Tuesday, January 31, 2006

One of the Photographers I admire...

I can honestly say that I have never, and I mean NEVER seen anything like the work of Mr. Bruce Percy. I don't exactly remember how I "stumbled" upon his website, but I thank God everyday for our "virtual" meeting. His work is beyond what I'd call "powerful." The images he captures evoke a strong emotional response that is only eclipsed by his incredible use of color and composition.

It doesn't matter if he is capturing a moment in time or painting, he has it. Whatever "it" is that allows you to create this type of superb photography, Bruce has it! If you don't believe me, just take a look at his virtual portfolio.

Although he's a landscape photographer, his "street" photography is truly some of the very best in the world. Before viewing his work for myself, I didn't believe it was possible to create images like his. He is one of those rare artist who not only leaves their mark on the world, but changes the game in the process. I don't know if I will ever be able to create this level of excellence in my work, but Bruce's photography has set a new standard of excellence that I will strive to recreate for the rest of my artistic life.

For those of you who know me, you know that I am a "straight with no chaser" kind of guy. There is a very short list of artist who "move" me like this, and Bruce Percy is at the top of that list. May I have the privilege of introducing you to the work of Mr. Bruce Percy! I pray that through this introduction you too will be inspired to let the artist in you shine like never before.


Saturday, January 28, 2006

One of the photographers I admire...

Recently I was asked "...who are the people who inspire you creatively in your photography?" It was a loaded question as I am inspired by several artists who's work really moves me on a heart level, not just a head level.

So, being the creative artists that I am (and having a big mouth too) I wanted to share with you some of the people who's work truly inspires me! I pray that once you are introduced to their work that you are also inspired to do more with your creative voice regardless of the medium - creativity is a gift from God given to mankind for God to express Himself through His creation. Don't take it lightly, you are an artist and you have a creative voice!

One of the photographers who's work continues to touch my heart is Jessica Claire. She truly has a gift from God and is not just a photographer, but a visual artist! Her ability to creatively use color, composition, humor, sharpness, and elicit an emotional response from her photos is simply unparalleled. IMHO - she is truly one of the very best photographers in the world!

I NEVER get tired of looking at her work no matter how many times I've seen the same image. How she does it, I don't know. But her images will reach out and literally "touch" you. I only pray that one day soon my work is half as good as hers. May I have the special privilege of introducing you to someone who inspires me beyond words, may I introduce you to Ms. Jessica Claire!


Thursday, January 26, 2006

Another one of my favorites...

While on a shoot of the final Christmas celebration at the famous Chicago Marshall Fields Department Store, I noticed this young lady looking at the world famous window displays. There were so many people that you really couldn't see anything. This young lady's father picked her up and at first she was laughing and seemed to be having fun. And then all of sudden she stopped and that is when I captured this image.

Monday, January 23, 2006

An Accidental Portrait...

We were on tour of the Bahamas and I don't remember where we were but I called my friend's name and when she turned around I captured this image. No flash with very little lighting other than a little sun light. This was one of my very first portraits and it was by accident. I used my Olympus OM-10 with my 50mm 1.8 lens wide open with 100 ASA film! This image is more than 20 years old and it's not bad, not bad at all.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Reflections of the past...

I've been a big fan of both really vivid and contrast-rich images and also of well defined black and white photos. And, with the advent of the PC (i.e. electronic darkroom) we all can now blend both of these worlds into something we've never seen before. Although I'm still growing in this new type of photographic art, the more I do it the better I become. How do you like my latest creation?

Saturday, January 21, 2006

A time that has died - another one of my favorites...

There is a season for everything under the sun...including death. This is an image I captured while touring the former border of what was then East Germany and the former Soviet country of Czechoslovakia. We toured the border and border guards appeared and watched us using binoculars as we stood there. It was a tense situation as we were warned of making gestures (i.e. waving, saluting, giving the finger, yelling, etc.) as those gestures could lead to war. Hard to believe, but a simple wrong gesture could have been considered an act of war and launched the US into a war with the Soviet Union. Thank God that this time has died. Sometimes it's hard to believe that we made it through this period of time without blowing each other up.

My Impressions with my new F100...

Day 4:

The more I use this camera, the more I love it.! I didn't believe the hype as I don't believe it is the camera but the photographer that captures the image. However, just as surgeons have their favorite types of lasers, and just as hair stylist have their favorite types of combs/razors/scissors, photographers have their favorite types of tools as well.

This has quickly become my favorite camera body. The balanced weight, rubber grip, "feel" and the way it handles different size lenses without losing its balance is without question what makes this particular camera body so popular and arguably the best 35mm SLR ever - not to mention its fast autofocus and excellent metering.

If you don't believe me, go to your local camera store and ask them to give you a Nikon F100 with any lens mounted on it and you'll discover what I'm talking about. I've shoot 2 rolls today with the melting snow and I'm looking forward to sharing those with you next week. Be blessed and keep shooting!

Friday, January 20, 2006

Another one of my favorites...

This image was one of the very first images I took using my very first 35mm SLR. And I have to admit that after all of these years I still love it. The yellow/orange-ish glow is from the lamp shade right outside of view. Although the light seemed lighter in the room, I didn't notice this particular hue until the print was made. Oh, and just in case you were curious, I made the wooden desktop stand as well.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Another one of my favorite images...

This image was captured using my trusy Olympus OM-10 with a Zuiko 50mm 1.8 lens and a regular roll of Kodak black and white film. This image is over 20 years old and was part of the very 1st roll of black and white film I've ever used.

This picture was created during the changing of the guard on an overcast day and since the soldiers were moving, I decided to focus on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and allow the soldiers passing by to walk into the shot. It actually worked! Their movement and progressively focused appearance helps the eye point right to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. In addition, by having the soldiers somewhat out of focus also creates an "unknown" look to them as they pass. Please let me know what you think.

1st Impressions with my new F100

Day 2:

Took my F100 to my favorite "Nikonman" at my local camera store, having already run through 2 rolls and still going. Camera checked out fine, we foudn a small speck of dirt on screen but it is not worth trying to remove. Everything else checked out fine. I'm on my way, never thought I'd enjoy a camera body as much as I do this one. Now, I'm ready for the D200. Pictures are on their way...

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

1st Impressions with my new F100...

Day 1:

This is truly a photographic instrument. The balance and "feel" is almost indescribable. And, it's natural/low light performance coupled with its excellent flash performance is simply wonderful. I didn't expect this much of a difference from my trusty Nikon N75, but there is a difference and now I know why...

This is a professional body and it behaves like one. Not to say that I couldn't capture the same image using my N75, but I can accomplish it faster. And for that it was worth the investment despite Nikon Corporation's latest announcement. Now, what does this announcement mean for Nikon users regarding Zeiss lenses ?

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

The Lessons of Life

I mistakenly deleted this image from a competition gallery in December of last year and therefore didn't compete. So, it is now in a Photojournalism competition for this month. Please let me know what you think as I've received lots of interesting and creative feedback regarding this image. It was captured using my Nikon N75 with its 28-80mm "kit" lens along with my polarizer and starlight filters. The camera was set to "auto" and it was an overcast day. Be blessed and keep shooting!

It's not one of mine, but I think it is brilliant!

I didn't create this photo (although I wish I had) as this image was featured in the Nikonians Gallery and I think it is fantastic! The colors are perfect and I love the out of focus areas (and who couldn't love the subject). I have to find out how much post processing was done, but nonetheless this is excellent! Enjoy!

One of my favorites...

This photo was created using my very first SLR - an Olympus OM-10 with a Zuiko 50mm 1.8 lens. I just loved this camera and my images were always sharp.

This scan doesn't do it justice, and there were a few specks of dust that I didn't see when I scanned it. Can you believe that this image is over 20 years old? And, the print is still razor sharp. I often wonder where this young man is today? Who knows, he could be the next President of the United States. Be blessed!

One more note on the "Digital Divide in Photography"

Just in case you were curious, check out the wonderful Voightlander Bessa R3 Rangefinder. And if you don't think it is just as good as a Leica check out these images. IMHO they are some of the finest photographs in the world! Be blessed!

Taking it to the next level!

I've just taken receipt of my NikonF100. It is virtually like new and I'm looking forward to shooting a roll of Kodak Portra with it. Now I'm the first to share with people that the camera doesn't matter - especially a film body. And, I was blessed to get this before the Nikon announcement that they are no longer making film bodies. Ever since I held one in my hands at my local camera store I was hooked! I had to have one, not that my N75 couldn't capture the same scene, but because the F100 edified me when I held it.

To me it is analogous to the advice I've received from a couple of professional musicians when I asked for their advice about purchasing a new keyboard. One is a guitarists/vocalist/song writer and the other is a keyboardist/producer/studio owner/former touring professional. They both told me to get an instrument that edified me - even if it meant spending more for it. If your instrument edifies you, you are more likely to want to play it again and again. That's what the Kurzweil keyboard did for me the moment I sat down and touched its keys. And I had the same experience when I held the Nikon F100 in my hands.

I look forward to sharing with you my photos using this body. And yes I know its the photographer and the lens, but I know that I love taking pictures with this photographic instrument. Now, I'll set my sights on the Nikon D200. Be blessed!

Monday, January 16, 2006

Evaluating the Digital Divide in Photography

I've recently returned to photography in a serious way after a 15 year layoff (snap shooting only). And, the more I learn the more complex things seem to become. My first 35mm camera was the Olympus OM-10. And, after several moves I haven't located it and had to purchase a new SLR or I would have continued using my trusty OM-10. I feel like an old man even though I'm young as "back in the day" when I was a serious photographer my camera was small, compact, easy to use, and best of all got out of the way!

I'm not complaining as I am blessed to be shooting with a Nikon N75 and F100 (F100 arrives today!) but sometimes I wish I had my OM-10 as the images captured with it and it's Zuiko lens were simply brilliant. Its "set-it and forget-it" philosophy, combined with over a decade of snap shooting, has helped to form my current shooting style. I don't want to constantly fiddle with white balance, and I don't want to constantly have to adjust modes, I just want to capture the moment. And, isn't that what photography is all about?

I know there are technically-focused artist out there, but I am more of a minimalist. I just recently acquired an Olympus XA rangefinder to replace my Samsung 35mm point and shoot. And, with God's blessings I will soon receive a Leica M6 with several Summicron lenses.

But, I've also come to the realization that "digital" is the way to go for business. And, that I will also need a digital autofocus point and shoot for experimentation (experimenting with film is getting expensive) and traveling when I need someone to take my picture.

So, these are my photographic reflections this holiday morning as I am leaving due to the noise of the carpet installation upstairs - the time has come for a house but that's another blog.

Be blessed and let's chat soon!

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Introducing Remote Control for my Blog!

this is an audio post - click to play

My 1st Entry - welcome home!

Hi and welcome to my blog. I've wanted to do this for some time and finally took the plunge. This will become a resource featuring constant expressions of creativity. Come often to find everything from photography to politics to video talk shows! Hit me up when you visit, and I look forward to traversing through our world of creativity together. Be blessed!