Tag Archives: stylish

Be The First To Read What The Artist is Saying About This WWII Fighter

I became interested in military aviation in the fall of 1976 when I watched my father work on a large plastic model kit of the Chance Vought F4U Corsair. This WWII fighter plane excited me; everything from the strange cigar looking long fuselage to the gull wings gave the impression that this was a different kind of fighter.

Born in WWII, the Corsair fought in the Pacific theater against the Japanese Empire. This aircraft was a star performer in the hands of many a pilot. Thanks to Hollywood and actor Robert Conrad, no one was more famous for flying Corsairs than Col. Gregory “Pappy” Boyington. He was a Medal of Honor winner and commander of the VMF-214 squadron known as the “Black Sheep Squadron”.

When I eyed this beautiful still operational museum piece at an airport after a nearby airshow, I remembered the old legend of the Black Sheep Squadron and promptly went about capturing the idea.   Baa Baa Baa was born. The conditions for the picture were not to my advantage, however.

Baa Baa Baa
Baa Baa Baa

In artistic photography light is your paint, reality your canvas, and the camera your paintbrush. All three parts must combine and work together for a work of art to coalesce. The aircraft hangers in the background coupled with another fighter just out of the frame proved to be a challenge thanks to the glaring afternoon sun. The only thing to try was constant repositioning and checking the angles for the shot that obtained the most dramatic effect.

Later during processing, I decided to try my hand at creating a more historical looking piece. The traditional black and white imagery proved to be too bland and the way the brilliant sunlight plays on the undercarriage shadows and shiny metal wings became muted. So I started experimenting with the pale browns and yellows of yesteryear type film. The result is a unique blending of techniques and filters allowing the picture to retain its historical feel and yet have the punch and crispness of modern-day photography.

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Stop and Smell the Flowers

 

This is the flower that sings

In the garden.

That rises to bloom each spring

And disappears by summer breath.

 

A moment I spend

In the garden.

Tracing the still scent from browning leaves

Watching people walk and view.

 

What they missed

In the garden.

When even the squirrels

Take time to be…

 

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2 Questions That Continue to Influence Photography and Interior Decorating

There are several concepts about the arts of Interior Decorating and Photography that when blended together and create the same questions about why things happen a certain way. While I can always come up with excuses as to why these problems exist, they always limit my ability to make sense of it all.  Here are 2.

 

1.  What is up with all the colors?  Under scientific laboratory experiments the CIE or International Commission on Illumination came up with a number around 2.38 million.  However, the world does not enjoy scientific laboratory conditions and each of us may see only a small fraction of this number due to lighting and even our eyes physical makeup. Some computer graphics cards and monitor combinations are capable of producing between over 9.8 million. Because my eyesight is different from your eyesight, how can we be sure that Sea Foam Green is actually Sea Foam Green?  Computers have done a lot to standardize this, using CMYK, RGB, Adobe 1998, and of course Pantone™ but it’s far from a perfect set.

 

2.  Do you use color photography or not?   When choosing to decorate a room in which the focus is a piece of art such as a painting, the common thread is to focus on the colors in the painting, matting and frame.  When I read any of the Interior decorating or designer magazines, OK,  I just look at the pictures,  I see that a majority of the photographic art displayed, if any, is only in black and white.  Why? Black and white as a photographic format is an awesome way to portray a sense of sophistication and power, but so is color.  Yet color photographs are largely ignored in the mainstream decoration and display.  Photographers, what makes a picture better in black and white than in color?  Decorators, how do you decide on just black and white as your decorating medium?

These are questions that probably have as many answers as there are people reading this.  Nonetheless, I’m interested in your thoughts.

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3 Ways of the Realist in Photography

If you have  a pessimist photographer and an optimist photographer it only makes sense that you can have a realist photographer.  What is a realist?  A realist is a person who does not care if the glass is half empty or half full.  A realist knows that you will still have to wash the glass.

While everyone has their own unique personality, there are 3 major types of realists when discussing photographers.

The Materialist-   The photographer concerned with the method taking pictures that are identified necessary to be creating a real picture. Similar to the philosophy of  materialism, the photographer looks at an abstract photograph and claims that it is not proper photography because the subject is not identifiable as the focus of the photograph. These photographers want subjects.  While they still consider a photograph a vehicle for emotion or thought, this is always secondary to the subject being photographed.  A materialist will still use Photoshop only when necessary to highlight that centered subject.

 

The Scientist   -The Scientist is a non-emotional photographer.  He or she is much more interested in the technical aspects in the field of photography.  This photographer will take endless mathematical calculations to determine the proper lighting, proper distance to aperture ratio and so forth.  They have successfully memorized every f-stop and shutter speed on their camera and the effect each has. To this type of photographer, photography is not an art,  it’s a science and a camera is only a tool that can show you that particular slice of time.

 

The Rounder-   The rounder is a photographer that believes that the way to shoot photography is by rounding things off.   These people believe that there is a science to photography and there is as much art as emotion. Rounders want to use multiple methods for taking pictures.  A rounder would use a large aperture to make the background out of focus but attempt to adhere to the rule of thirds or the golden ratio. However, even though a rounder may use light metering or the rule of thirds, they won’t believe they have a good shot until they see it on a larger computer screen or after post-production.  A rounder will also take more than one picture of a subject, from different angles, to make sure it has the best lighting .  They often ask themselves, “What if I do this with the camera, light, subject?”

 

The thing to remember about the realist photographer is that they are in all of us.  The Scientist who has a bad day can easily become the Tech Hater.  A Rounder with a heavy dose of caffeine can become a Bingo Photographer.   We never stay as one type of photographer forever, but that we move from pessimist to optimist to a rounded realist depending on the stimulus around us and our personal reaction to it.   Always be creative and you will avoid the pitfalls of the optimist, pessimist, or realist. I believe that if photographers understand their own quirks and exceptional talents then truly meaningful conversations will exist as artists, businesses and as people.

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3 Types of Optimistic Photographers

In contrast to the pessimistic photographer we have the optimistic photographer.  This type of photographer allows optimism to be a factor in everything they do.  Optimism is almost universally seen as a good thing, and rightfully so.  However, like, everything else in life, optimism can have its drawbacks.   Let’s take a closer look at these photographers of eternal sunshine.

The Bingo Photographer- this brand of photographer is the mildest type of optimist.  So much so that they are often confused with well rounded realists.  This person will take 100 pictures of a single flower knowing that at least one of the pictures turned out good.  This photographer has been known to burn out the sensor on a camera taking hundreds of pictures from every angle, and setting.  But it’s all good, the Bingo Photographer would report that “I got several shots of the subject, something will turn out, and besides, think of the money I saved by not having to process film!”  This photographer will hate the effect of Murphy’s Law while dropping their favorite lens, but they are happy because that means they can upgrade.  Their cheery aspect makes this group one of the easiest to work with. Even if they see and respond to a negative event they will try to find something positive about that event.  They would say ” You may lose your money at Bingo but it was worth it if you had fun.”

 

The Unaware Photographer- This persona has no problems because they can’t see any. These people do not know what dangers lurk in front of them because they have never experienced them.  These optimists are often confused with naïvety.  Sometimes this is from a lack of experience, or sometimes just sheer annoying luck.  You can’t know what it feels like to lose your $2000 camera in a pit of alligators unless you drop it.  The Unaware photographer has never dropped that lens and can’t imagine it happening.  A popular form of this persona is the “it could be worse.” group of photographers.  They say things like “I spent 4 days in a swamp and a hornet nest fell on me. I developed a bad skin rash and even got trench foot, but never got the picture I wanted.  It could’ve been worse though, I might have had leeches too!”

 

The Delusional Photographer- Ever meet a photographer who was so insecure about their pictures that they mentally refuse to acknowledge any areas for self-improvement?   These people become totally terrified of unpleasantness or confrontation over their work.  It is not that they can’t see a photograph as being out of focus or the exposure being bad.  They just refuse to accept it as such.  Instead, They will tote it as a fabulously executed piece of art that displays blurriness on a bright sunny day!

The Delusional Photographers happiness comes from their ability to ignore everyone else’s unhappiness. Usually this is a reaction to a trauma they experienced earlier in life.  These photographers are dangerous to have working one on one with important clients. As long as the photographer is happy, everything is better than good.  So, if the client is not happy, they cannot see any problem to fix it.   They will happily say to the client, “It’s OK if your wrong, but the bride does not have her eyes closed, she is merely dreaming of her wedding day.”

An extreme form of Delusional Photographer will arrive at the photo studio in the middle of the night.  They will discover it is burning in a 3-alarm fire and consciously borrow a camera to take pictures.  They do not take the pictures for the insurance company to get the claim faster so they can save the jobs and livelihoods of their employee’s or themselves.  No.  They take the pictures because the color of the flames against the background of burning portraits is pretty.

 

People like to feel good about themselves, their work, and their lives.  It is possible for anyone to be an optimist and that’s a good thing.  It only takes one great day with a happy client, equipment that makes your life easier, or a warm spring day and a new optimist will emerge.  Are you an optimist or just passing through?

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