Monday, November 11, 2013

"A River Runs Through It"

“Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it.”
--Norman Maclean

For years now, I have had two web sites in my business - one photography and one everything else - though truth be told, I've always been a little like the plumber who has only an outhouse. Neither website was kept current or modern, even though it's what I do in my work life.

Things grow quiet in the humid summer months in my latitude, allowing time for weeding out desk drawers, shuffling the office furniture about, upgrading hardware and thinking about the general direction of the business. For some time now, I've been chewing on the idea of merging the business into one cohesive website. It takes time and thought to pull all the associated pieces together: email must be rerouted, domains redirected, and the site's shoelaces double tied.

It's finally done! TaDa! Photography, Design and Training services - all in one site.

This new site ushers in another change in direction: I am no longer selling my fine art and outdoor photography in galleries or at events. If you're a former customer (hi!) and want to purchase any framed or matted prints, greeting cards or DVDs, please do call the number at the top of this screen. I'd love to help you find what you're looking for!

Long introduction over...welcome! I'm including a peek at one of the newest residential home shoots, designed by Sater Design Group, built by Fox Custom Builders and interior design by Clive Daniel. many shades of gray!

Friday, December 28, 2012

New Directions

"You see things; and you say, ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were; and I say, ‘Why not’?"
~George Bernard Shaw

Click the image above for a full-sized, printable version. And by all means, join me January 4, 2013! I'd love to see you there so I can share my new directions in photography with you.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Appalachian Spring

Appalachian Spring
May, 2012
The older the fiddler, the sweeter the tune.
- English Proverb

Nikon D2x, Composite of 10 images, various Nikkor lenses and a long time crawling in the grass on Wayah Bald. HBD

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Spring Love Is In The Air

Royal Terns
March 2012
Wiggins Pass

"Love is like pi -- natural, irrational, and very important."
-Lisa Hoffman

During a gorgeous March day at Wiggins Pass recently in my too-often neglected yellow kayak, I spent a few hours with a large group of terns, black skimmers, Pelicans, plovers, laughing gulls and willets as they mingled, preened and fed on a sandbar. Spending time with these feathered friends is always a good way to spend any morning.

I was especially lucky to find a flock of royal terns in full mating plumage on the sandbar. In the photo above, the pair are displaying mating posture behaviours, as well as sporting that wild black "crown" that will eventually fade to more speckled black and white once mating season is over.

This sandbar, right smack in the middle of the Pass, is such a buffet of bird life. Unless the tide is covering it, I can always count on finding some resident there, ready to entertain me with their bird antics. I arrived at dead low tide and stayed until the last speck of sand was covered with water and the birds flew on to a drier gathering place. I could have stayed all day!

Despite the heavy boat traffic, the gulls were their usual bully selves, the terns were flirting like crazy, the little plovers were just trying to take a nap in the cacophany, the pelicans towered above everyone else, and the black skimmers were practicing touch-and-goes until their landing strip was lost to the tide.

The wings, the heads, the offer of fresh fish! Ah, spring love is in the air!

Nikon D2x, Nikkor 80-400 VR, spring fever, a pretty sandbar and willing birds

Monday, February 20, 2012

Parts of the Whole

Spoonbills at Sunrise
Original Photo Montage

"Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep."

Scott Adams

In the life of all creative souls, there are times of hibernation, reflection and exploration. So it has been with me for the last half year. Many of you have visited my studio and watched my journeys into printing onto a plethora of substrates, such as metals, wood, marbles, glass, acrylic mirror - even the inside of soda cans! Those who've witnessed this process have been so kind not to mention the bald patches on my head from tearing my hair out.

To save hair and lower my frustration levels (metals are such annoyingly finicky companions!), in January, I decided to take a hiatus from printing and instead do what every wise artist should always do - PLAY with my photographs. I began blending them - sometimes 8 or 10 of them - into colorful montages that, much to my surprise, gave me a richer, more realized, "vision" of what my brain "saw" the day the primary - or inspiration - photograph was taken.

In the photo below, I've placed the original photos used to create it in a row at the bottom. You can probably make out nearly all of them in the final image, although a few of them were used for texture and/or color hues only. The colorful, abstract image on the far right is - sit down for this one! - the result of my late night forays into macro photography of olive oil!

And in the end, the image below and two others were printed - successfully! - on a wonderful metallic paper, giving them a divine depth and character. They are framed and hanging in Kathleen Bradford's Gallery, so stop by and take a look. I'm working on a solo show of these images, printed on a variety of materials from wood to paper, fabrics and beyond, for January 2013. Stay tuned for dates and times.

Mangrove Memory
Original Photo Montage

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Daddy Long Legs

Black-Necked Stilt
aka the Daddy Longlegs, Longshank
Viera Wetlands & Click Ponds

"I thought I made a mistake once but it turned out it was a creative moment."
Scott Fleming

Those legs! Those long, long legs. This bird stands out - literally! - from the crowd. In fact, they have the second longest legs in proportion to their body in the entire bird world, behind flamingos. Couple those long, pink legs with the distinctive black and white plumage, and gee whiz, any photographer worth her salt would jump for joy any time she crosses paths with one of these guys.

I've stumbled across black-necked stilts in some fairly unexpected places: in the middle of Wiggins Pass, all alone on a sandbar tower above a flock of terns and on a golf course lurking beyond a sand trap. Each time, it was a thrilling surprise that kept me grinning for a good long while.

Stilts use a technique called "belly-soaking" which is the carrying of water in cupped in their wings and ventral feathers. Crazy, right? In hot climates adults use belly soaking to cool themselves, the eggs or chicks, and to increase nest humidity. Stilts may make over 100 trips for water a day.

These birds distract predators using aerial maneuvers and mock injuries while the young scurry off to hide. Incredibly, they are also able to swim for short periods of time using their wings.

My feathered friends, much like my human friends, never cease to amaze and delight me.

Nikon D2x, Nikkor 80-400VR lens

Friday, December 23, 2011

I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas

I'm Dreaming Of A White Christmas
Garden of the Gods - Colorado

"I've been scraping little shavings off my ration of light."
--Bruce Cockburn, "Isn't That What Friends Are For"

It's been a warm December here near the bottom of Florida. There's something about Christmas and air conditioning that just seems a bit oddly equatorial instead of elfishly polar. Still, good cheer and goodwill is more the theme of the season. Temperature and humidity are just circumstances overshadowed by sweet light, laughter and kindnesses shared.

I was with friends a few nights back. We were streaming a video of a yule log burning in a fireplace over Netflix. I stared into the fire, thinking about how images often take us to places in our memories; this connection is what bridges the gap between a flat image and one that touches you in some way - means something to you.

Memories are tricky travelling companions. Our mind's data and storage computers often record little videos that are a strange blend of sensory and binary input: smell, light, shadow, sound, touch. These videos, much like their pre-digital counterparts, often do not age well, becoming at best, wispy illusions. Reality shifts with interpretation and time. This is part of what makes the art in photography so exciting to me - and an equally scary conundrum. Despite fluctuations in technology, the ability of your art to evoke human responses so often comes down to something you cannot really teach or explain.

Yesterday, I was working on photo editing with my young friend and photographer, Matt Milligan, and in our hilariously rambling photography discussion, I tried to explain how all photographs are essentially "sweet lies". They are illusions. As photographers, artists and humans, we can be literal or abstract. Either way, in any form, we are interpreting our own realities. And our realities are anchored by our memories. This helps us understand how, like the snowflake cliche', no two humans can be alike.

Having more than paid my snow dues, I have a mountainous snowbank of white Christmas memories. During this warm December, far away from the chill of holiday seasons past, I light a candle scented with balsam fir, say a prayer for kindness, understanding, peace and love, and revel in how blessed I am.

May your holidays also be blessed with memories - both old and new - of exquisite light, love and laughter.

Nikon D2x, Nikkor 24-120mm VR, a retreating snowstorm, a solid gold memory