What if?

What if?

What if the next time you visited a National Park, or hiked into the backcountry on BLM land, you happened upon this? For the final project in one of my classes during winter quarter we had to explore a believable, but currently impossible, photo realistic situation. At least that was my take-away.

Given my background working in the advertising world, and my love of these majestic landscapes, I combined the two to see what this world might look like. Can’t say I like it much, but it was a fun project to complete.

The landscapes are scans from my 6×9 negatives taken over the years, and the billboards are new digital captures made here in Colorado Springs towards the end of the quarter. The billboards were removed from their natural backgrounds and composited into my landscapes.

As I mentioned to my classmates at the time of peer review, let’s hope we don’t see this in our lifetimes.

Business is Booming!


Don’t Forget Your Beer and Guns!

Student Mode

Well, where do I begin…exhausted. That’s it, short and sweet as promised, and not exactly on time.

I’m going to share some school work and projects here just because, well, it is fun to get others thoughts and opinions in addition to a professor. I think it is fun to hear feedback from those who know you best.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll share a few items from my first quarter at SCAD.

To begin, here is my Post-Modern appropriated piece.

Any of my students who know me, and who took my History of Photography class know that I loathe “appropriation,” so that said, I did it. For a grade, yes, for my own direction, no.

Here’s my take on a current issue using recognizable imagery from the 1980s and yes, it is all appropriated.

Won’t You Be My Neighbor

Multitasking…overrated!

First, thank you to all my family and friends who inquired about my blog absence! Well, bottom line, I needed a break! And, that little thing we think we’re all so good at, multitasking? Yea, not so much! I’ve finally come to realize, after 46 years, the human brain is not wired to multitask, at least not well. And, when I do decide to do one thing at a time, and concentrate my efforts and focus, well, just wow! The results are beautiful! Not to mention my sanity is intact.

My original goal with this website and blog was to keep myself active, creative and engaged with my favorite topic – photography! And, my original goal was to see if I could post a blog each week, for 52 weeks, 1 full year. I achieved that, in fact, beat it with 59 weeks of blogs! As my fall semester at PPCC began wrapping up in mid-November, with an overload of five classes, and one of those classes overloaded to 17 students, I realized, okay, something’s gotta give!

I decided to take a step back, and concentrate my efforts on completing the semester at PPCC – grades, class projects, last minute field trips and final portfolios! It was a lot of fun, but I can assure you I have no interest in overloading like that again!  

So, onto new and wonderful things as we are just about to close the door on 2016! For next year, I plan to continue with my blogs, but given I’m starting my eLearning MFA program Wednesday I am going to scale the blogs back a bit. A very good friend suggested “micro blogs.” Okay, why not? So, as I enter this new program, I will share the new photographs I’m working on for assignments and portfolios, and new things that I learn along the way. But, I’ll do it once or twice a month, and in the format of a “micro” blog – short, sweet and to the point!

To cap off 2016 and get back to that favorite topic, please visit these links and mark your calendars.

Dreamscapes

CS Indy – Dreamscapes

I will have three new photographs on exhibit alongside 21 other amazing, local Colorado Springs photographers. We all had to interpret the theme Dreamscapes! Come and join us. I’m not going to share the images here…just yet, because I want you to see them in person!

Happy New Year! Here’s to an amazing and creative 2017!

Inspired by…

Moma – Ralph Steiner and Willard van Dyke

Thinking About Home…Again

So where do you turn when you feel uninspired, or have “writers” block, or any block for that matter? How about to those closest to you in life – isn’t that where all our inspiration comes from anyhow? Those we love, and the love we get back, those who support us, and who we support back? Maybe a place we all call home?

What is “home” to you? I’ve asked this before, and expressed my own ideas in previous blogs. For me it’s the place where I feel warm and surrounded in love. It’s the place I look forward to coming back to each day, whether after a long day at work, or after a day of fun and adventure in the mountains that surround my home, or in the big city of Denver.

Home is more than just four walls and a roof. Home is not only the dwelling I live in, but also the city I love, the mountains that surround the city, and the hearts that beat within those four walls – those that live there, and those that visit. It’s coming home after a full day to be greeted at the front door by three frantic wagging tails, then an all-out assault with kisses, jumps and maybe a shove into the hall closet door before I even get two feet in the front door! But, I love it, and it’s home.

Dog Dreams

Dog Dreams

Home is a scene like this new photo of Maggie, stolen in the quiet afternoon with tiptoes and nimble fingers quickly and quietly flipping my 4×5 film holder to get an extra shot before she wakes! I wonder what she is dreaming of? Playing with her pack, or maybe this latest addition to my “heads” collection!

Ouch

Ouch

Home is walking in late in the evening after class, or a meeting, and being greeted with a warm smile and the wonderful smell of love in the kitchen. It’s about 22 years of marriage that we just celebrated Friday the 11th. Home is about planning for the future, and home is about the love of family and friends that make life so enjoyable.

So, during this season of giving thanks, think about what you call home, and those who make your life full, and inspired! We all get “writers” block now and then, but the best recipe for breaking through is a good laugh with those you love. Happy Anniversary, Randy!

Oh, and check out our fantastic models as they make their front page debut, scroll to the bottom to see the whole crew!  www.spotteddogexcavating.com

 

 

 

Perfection

Perfect, perfection, perfectionist…impossible words. These are stressful and impossible words, but telling and hard to ignore. Remember those dreams, or better yet, stress phantasms I talked about a couple weeks ago? Well, this week’s REM sleep was quite active and disruptive. But, my one problem…I don’t remember a single thing about the dreams, except one that is. I woke up each morning, and multiple times in the wee hours of the morning, with one word perfection. Or, as much as I can recall, variations of this word including perfect and perfectionist.

What the heck? So, after listening to my dream-expert friend describe the meanings in dreams on our hike the week before, I thought, well what does this one word mean to me? It was repeatedly the one vivid thing I remembered multiple times this week. Can I be stressing out about a project I’m working on, and the idea that it is not perfect yet? Seems likely for me! Or, am I already worrying about my upcoming re-entry to my alma mater, The Savannah College of Art and Design, for MFA classes in January.

I’ll give you a bit of my school history. I actually (regularly, but in a loving way) blame SCAD for my perfectionist tendencies. I like to say that during my BFA program, perfectionism was hammered into my brain – from the exposure of my negatives to the printing of my images, to the final presentation á la Stieglitz style at 291. Those loved ones who lived with me during that time period are well aware of that streak of crazy. Let’s hope with age comes wisdom…24 years later, maybe the crazy can be contained.

Skull - Ghost Light

Setting a Perfectionist Free

So, here’s my first step to releasing my inner crazy perfectionist and setting her free. Free to make messy work. The image I’m sharing is what I call an experiment, an outtake, a test and by no means finished. In fact, it goes on the “nope” pile. But, in an effort to find the beauty in imperfection, I’m sharing it and finding all the qualities I do love.

I am currently shooting 4×5 B&W film in the dark and painting with light, so this is not something I can nail each time. It’s a very fluid, organic, trial and error process where I must realize I need to embrace the mistakes. This image, by my standards, is not good…not exactly focused where I might like, and certainly not a great exposure. But, can I challenge myself to find the beauty in the imperfection?

After scanning it, I decided to give it a once over since it will never see the light of day as a beautifully printed black and white (okay, inner crazy speaking there). What can I say I like about this? I like the trees…their spindly angles falling out of focus (intentional focal plane shift there) and reaching great heights behind my ghost-like skull. I also like the way my trusty flashlight illuminated some of the remaining autumn oak leaves. And, that bright skull…well, it does have that glowing ghost-like feel that I’m interested in.

See, I’m trying…

“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.” – Winston Churchill

Another Field Trip…and a 10th Anniversary!

Denver Art Museum Perspective

Who Has The Best Perspective?

This week, just like a year ago this week, my architectural photography class went on a field trip to the Denver Art Museum. Last year it was a cold and rainy day, but the weather did make for some interesting photographs taken through a raindrop-covered window out onto the traffic below.

This year, what a difference a year makes! It was a crisp, beautiful bluebird, autumn day. And, again, it certainly made for some great photographs of this unique architectural design that sits smack dab in the center of Denver’s cultural neighborhood. And, this year, we also wish the DAM a Happy 10th Anniversary, as it is the 10th anniversary of the Frederic C. Hamilton Building. You know the one! That totally cool new building that looks like a ship’s prow, or an origami creation!

Denver Art Museum Exterior

Precious Metals

Here’s something you might not have known. The Hamilton Building is covered in 9,000 titanium panels! The skin that covers those unique angles is titanium, known for its strength while being very lightweight. The architect, Daniel Libeskind, said of his inspiration,

“I was inspired by the light and the geology of the Rockies, but most of all by the wide-open faces of the people of Denver.”

We can all certainly take a cue from Libeskind and find inspiration in our very own backyards – the beautiful contrast in the southwestern light, the rugged peaks of the Rockies, and well, the welcoming spirit of Coloradans all over. I’d like to think that we, here in Colorado Springs, have “wide-open faces” as well.

Denver Art Museum Exterior

Concrete and Titanium

This building changes as you view it throughout the day, both inside and out. As the light changes from morning, to noon, to evening, you will find yourself – as a photographer for sure – changing your white balance and saying, “What the heck?” because it is just a beautiful, organic moving structure that will surprise you at every turn.

I enjoyed playing with my white balance inside the museum during this trip, as I could use all this mixed lighting to my advantage and give these severe hard angles a warm up or a cool down depending on my mood! Give it a try next time you find yourself visiting the DAM. It’s an amazing space…and don’t forget the old “North” building too. It is covered in more than a million reflective glass tiles made by none other than Corning. You know… the same folks who brought you Pyrex!

Blue bench - Denver Art Museum

Cool Off

Denver Art Museum Warm Bench

Warmth