capturing the image of this fragrant beauty. As pretty as this flower was, I still felt that perhaps it lacked something. Oh it was a stunning picture in its own right and processing it was a joy. But, I wasn’t happy with the total feel of the picture.
The color of the red flower on a deep-sea of leafy green sent an idea into my head. Why look at this botanical beauty through traditional black and white? So, I placed a deep red filter over the image and the results were magical.
The deep red punches through the various isolating influences of the green leaves and really pushes the actual flower to the limit of our visual acceptance. The petals of the red colored flower suddenly turn a red tinged highway of visible lines bursting forth from the center maw of the open flower.
The flower became a true apiary sign post inviting the delicate caresses of petals and pollen. A hidden beauty in it’s own right waiting for the right discovery.
Going out on a photo shoot takes time, concentration and, now and then, a bit of luck. The general idea is to carefully notice everything around me and look for potential angles and light displays that captivate my inner artist. It could be the light of the early morning sun as it hits a bird in just the right way, or the shade of a palm tree protecting a flower from the harshest of the sun’s rays.
But, as hard as I try, sometimes I do not realize what I have captured until I get home and start intensively critiquing and processing my raw work. Such is the case with our new piece of art Striped Cow. The pattern of stripes and color on her head and flanks was simply mesmerizing.
She turned her head in my direction giving me that classical bovine look of curiosity with ears propped up listening to see if I was a threat to her peace and quiet. In the field I noticed she turned her body slightly to get a better view of my approach. She was only interested in what I was going to do. More than likely worried that I meant her or her herd possible harm. I always find it humorous that cattle do not seem to think that the same fence that keeps them from harming you also keeps us from approaching and harming them.
In any case, it wasn’t until the final stages of processing these pictures that my attention caught the unusual. I was working on the edges to give it that classic overexposed vignette when I noticed the anomaly.
It appears out indelible friendly cow only has 3 legs. It’s not true of course. She had four legs when I took the shot, however, the angle of her far right front leg matches up perfectly with her left front leg. Further adding to the illusion is the blackish striping she has at the top of her leg. It makes her shoulder appear to camouflage into the rest of her flank.
A strange illusion indeed and definitely not one that you see everyday. Sometimes it is the hidden illusion in a picture that add that sense of wonder to a piece. I believe this is such a case.