Tag Archives: photograph

Get The Scoop on Our Easter Rabbit Before You’re Too Late

Around my humble place of residence are scores of unseen plants and animals living, or trying to, in complete harmony with the humans and their industrial machines. Flowers and trees, birds, rabbits, squirrels, skunks, even coyotes and hawks are found living wild in our urban areas.

It is very rare to see the larger animals but finding them are a challenge that I enjoy. Often, these animals learn to approach humans in a cautionary way. One such example is our friendly kitten (baby rabbit) featured above. He was not real sure about me and never stopped looking in my direction during our little visit.

In fact, a small ballet soon ensued of him moving a foot away, and me slowly following. We’d stop, eye each other, and then continue to move another foot. This went on for several minutes until I finally lost the little guy under some brush.  Unfortunately, this is only half the work.


The other half of producing a work of art is in its production.  While most of the time the choice of whether to use black or white for a picture or full color is an easy choice for the photographic artist, sometimes the shot forces a specific choice.

For example, our cute bunny presented all forms of difficulties for a color shot. The rabbit has earth brown fur and he is sitting upon a small pile of flattened medium brown tree mulch while enjoying the protection of some dark shade from the sun wafting through the trees above.  The result was a small cute rabbit no one could see.  Obviously, what is great for the rabbit vs. predators is not so wonderful for the photographer.

It’s these very limits on what the picture will look like in color that makes photographic art no different from many of the other arts. For instance, In sculptor the rock forces the sculptor to use the rock he is given  in a particular way to create his work. It’s the same for photography, while I can manipulate the image in a variety of forms and fashions; I’m forced to use the underlying picture as nature gave it to me. This is the creative challenge that I love about this art.

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Museums Get Tough on the Selfie Stick

Walking through museums behind young children scares me. Weird huh? Well, young children have young minds. Those minds have not quite matured enough to figure out that running into the 3000 year old vase swinging your toy is not a good idea.

Children usually lack that bit of common sense and need an adult to guide them through this experimental period of their lives. My years as an educator have taught me that sometimes this common sense passes on to the next generation and sometimes it doesn’t.

In the prehistoric world very few people lived to see 30 years old. Why? Because back then, without medicine and technology, one grand act of stupidity took them out of the human breeding population for good.

But, we’ve moved on. We invented. We, as a species, overcame the chance that doing a stupid thing results in your untimely death. There are no more Wooly Rhinoceroses to play cow tipping with.

Likewise, we now have rules of no running in the museum. Museums hired guards to patrol the art galleries to enforce this rule. Calmness and serenity should descend in the art museum. Unfortunately, human ingenuity is known for creating both chaos and order.

Enter the latest act of social silliness, the selfie stick. According to Molly Shilo of the Observer the MoMA is the latest in a long string of museums including the Frick and the Guggenheim that have seen the potential danger in our latest social craze. In response, they have all outlawed the use of selfie sticks in the museum.

No more can the young carefree mind swing a selfie stick around and carelessly carve up a Caravaggio. No one will accidentally poke a Pollock. That 3,000-year-old vase of the sheer genius and artistic style of a civilization long dead is still viewable to everyone.

In the end, this is a good thing. It’s a sign that the museums are responding to popular outside trends and are trying to save both the world of art history and the youth of today.  It saves the art world from unmitigated disaster and any youths from making a stupid life-changing mistake in the name of a selfie.

The young student of the arts may not understand what the big deal is. They may even rebel at the idea of not being allowed to have this fun. I wish to encourage a sense of patience to these future protectors of human ingenuity. Your selfie is not worth it.

In order to explain this concept, one must understand  that while we have a better chance of surviving the consequences of our actions. If you mutilate a $41.1 million Matisse with your selfie stick you may wish you didn’t survive.   Your allowance sure won’t.

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Police Not Happy with Student Photographic Art Project

Any experienced teacher will tell you that one of the greatest ways to teach students is by assigning take home projects. These projects allow the student to show creativity and gain invaluable instruction from the experience.   At least, if the experience is what the teacher had expected.

However, the real danger is that a take home project is often out of the teacher’s direct control. As an instructor you can really only tell the students the expected result of their labors and what form of assessment will take place from that. But the truth is, no matter how well you plan, you never quite know what the students are going to do to get expected results.

So, when the unnamed professor of an art class gave instructions to students to place a homemade pinhole camera and produce photographic art of interesting places in sunlight, the professor sure didn’t think it would end up being such a disaster.

It seems some of the students didn’t quite think the concept of duct taping a 12 oz soda can pinhole camera to a bridge over a major highway in Atlanta would be conspicuous.

However, the Atlanta Police Department expressed a different point of view when they shut down traffic for 2 1/2 hours and deployed the bomb squad to detonate the unknown cylindrical device.

Not surprisingly, the Hapeville police also didn’t see any humor in this comedy of errors when another device was found strapped on a pedestrian bridge and removed. According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution this one actually had a note declaring it to be an art project.

Now the Georgia State University administration is trying desperately to cooperate with police and apologize to everyone else as the rush to remove up to 18 other similar cameras in possible public places around the city.

Meanwhile the Atlanta Police Department is investigating the matter further to see if they will charge the students or university reckless conduct for raising a false alarm. Police departments

This always brings us back to the number one rule in any form of photography. Use common sense. Police departments find no humor in stopping traffic in a major urban center for 2 ½ hours, deploy their state of the art bomb squad, detonate an unknown device, only to discover it’s some kid’s art project.

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The Long Minute Sunset


The Long Minute is the next in a series of landscape sunset photographic artworks commemorating the end of 2013 and the beginning of the New Year.


This amazing shot occurred by using a camera setting that most people try to avoid.   I speak of the dreaded shutter speed.  If you take pictures, particularly of children and pets, then the shutter speed setting on your camera is a potential best friend.


For those new to photography, the shutter speed setting on your camera is the speed that shutter on the lens of your camera opens and closes when you push the button.  The longer your shutter is open the more light is let into the lens and displayed to the sensor in your camera.


This is why pictures of dogs and children often appear blurry.  If the shutter speed timing is wrong, the shutter stays open and lets in too much light.  So, when the dog moves, you capture his entire movement instead of part of his movement in a single photograph.  Bingo, you have a blurry photo.


But let’s use this fact artistically.  If I place a tripod and camera on a beach at sunset and take a picture of the event, I will usually choose to set the shutter speed to allow me to take the picture with crystal clarity.


However, if I let the shutter open on my camera for 10 minutes, the waves continue to come in and the sun will continue to set and clouds drift by.  So the light reflected off those surfaces will strike the sensor in my camera producing an artistic and usually blurry unusable image.


But, if I set the shutter speed to one minute, then I still get the reflections of the waves and the blurriness also.  But wait, a minute isn’t long enough for the light to vastly change or the clouds to drift by so we have a minimum of movement.


The result is the image of The Long Minute, a tranquil exposure example of a full minute’s exposure on the beach during a spectacular sunset.


I hope you enjoyed these pieces and would like to leave a comment below.

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Discover other works in our collection at http://aa-photographic-arts.artistwebsites.com/index.html.