Lately I’ve started to think about my continuing body of photographic work in terms of ongoing, broadly defined projects. Each project, there are four, is distinctly different from the others. And each project represents a style or a subject matter that I love to photograph. Oh I still photograph other things that fall outside of my four projects but I feel that the four projects define who I am as a photographer as much as I define what the nature of the four projects are. I believe this so strongly that it is my intention, in the near future, to totally revamp my website around the four projects. I will eliminate the myriad galleries I have added and added to over the years and organize my new galleries around the four projects. Maybe just maybe, I will add a fifth gallery with select images that don’t neatly fit under the four projects (travel, for example) but we shall see. So what are the four projects on which I am so focused?
“MORNING BECOMES ELECTRIC”
The first project is entitled “Morning Becomes Electric”. Those of you who have followed my work for any period of time must know that I am a morning person. I love the early morning hours and have for as long as I can remember. As I write this, it is 5:00 am and I have already been up for an hour. Many write of the golden light that comes with sunrise. I, on the other hand, greatly prefer the vibrant colors lighting up the sky in the hour and minutes before the actual sunrise. Nothing beats watching as night becomes day and sky becomes electric. The period between civil twilight (dawn) and sunrise, that 30 minutes, is my most favorite time to shoot. Actually, I like to arrive at my destination earlier than that and take advantage of time between nautical and civil twilight (roughly 30-60 minutes before sunrise). The sky is continually changing as morning tries to lighten up the night and night tries to hang on for just a few minutes longer. “Morning Becomes Electric” is my attempt to capture what I see during that electrifying period. And what I see, what my eyes see, is color… bright, vivid, saturated, bold color. That is what I try to capture in camera and try to enhance to match my vision in processing. “Morning Becomes Electric” will continue to build on images like the following.
Bar Harbor (ME) 091111
Belmar (NJ) 111311
The second project that I continue to work on is simply called “Contrasts”. This project encompasses all my black & white work. I chose “Contrasts” for the title for obvious photographic reasons… contrast is such a critical element in black and white photography. It’s not that every black & white image “must” have bold blacks and bright whites and strongly contrasting elements in order to be successful. However, we must always consider contrast even if all we are dealing with in an image are myriad shades of gray. But the obvious is not the only reason for entitling this project “Contrasts”. I tend to also look for a play of contrasts in the subject matter I choose to photograph whether they be contrasting lifestyles, contrasting architecture, contrasting time periods, etc. Here are a few examples.
Eastern State Penintentiary (PA) 022511
Berks County (PA) 112711
Eckley (PA) 121711
The third project that I continue to work on is entitled “Soft Petals”. I love flowers… all kinds of flowers from tiny wildflowers (that some call weeds when they infiltrate their lawns) to the many hybrids found in private and public gardens. For years I have photographed flowers trying to get every little bit of detail possible out of my images. Then an epiphany. While the detail was wonderful, it wasn’t the detail that I loved. It was color, broad swaths of color, soft sensuous colors. It seemed there were two directions I could go. One was to broaden my view from the macro to the wide angle and look to capture patterns of color across an entire flower bed or garden. The second direction, and the one I chose, was to stay macro… to stay up close and personal as it were but to soften the focus to the point where I could capture the soft sensuous colors while only maintaining the absolute bare minimum of detail. And thus was born “Soft Petals”.
And last, and in this case least, is a project I simply call “Simplicity”. For the last year or two, I have been really enamored with my take on minimalist photography… minimizing the number and complexity of the compositional elements while continuing to have the composition tell a story. This project is my attempt at showing visually that less can be more.
And there you have it. My four projects: “Morning Becomes Electric”, “Contrasts”, “Soft Petals” and “Simplicity”. Look for changes in my website that will expand upon these projects in the not too distant future. And…
MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR