Monday, October 31, 2011

Thinking In Color

The Same Image in Both Color and in Black and White


One common thought on photography is that the photographer should previsualize the final print while taking the photograph. Back in the days when I shot mostly black and white film I eventually got to the point where I did "see" the final print as I was looking through the viewfinder or on the ground glass. I grew in my photography to the point where the individual acts of photography (photographing, developing, and printing) were all part of a greater whole wherein I saw the ultimate product prior to its actual emergence as a finished print.

It was sort of like "remembering" what the print looks like prior to snapping the shutter. There came a moment or a flash of insight, where I knew that I was in the flow - that the image I was seeing was what I came to create. I knew too, whether the image called for color or black and white. I often worked in that state up until the day that I dismantled the darkroom, and took a break from my art.

When I started to photograph again in earnest about six years ago, it was in digital, and mostly in color. It took me awhile to learn the medium, and the differences between it and color slide and black and white film. The first couple of years I mostly worked in color. Then over the course of the last year, I again started working in black and white. 

I started making black and white conversions, but I seldom took the image while thinking black and white. Sometime in the past few months, I slipped back into previsualizing the final print. I started to notice that I was looking at form and tone as much as I was at color and hue. 

Nowadays, while I photograph I develop a sense of what the final print should look like - black and white, inkjet color, glossy or matte. It was just recently that I understood that the color imagery that I sought to produce for years is now part of my repertoire. I sometimes previsualize matte paper prints with their subdued saturation and with soft hues.

The bottom line to all of this is that I feel directly and strongly connected to the entire process of creating my art. I am at a place in my development where I create images. I do sometimes "luck" into a nice composition, but mostly I am present with the subject matter throughout the entire process. 

At times while I am photographing, and occasionally while I am printing, I feel as connected as I have at any time when I sat and meditated, or at any other time when I attempted to come to an understanding as to what life is all about. This is my Bliss.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

A Foggy Morning In Eureka

Carter House Inns 

When I decided to go photographing this morning it was clear at home. I drove down the hill and into thick fog. I decided to go for it anyhow. I took more images of the Carter House, and decided to take some of this place. I also took some shots of the Carson Mansion and the Pink Lady. In thirty years of living here I don't recall photographing these. I may post more later after I make some firewood.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Help Me Decide: Color or Black and White?

Five Handles, Color
Five Handles, Black and White

I would appreciate some feedback. I do realize that not everyone is into industrial imagery, but I think this is not a bad study in early twentieth century technology.

The Evolution of The Carter House Photograph

The Carter House Revised in Photoshop and in Lightroom

I was commissioned to photograph the house. This has been a nice learning experience for me. I seldom take specific photographs at the direction of others, but that is what I did here. The main challenge with this photograph was to get even lighting on the building without having washed out gray sky. I figured out how to add the blue sky using layers in Photoshop.

I realize that a project like this could go on forever. I could go back time-after-time and take photographs in various lighting conditions. I could also incorporate HDR techniques to balance the subject with the sky. HDR could also be used to balance the contrast of front/side early morning light. By doing so the effects of the shadows could be lessened.

Overall, I think this image is successful. It will be fun to do a few follow-up sessions in the morning light with this building and others. I think I need to photograph the Carson Mansion. I never have taken photographs of it, and now I think it will be fun.

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Carter House

The Carter House, photographed today.

Fun in Black and White

Duplex Flyer, Scotia 2011

The print of this image is just downright luscious. It is the richest ink jet black and white print I have made. I will have the print on the wall at the current show in the RAA gallery in time for Arts Alive on November 5th..

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Eureka First Presbyterian Church Latest Attempt at a Portrait

My Latest Attempt 106 MB file size.

Arcata Marsh Dawn

Arcata Marsh Dawn


The RAA has a new exhibit at their gallery that starts this Wednesday October 26, 2011. My brother, Daniel and I have examples of our work in two of the upstairs galleries. Please feel free to come by Wednesdays through Saturdays from noon until five. The opening reception will be Saturday, November 5, 2011 from six until nine.

We shared this space for the October Arts Alive, and we were well received. This exhibit is the first showing of Daniel's work in Eureka. He resides near Santa Fe  at Lamy, New Mexico, and has exhibited in Santa Fe galleries for the past several years.