his blog yesterday. Guy is a first rate photographer and, in my opinion, an artist. For what it's worth I call myself an Artist/Craftsman/Photographer on my business cards because I think that what I do encompasses all of those, sometimes all at the same time. Like everyone who takes photos some of my images are just photos, images made to record an event, take note of something I want to remember visually. If I mean to share it with others I will apply my skills to make it really good, to 'craft' it well and then it is both craft and photograph. Others, like the one above are the result of a particular visualization of the subject which involve a specific intent in the camera and/or in what we have come to call "post production", the digital version of the darkroom.
The image above was made with a 'simplification' treatment in mind. It was shot on one of the walks I do for exercise. I wanted to emphasize the pattern of the fence and the vines but I knew that in the straight photo that would largely be lost amidst the detail of every blade of grass in focus. It was shot with a Canon G10, easy to carry on such outings but like all pocket sized digital cameras it has great depth of field even at fairly wide apertures. So I used a polygonal simplification filter to reduce the detail to the level I wanted. I did also apply some blurring to the grass beyond the fence prior to the simplifying filter.
I don't feel that applying such obvious filtration to an image is necessary to make it "Art". I consider the photo I posted on Tuesday to be art as well. Despite its straightforward appearance I did take care in composing it to include precisely the elements I wanted to communicate and I did apply post production work to it to emphasize the details I wanted the viewer to see. But the details of what I did aren't what makes it art. They are just the tools of art. What makes art is using those tools in the same way that the poet uses just the right words arranged in just the right way.
Check out Guy's blog and look at his photos while you are there <http://guytal.com/wordpress/2010/10/no-lesser-art/>
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
This isn't my usual type of landscape. I'm often annoyed by power and phone lines that obstruct an otherwise beautiful scene. The large tower here is the 765KV line that cuts across our area and was the subject of considerable protest when it was built to carry power downstate. There are at least two other sets of lines in the photo for regional and local delivery of power. While the big tower does have an industrial/engineering sort of beauty about it I can't help thinking how serene this view would be without all the poles and wires.
Recently I've had hope for such a future. The Solar Highways project could eliminate all those wires because in addition to generating power it would become the power grid. It is projected that converting our road system to solar generation could replace not only our current electric generation (no more dammed rivers), it could also replace oil, gas and coal. If we replaced all the asphalt with solar panels it would generate more than twice the total energy we now use. Another reason I need to live to be 100, to see that day.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Posted by Jim at 5:24 PM
Monday, October 18, 2010
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Posted by Jim at 4:37 PM
Friday, October 15, 2010
Posted by Jim at 10:29 PM
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Posted by Jim at 8:12 AM
Saturday, October 09, 2010
The trails were quite wet, virtual streams in some places and I had made the mistake of wearing trail runners instead of my waterproof hiking boots so I ended up spending much of the day with wet feet but it was a mild day and I didn't mind. "My" lean-to is 4¼ miles toward Indian Pass (the notch right of center) from the parking lot at Adirondack Loj. I had plans to meet someone for lunch but didn't make it out until 12:30 and was another half hour getting to Saranac Lake. I returned home by the Tooley Pond Rd. in hope that autumn color had held up better at lower elevations but it was mostly gone. The canopy there was bare and the only color, mostly yellow, was in the understory.
Photo made with a Canon G10, handheld, 1/11th @ f/4.5, ISO 200.
Wednesday, October 06, 2010
This week the Supreme Court takes up the “free speech” case of Rev. Fred Phelps who, with members of his church have protested at over 200 veteran’s funerals. The supposedly Rev. Phelps believes that U.S. deaths in Afghanistan and Iraq are God's punishment for the nation's tolerance of homosexuality. Based on that belief, he and his congregation demonstrate at funerals of veterans with signs that say "Thank God for dead soldiers," "You're Going to Hell," "God Hates the USA/Thank God for 9/11" and worse. Needless to say the demonstrations are distressing to members of the veterans families who are grieving the loss of a loved one, one whose life was forfeited as an result of patriotism. Rev. (and I use the title advisedly) Phelps and his followers defend their protests on the grounds that it is free speech protected by the Bill of Rights. In my view it is harassment pure and simple, however should the Supreme Court decide that it is protected free speech I propose that for every funeral Fred Phelps and his followers thus disrupt, a group of protesters should stand outside his church during services carrying signs saying vile and offensive things about the pastor and his parishioners. After all the Bible does say “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth” and turn about is fair play. It won’t happen of course. Why? Because the vast majority of folks in this country are far more Christian in their behavior than Fred Phelps and his followers, even most who don’t count themselves as Christians.
Posted by Jim at 8:35 AM