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I Ain’t Lion / King of Beasts / Magnificent Creatures

Old_LionKing of Beasts, Colorado, 2008

                          Old Lion, 2009                                                  King of Beasts, 2008

With the illegal killing of a beloved protected Lion (Cecil) this week in Africa, I was moved to post two of my favorite Lion portraits from my Series: Of the Wild. The younger male on the right might not have the wisdom of the older one on the left, but the distinct scar on his nose indicates he has been around.

Either way, the beauty and majesty of these creatures cannot be denied and they should be cherished  for all those that will come after us to enjoy them…(at a safe distance).

For some great TV fiction on the relationship between humans and animals, watch James Patterson’s ZOO each week on CBS. http://www.jamespatterson.com/books_zoo.php#.Vb6mKvlViko

Love and Loss / Feline Beauty

5 Feral Cat Gray cat Green Eyes FINAL_0417_Feral Cat Vanilla_0295Feral Cat Albino FINAL 9831

From the Series: IN THE WILD

Recently, two of my dear friends suffered a personal loss. As many cat and/or dog lovers can attest, their pets clearly become part of their families. They live with them and provide love and companionship, often for many years. Hence, when one is lost, it is as if part of the family is gone.

My Series: OF THE WILD, is known to feature intimate close-up portraits of animals that are from the wild, but now in some type of captivity. A couple of years back, I recognized the beauty of many of the cats living in some of the nature areas in South Florida and began the Series: IN THE WILD, featuring animals that were originally domesticated, but were now living wild. As in all my animal portraits, other than jellyfish, I try to capture the eyes, as windows to the soul.

Having become aware of my friends recent loss of one of their special feline friends, I dedicate this post to the love and companionship they shared… For Fred and Deb.

Categories: Animals, Lifestyles, Wildlife

Rare Break / Lavender Sunset

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Rare Break, Lavender Sunset, Deerfield Beach 2014

In a rare, medically induced break from my current madness, I made it to the Sea one day last year at sunset. As luck would have it, just after the sun set, the clouds took on their nightly orange glow inside a pastel lavender sky.

The message I took from that last light was that although it was one of the last Seascapes I have created as of late…I will do whatever I can to make sure it is not the last…that I will create.

Happy July 4th / Independence Day 2015

July 4_2014 3332 FINAL Nik

Light Up the Sky, Independence Day, Sunrise, FL 2014

Not having been creating much new work lately, I re-post this image from last year with a more specific explanation of how it was made.

Using a tripod and opening and closing the camera shutter, I caught various single July 4th Fireworks bursts as the rockets took off and exploded. This Composite image was created in post production from six or more different sets of explosions from the same overall display, but captured minutes apart..

The colored lines on the bottom of the image are the streaking headlights of vehicles driving by the celebration.

Here’s looking forward to more independence (for me) to shoot…some day soon.

Categories: Cityscapes, Lifestyles

Happy Father’s Day 2015 / Make My Day

Lowland Gorilla

Lowland Gorilla (Make My Day), 2010

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY 2015

Downward Spiral, literally

Downward Spiral

Downward Spiral, Chicago 2006

Creating iconic images of the ethereal beauty found on Earth, I consciously avoid negativity in my work (there is plenty of that to be found elsewhere in Fine Art Photography).

Notwithstanding the content of my images, Blog Posts are often motivated by the author’s state of mind at the time. Personally, I have been dealing with some serious health issues for a while and therefore have been reaching into my (extensive) archives for images to post rather than creating much new work.

That fact has brought me to the title of one of the first two jellyfish portraits that eventually resulted in my popular series: FLOW. Although I feel that I have been in a Downward Spiral during this process, I will, as always, fight the good fight in the hopes of coming back out into the light, and continuing to create work that inspires. Here’s hoping for the turn around…

Categories: Animals, Jellyfish, Nature, Wildlife

BSG’s Parental Guidance in Duncan Miller Gallery’s YourDailyPhotograph

Parental Guidance

Parental Guidance, 2010

BSG’s image: “Parental Guidance” made the daily post of YourDailyPhotograph http://eepurl.com/bk2i8b (right above the image of Marilyn Monroe by the great Richard Avedon).

In the recent past images from Henri Cartier-Bresson, Andreas Gursky, Richard Misrach, Andre Kertesz, Edward Burtynsky and other photography legends have appeared in YDP

The site is sponsored by the Duncan Miller Gallery http://www.duncanmillergallery.com/ of Santa Monica, CA and YDP appears in 74 countries. My sincere appreciation to the DMG/YDP for exhibiting my work.

Trying Saatchi Art / Approaching Storm

Alligator Alley Rain _9495_FINAL_3Approaching Storm, Florida Everglades, FL 2012

The slanted rain of an approaching storm signals Mother Nature’s nearing onslaught. Storms move very quickly in the Florida Everglades and can be seen from great distances due to the lay of the land. I, for one, have been caught in more than my share of downpours when I waited too long to get the best image, and she punished me for it.

Recently I have tried showing some of my select Fine Art Prints for sale on the Saatchi Art Collection at http://www.saatol.us/1K9YK3d

Hopefully, there will be an approaching storm…of new collectors.

Timing is Everything…Even When it Isn’t

NUBBLE LIGHT lite

Low Tide, Nubble Light, York, Maine 2004

Staying with some of the older, classic images from my archive, I post this rendition of the (very) often photographed Nubble Lighthouse on the Coast of Maine http://nubblelight.org/. One of my earliest Fine Art images captured digitally, the natural light was gorgeous and the low tide exposed the waterline on the rocks when we arrived at the spot from which the famed lighthouse is most often viewed. Knowing I had to try and add something to the image that made it my own, I noticed that there were a couple of seabirds flying continuously around the island on approximately the same path during each turn. I set up my tripod for the best composition and followed the birds in my minds eye as they circled. When I felt I had one placed in the perfect position, I clicked the shutter. The other bird is actually blurred in flight directly below the bird in the sky, and in front of the white picket fence.

Hence, my timing worked out, thanks to some great light, and a couple of cooperative…and predictable, seabirds.

Two Strikes / One that started it all and stands the test of time

Two Strikes FINALTwo Strikes, Singer Island, FL 1990s

While scouring my archives for early images, I came across one that was probably the earliest Fine Art image that I actually specifically worked to create. This image was shot so long ago, it was originally captured on film and scanned to digital for presentation here.

First, as I have mentioned before, when traveling/photographing I always sought out the view with the best photographic potential. In this particular case, the first room available was too low and had palm trees blocking the view (can you believe that I can actually remember that far back?). After moving to a higher floor with an unobstructed view, I set the (Minolta) camera and tripod on the balcony during an evening lightning storm. As explained in previous posts, the trick with lightning is to leave the shutter open until you believe you have recorded the lightning strikes that best fit your composition. In this case, I lined up the beach chairs (lit both naturally and by the building I was in), a wooden storage hut and a small beached catamaran along the bottom of the image. If you look closely, you can actually see a small campfire on the beach, just left of center.

After composing the image, I shot throughout the night, opening and closing the shutter after various lightning strikes were exposed on the film. This, the best image of the night, shows two strikes approximately 10 minutes apart. After visualizing where the two had hit, I closed the shutter (and in those days) had to wait until the slides came back from the developer to know exactly what I captured.

Thanks to Mother Nature, the perfectly fitting composition of the Two Strikes (if I do say so myself), convinced me that I knew what I was doing with this Photography thing and with that knowledge and a bit of luck, I could create images that…stand the test of time.

Categories: Landscapes, Lifestyles, Nature

Old Classic

Wormsloe Trees

Wormsloe Plantation, GA 2008

Although I usually avoid images that have been shot before, as cliche’, sometimes a scene is just irresistible. Such was the case at the entrance to the Wormsloe Plantation near Savannah, GA.

The keys to a successful image of tree covered roads, are even lighting… and not getting run over. Very often the sun shines down through the trees making it impossible to get a consistent, even exposure. This image took a great deal of patience waiting for the clouds to cover the sun while moving the tripod I had set up in the middle of the road, whenever a car drove in.

I like to think I put a new spin…on a classic image.

Nostalgia / Early Work

Swan Song

Swan Song, Brightwaters, NY

Having been unable to get around to shoot for some time, I became nostalgic for some of my early work. This image was entitled “Swan Song” because the swan and surrounding ducks are framed by the hanging branch and together they resemble a musical note. This was so long ago that it was originally shot on film (I went digital in 2004).

Back then I was a member of the Kendall Camera Club http://www.kendallcameraclub.org/ which still exists and exhibits some great work. Swan Song won Picture of the Year at the club, then along with getting my first images published in magazines, those accomplishments jump started my foray into Fine Art Photography.

Since I have a number of early images that bring back fond memories for me, at least for now, I will post some old work that has not been previously shown, …some oldies, but goodies.

Let it Snow, Let it Snow

Gray Wolf in Snow, West Yellowstone, MT 2010                                      Gray Wolf in Snow, West Yellowstone, MT 2010

Wolf Shake, West Yellowstone, MT 2010                                           Shake Off, West Yellowstone, MT 2010

Here’s hoping that those of you affected by the recent snow storms are able to… shake it off and move on, with little or no damage.

Categories: Animals, Nature, Wildlife

Looking Ahead.

ID Smoke on Water_9089_FINAL_edited-1Hope is on the Horizon, Coeur d’ Alene, ID 2010

Here’s hoping that 2015 brings bright new light…after the fog.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS 2014

Lit Tree, Winter Park_2Lit Tree, Winter Park, CO 2007

HAPPY HOLIDAYS

BARRY STEVEN GREFF

Categories: Lifestyles, Mountains, Nature

Falling Water / Collector’s Edition

WATERFALL_418WScenic Waterfall, Boone, NC 2005

Earlier this year, a couple who are not only two of my oldest and dearest friends, but earliest and continuous supporters, added some new pieces of my work to their collection. In addition to the custom Cityscape in their luxury Manhattan apartment, they added two country scenics to their new vacation home.

This image, Scenic Waterfall, created in 2005, had never been printed or even shown before. After some post production love, the piece was enlarged to accommodate an approximate five foot high space and hung in their new country home.

Here’s hoping the piece watches over many wonderful family memories in their new escape and as always…I thank them for their friendship and support.

Happy Birthday to Me / Ballroom Memories

6Barry_Greff

Ballroom, Coral Gables, FL 2013

Over the years, I have spent birthdays inside Ballrooms and atop Granite Cliffs, in New York City or in the Pacific Northwest. This, being a particular dark Birthday for me due to persistent health issues, I have posted a particularly dark image (plus I just like it). Having always come back in the past…here is to better and brighter days, and if not future ballroom dancing, at least to some great scenery…

As for the image above:

When you peak inside the doors of a Hotel Ballroom, especially a classic old one like above, think of the wealth of memories that have been created over the years. The Grand Ballroom in the iconic Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, Florida is just such a special place. http://www.biltmorehotel.com/

At the time of day this was taken, the particular lighting begged for black and white and the beams of light streaming in from the vintage windows added a touch of mystery.

So, added to the countless memories having been made inside this Ballroom in the past, here’s, looking forward to the next happy occasion. May we all share in some of that happiness…inside or out.

Cab Ride in the Rain chosen by Ogilvy & Mather for NJ Office Installation

Cab Ride in the Rain, Radio City Music Hall, NYC 2009

Cab Ride in the Rain, Radio City Music Hall, NYC 2009

Advertising powerhouse Ogilvy & Mather http://www.ogilvy.com/ recently chose Cab Ride in the Rain for an installation in their New Jersey Offices.

With all the great work available for the project, my sincere gratitude to the creatives at Ogilvy and to Frank Meo at The Photo Closer http://www.thephotocloser.com/ for making it happen.

Categories: Cityscapes, Lifestyles

BSG shows 3 Images at “Forgotten” Exhibition at A Smith Gallery, Texas

3Barry_Greff

Road to Old House, Ohio 2013

7Barry_GreffRiver of Fallen Trees, Yellowstone N.P. 2010

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Old Pilings, Naples, FL 2013

 Esteemed juror, Blue Mitchell http://bluemitchell.com/ has chosen three images from three different series of my work to be shown at the “Forgotten” Exhibition at the A Smith Gallery http://asmithgallery.com/.

Established in May, 2010, A Smith Gallery is located in Johnson City, Texas in the Nugent Avenue Arts District. The gallery exhibits the work of both amateur and professional photographers through juried and invitational exhibitions. Amanda Smith is the Gallery Director assisted by Kevin Tully serving as Assistant Gallery Director. 

Blue Mitchell is an independent publisher, curator, educator, and photographer. Based in Portland, Oregon, he has been involved with many facets of the photographic arts. Mitchell received his BFA from Oregon College of Art & Craft where he teaches studio school classes and workshops. Mitchell is the Founding Editor of Diffusion: Unconventional Photography, an independent, reader and contributor supported annual that highlights and celebrates unconventional photographic processes and photo related artwork. In addition to organizing and curating physical exhibitions around the country, Mitchell curates Plates to Pixels, an online photographic gallery that bridges the gap between antiquated photographic processes and new digital media.

Exhibition dates | September 19 to November 2, 2014

Reception | September 27 & October 25, 2014 both 4 to 7pm

My gratitude to Blue and Amanda for their support of my work.

Pelican / Near and Far / White and Brown

Pelican closeup_4663 1280

Brown Pelican Closeup, 2012

White Pelicans_0261

White Pelicans, Ding Darling National Park, Sanibel, FL 2010

Utilizing the same lens (Canon L 100-400mm) to capture two different angles.

The top image is a close-up of a Brown Pelican which requires specific detail of the birds feature’s to make it work. The bottom image, of White Pelicans on a sand bar was taken from afar and stands on its soft focus, which creates a painterly effect.

Categories: Uncategorized

Visualization / Seeing is Achieving

Old Pilings at Sunset Reflected_9912

Old Pilings at Sunset, Naples, FL 2013

Visualization of a scene, ahead of time, is often the key to creating something special.  In the image above, before the sun was going to set, I positioned a tripod in such a way as to best capture the pilings in the scene, once the sun had gone down. This included monitoring the spacing and assuring their line-up created a pleasant composition throughout the frame.

At this particular location, I also noticed that sometimes, if the water receded far enough back into the Gulf of Mexico, there was a reflection of the pilings on the beach.  From experience, some sunsets are dull, while others are spectacular and most others are somewhere in between.

As I have said before, the best part of the sunset, is after it has gone below the horizon, watching for the afterglow. On this particular evening, for a very short time, there was a beautiful, solid, orange background on the horizon. I took advantage of that, and the timing of the tide, to capture the reflection of the pilings on the beach. This scenario was quite short lived giving me only a couple of long exposures to get it right.

This was an example of being in the right place at the right time…and waiting for the right moment.

Up the Creek Without a Paddle

52 Mountain Stream 1280

Mountain Stream, Boone, NC 2005

I captured this old favorite of mine while we were staying in a cabin outside of Boone, North Carolina close to the Blue Ridge Highway. Breathtaking during autumn, this area is also quite beautiful throughout the year. This particular tributary was located right across the roadway from our cabin. When I first found it, the lighting was too bright to slow down the water to show motion.

It is always a good idea to re-visit locations if you can during different lighting situations. I returned to the scene when the sky was overcast  and there had recently been a light rain.  This type of lighting is best for these situations and allowed me to set  up my tripod just inside the flow and capture the water as it made its way towards me. The blue and yellow butterflies that were fluttering around me didn’t make the picture, but still remain in my mind’s eye.

Birds Eye View

Bird in Sawgrass 5344

Bird in Sawgrass, Florida Everglades, 2012

Having been out of sorts for a long while, seemingly with the weight of the world upon you,  tends to manifest the feeling of isolation. This image captures that feeling wherein the weight of a common South Florida black bird known as a Grackle is supported by a thin reed of Sawgrass in the Florida Everglades.

Although isolated at that very moment, shortly thereafter he flew away, joining other members of his flock and then finding strength in numbers. Until then…

Go with the FLOW / Once in a Blue Moon

Reflection Louisville 2009 um 417w

Reflection, Newport, KY 2009

Blue Moon_0106 300 ac 417w

Blue Moon, Atlanta, GA 2009

Contrary to my current situation in one sense and similar in another, the jellyfish in my series FLOW are free to float around, yet only within their own tank. This ironic comparison led me to re-visit the images in my popular Series with two images that have not previously been posted.

My jellyfish portraits are usually created of some variety of  Nettle Jellyfish. The Atlantic Sea Nettle (Chrysaora quinquecirrha) inhabits tropical and subtropical parts of the Atlantic and Indo-Pacific and are often seen along the East Coast of the U.S.  The Pacific Sea Nettle (Chrysaora fuscescens) is commonly located along the coasts of California and Oregon, but also can be found in the waters north to the Gulf of Alaska, west to the seas around Japan and south to the Baja Peninsula. These jellyfish, an example of which can be seen in the top image, consist of a bell with long tentacles reaching down.

The second, wholly distinct family of jellyfish included in my series, is the Moon Jellyfish (Aurelia aurita). As seen above, it exhibits a more malleable, saucer shaped body, with small tentacles reaching down, All of the jellies in my series are photographed with the existing aquarium light, whether white or colored, in order to catch the illumination of these luminescent creatures as each of them… FLOW around their tanks.

Hopefully, prints of these images as well as others, will continue to travel around the world, even if I can’t make it there myself.

Categories: Animals, Jellyfish

Looking Back / The Importance of Editing

Moonlit Sailboats_0708 at 1000w

Moonlit Sailboats, Coconut Grove, FL 2010

Pelican Rest FINAL BW

Pelican Rest, Gulf of Mexico 2010

Due to circumstances beyond my control, I am not able to produce new work for a while. Notwithstanding this situation, I will continue to do my best to post images to keep my work out there in the public’s consciousness. In order to do that, I will be posting older images, including some that have never been exhibited before.

While reviewing much of the older work it made me remember the importance of editing, something that is much easier said then done. When you get serious about photography, it becomes very difficult to separate the better images from those that might not meet the test.  In addition to paying attention to the overall composition, lighting, etc., it is often suggested that an outside set of eyes should give an unbiased opinion. Either way, the key is to be extremely critical and be sure that only the best make into the portfolio and/or are ultimately printed for exhibition/collection.

Finally, editing is also critical to the presentation of images in a portfolio, or when published in a book. Here, editing is used to present the images in a sequence that makes them flow. They should be placed in order by comparing color and/or lighting and/or composition and/or subject, so the images lead from one to the next naturally as the viewer sees them. This is more difficult than it seems and it is often necessary to use a professional Editor, even if it is just at the beginning to learn how it is done. I personally have worked with Paula Gillen http://bit.ly/1yMh3Gi, who has helped me along the way.

As a good example of successful editing, in the case of the two images above… they work well next to each other, whether in a portfolio, a book or… across from each other in an office lobby (see last Blog post).

From Virtual to Reality / See it Before you Hang it

PAIR Moonlit Sailboats - Pelicans Rest

Lakeside Executive Suites, Lobby – (PC generated) Virtual Layout, 2014

PAIR Moonlit Sailboats - Pelicans Rest HUNGLakeside Executive Suites – Lobby pieces installed, 2014 (I Phone photo of installation)

After capturing an iconic image, it is added to my portfolio and becomes available for residential, corporate and/or commercial display. While offering  these options, I believed it would be very helpful for those considering which work to display, to see how a particular image, or images, would look…framed and on the wall, in the space available to be filled.

Clearly, if the art buyer, designer, or even collector, could see a framed version of a particular print in an available place, it would be very helpful to their decision-making process. Case in point, the project above, the lobby of Lakeside Executive Suites http://www.lesweston.com/. LES is a first class executive suite office space with all of the amenities of a modern-day contemporary office and virtual office facility.

After reviewing the available space, I photograph the areas with blank walls. I then create various virtual options (see top two images), ie. different images and cut and paste them into virtual frames and present them in the particular area.

In this case the designer and office manager chose the pair of images above for the lobby to compliment the new renovation they were working on. The finished project offers a first class option for anyone looking for office space in the Weston area. Stop in and visit LES for any of your office needs and/or to see the outstanding quality of work done by the design firm… for your next project. http://www.meredithmarlow.com/

Independence Day / Light Up the Sky

July 4_2014 3332 FINAL Nik

Light Up the Sky, Independence Day, Sunrise, FL

Composite image of July 4th Fireworks lighting up the sky as the streaking lights of vehicles drive by the celebration.

Marsh Forward / Southern Comfort / Striking a Pose

Egrets, Tybee Marsh 800w

Egrets in White Marsh, Tybee Island, GA 2008

For this image I caught the magic late afternoon light over Whitemarsh Island, just west of Tybee Island near Savannah on the Georgia coast. Look closely to see the white Egrets standing in the shallow water. Enlarging the image shows the birds in greater detail which helps to make this image something special. Not apparent where the swarming tiny crabs running around my feet as I set up and composed this shot.

Of course, “when in Rome” you need to eat like a Roman. So, when you are are on the Georgia Coast, you need to eat seafood. One of the best casual seafood restaurants I have ever eaten at was The Crab Shack on Tybee Island.  http://www.thecrabshack.com/

First, you cross the walking bridge over the live baby alligators into the dining room that is situated on the water. Then, while sitting at the wood tables under the peach basket chandeliers, you must dive into one of their giant, overflowing buckets of seafood and go at it. To me, this is… Southern Comfort.

Closer up, the majestic Great Egret preens itself into a classic pose.

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Great Egret, 2013

Miami Vice / South Beach Blues

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South Beach Blues, South Pointe, FL 2008

A bird’s-eye view of the tip of South Pointe (South Beach) captures the change in water-color from aqua to blue as it gets deeper. The colorful lifeguard station, beachcombers and incoming pleasure craft, round out the composition of the image and are reminiscent of our Miami Vice era.

Happy Father’s Day

Old_Lion

Old Lion, 2009

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY

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