Monday, 30 May 2011

First light and shadow

The first day of Photo Exploration started early in the morning at the historic Plaza, where we tried to catch the first light and shadows of the day. Integrating light and shadow was for me a new approach to visualizing a photograph. Not that I'm a "sun to my back and blast away photographer"' but my attitude toward shadows was to avoid them when possible.

It seeems like we posted a lot of pictures in this post, but hey! It is Santa Fe and you should see the other 600 shots I took. Stay tuned, I plan on sharing more, but not all of the Santa Fe magic.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Bumble and Bumble

Santa Fe really is a marvelous place. The very nature of the light, the cultural differences, the architecture and its history forces you to change gears and really look at all of your surroundings.
Elena and I had the good fortune to attend Carol Leigh’s Photo Exploration course. Under her tutelage, we expanded our vision and were exposed to many new techniques that will, in time, produce more interesting interpretations of our images.
Right now, my mind is exploding with ideas, my hard drive is “busting a gut” with pictures taken during our time with Carol. Until I wrap my mind around all that I learned, I elect to name this exercise…

Santa Fe is a location where a business name/sign fits every thought. So, hopefully, I may share with you, my impressions, my photographs and my growth in photography without being the horrible uncle we all had with the 500 slideshow of his Luxembourg tour.
Elena’s posts will be far more beautiful for she is the artist…I’m the technician. Our goal is to show you how Carol has nurtured our skills to see life’s images in our respective skill sets.
We drove to Santa Fe arriving a little over a day before the class was scheduled to commence. We arrived late in the day, but there was a chance to chase the light for a few images before we unpacked and settled in for the night. On the historic central Plaza you can take a picture for every step. The 1st step for me was the sculpture garden of a gallery just a block off the square. The light was dramatic giving me an opportunity to bolster my confidence.

Wow! 1st frame and I know why I love Santa Fe. Creativity oozes out of every pore, all I have to do is not disrespect the artist while developing my “photographer’s eye.”
Now the light is going fast and I need at least one more picture to know that I’m “in the zone.” What else gives Santa Fe a solid reputation? Why chili of course! As the sign says, “We’ve got the Hots for you!” I’m in heaven, green chili, good light and the company of Elena plus fellow students.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Pear #43

My hand painted papers and an image of pear, familiar but never the same.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Crusade # 51

This month challenge was to make a page about our home.
Here is my take at this challenge. The left part contains the image of “Stalin style” high rise building in Moscow (I was born in this city) and our present house altered in Photoshop.

I also have an announcement to make. Marie Otero offers several online digital manipulation classes, check them out:
Join her blog and leave a comment to win a place in the Class of your choosing.
My very first class on digital manipulation was Marie’s Digital Magic class, after taking it I have no fear of Photoshop. Marie was ALWAYS there to make every step easy and clear. If I were a lucky winner my next class would be Digital Journal. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Reverence for Books

The pictures here are my latest hand bound books embellished with glass mosaics I created. For me, this is a full circle relationship with books.
When I first faced the necessity to tear up an old book to use the pages in my collages it was: “Wow, I just cannot do this!” Tearing books is still very unsettling experience for me, rooted way back in my childhood.

In Russia, from my beginning of personal awareness of books and the beauty of the written word, we were taught, “Love Books…They are the source of knowledge.” I loved the written word and remember my parent’s huge oak dining table that doubled as my supervised homework desk. I would sit at the table doing my homework but I had worked out a plan that used a pull out board under the table that held my copy of “The Three Musketeers,” a wonderfully engrossing piece of fiction so much more interesting than 8th grade chemistry. My parents were earnest and very involved in my homework focus so it was my earnest and secret agenda to blend my personal reading with that homework. I was finally caught finishing my book under a blanket with a flashlight.

The bottom line was that all books were precious to me. We were taught as children to protect and take care of books and in exchange for that care, we travelled in time and space sharing life experience of countless authors.

A secondary result is a deeply ingrained reverence for the physical protection of books. As mentioned before, I was aware of my deep seated uneasiness relating to the destruction of books to create a new piece of artistic expression. However, now I’m feeling more comfortable as I’m able to compensate the damage by making new books.

I mentioned all of this to Russ. Russ has his own history which although located in rural Wisconsin, had parallel experiences that developed his own reverence for books. To this day, Russ can not turn down a page corner of a book and he “breaks in” new books in a procedure taught to him in grammar school.

Today, Russ gave me the greatest endorsement by giving me from his precious book collection, a pair of hand bound National Geographic compilations produced in the 1920’s to use anyway I see fit in repurposing these items into new art.

I think maybe Russ really is a “keeper.”