Friday, 30 November 2012

Less is More

So you're probably wondering how this expression applies to photography , what does it mean . It's always a good practice to walk around your subject if possible . Changing angle of view or perspective will present alternatives to choose from in the editing process . Of course it is best to have an idea to begin with rather than realize your vision through the viewfinder but moving around the subject helps to develop an idea . When the first impression is too much detail , working the subject will usually help to create a more distinct picture . Quite often the scene can be reduced to  a few lines or shapes or color and the image becomes stronger . This sequence of pictures will help to explain this idea .

When I saw this landscape I knew there was a picture here , I just had to find it . I was drawn to the powerful triangular design created by the mud slide and the strong horizontal line  of the rock face .

Changing the orientation of the camera seemed to weaken the overall design but there was something that kept me interested .

Then I saw a small plant growing that I knew could add foreground interest to the picture .

Getting closer to the small plant made it larger in the foreground and gave the image a base to sit on.Finally I had my picture but I knew that I could make the image more dramatic in post process . So this was the final result .


Friday, 23 November 2012

The Language of Light

Although the ancient Greeks did not know that light could be captured and stored in a box they did understand something about the nature of light . There was a great deal of thought put into understanding the physical properties and I suppose that much consideration was given to the ephemeral qualities as well . I want to focus on the language of light . All that is required , like any language is to follow the cadence and the rhythm . This will not give you a literal translation but it will open the mind and allow for interpretation , an excursion through the landscape . When I start to think and visualize in this way it doesn't matter where I am because the language is familiar and the subject becomes the light .

 I'm not referring to the qualities of source or direction or colour although these do have an influence on the interpretation . I suppose pattern is appropriate because  that is what cadence and rhythm means to me and ultimately becomes an integral part of the message .

See the light and open a door to another way to interpret the world as we walk through this life .                                                                                                        

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Keeping it Real

Recently I was reading about documentary versus interpretive photography . My sense is that this topic is misleading because whatever is framed within the viewfinder is real unless the subject has been manipulated in some way .

This picture is real or documentary in nature but my interpretation is strictly visual . As the sun was setting over the Pacific Ocean and from my vantage point ( the car )  I saw a series of lines and bands of colour . The summer temperatures and humidity cause immense fog banks to form over the open water . What you are looking at is an illustration of this natural phenomenon portrayed in a way to take advantage of a receding tide which leaves rivulets of water along the shoreline . I think of this as documenting a landscape in an interpretive manner .

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Looking and Seeing

Quite often I leave home without my camera , it could be a trip to the store or maybe to walk the dog and this has never bothered me . I'm not obsessed with shooting everything that I see because I like to take the time to be aware of surroundings . I mean that looking at the world thru the viewfinder becomes self limiting and narrows my vision , like tunnel vision . So I spend more time looking at what catches my eye and more time thinking about why it does that . In other words i'm still composing these pictures in my minds eye and as long as I continue to see images that are eye catching the world is in balance .
It was the background that caught my eye in this picture , reflections off a building and the interesting pattern that I saw . Urban landscapes lend themselves to some wonderful juxtapositions with the natural world , it's probably endless .
Another pattern was created by this fountain spray into a lily pond . Easy to miss if I was intent on looking at the world thru my viewfinder . I practice looking and seeing photographically all the time so when I do have a camera with me there is no doubt about what I want to shoot . Sometimes I just get lucky .

Monday, 18 June 2012

Ancient Landscapes of Vancouver Island

There is an area near where I live called Avatar Grove , it is a special place to visit because the trees are some of the oldest in the world . Here I am standing in front of the oldest sitka spruce tree in Canada , this tree was already hundreds of years old when Columbus discovered this continent . 
 These trees are a valuable resource for everyone and must be protected . Without these natural areas to replenish our weary souls our society becomes dis -eased and loses the natural balance that holds the world together .
Visit for more information...

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Mining for Gold

So when is enough pictures enough ? Do I really need to get out and take more pictures ahead of everything else . I'm old enough to remember when my photos were all captured on film and I have boxes of transparencies and negatives collected over a period of 40 years . These images have been looked at and edited over the years and every time I go back I always find a nugget of gold . That's because I realise something about myself that has always been true , it is my way that I see the world .
We all have a unique perspective that is evident every time we click the shutter , an outlook developed over years of living and learning along the way . Everything that happens in daily life influences the way we look at the world .
When I look back at what I have photographed in the past and compare those images to my work today I notice a distinct style , my style . As a photographer / artist we are told that technique is important but style even more so . This may be even more relevant today . Technology has made it very easy to shoot pictures and lots of them . We are encouraged to share them with the world . Sites like  , and have become huge because the technology is very accessible  .
So we are living in the information age and we are constantly bombarded by images . It seems that there is a rush to post as many photos online as possible and maybe become famous and rich . Rather than get swept away in a wave of expectation I have chosen to practise the art of slowing down time , to look back at what I have done before . This has allowed me to notice a style that is mine , unique to my way of looking at the world .
So the next time you are getting down on yourself because you haven't picked up the camera for a while , stop and go back to where you started . Every picture tells a story .

Saturday, 28 April 2012

What's in a Name

Black Dog was a friend of mine , we shared many adventures and a few laughs along the way . He reminded me what it was like to be young again and I feel blessed to have known him . This blog is dedicated to Remy , may he be forever young .