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Archive for the ‘Nature’ Category

Cure the Blues with a long, dry walk into the Ocean / Lit Pier

For me, in the past, nothing cures the blues, or brings you right into them, like a walk out on the pier at night. No matter what time of year, there is ususally a nice breeze blowing and once out toward the end you are walking just above the ocean waves.

Lit Pier lite 1280w

 Lit Pier, Deerfield Beach, FL, 2014

If you are lucky during the summer months you might see some lightnining strikes out at sea, but whatever time of year you head out, you are sure to take a mental break from whatever is happening in your life at the time as the sea flows around you.

So, in order to cure the blues, head straight for them…the deep dark blues…and hopefully you can accomplish this and ..still stay dry.

Categories: Lifestyles, Nature, Seascapes

Feeling the Heat / Good Days, Bad Days

FL Everglades _0728 7

River of Grass, Florida Everglades, 2009

Wildfire, Florida Everglades

       Towering Inferno, Florida Everglades 2007

“In the days of my youth, I was told what it means to be a man.
Now I’ve reached that age, I’ve tried to do all those things the best I can.
No matter how I try, I find my way into the same old jam”..

Good Days Bad Days,

Led Zeppelin

Says it all…I got nothin’ else.

Photo District News recognizes BSG’s Lightning, Outer Banks, NC 2005

Photo District News (PDN) is the award-winning magazine for the professional photography industry whose on-line presence is Photoserve.com http://bit.ly/1zmIcPX

June 2016 Lightning OBX 1000w 72

The PhotoServe newsletter goes out every month to over 15,000  industry creatives. As a photographer (or creative), a subscription to PDN is essential to keeping your pulse on the photo industry.

Considering the quality of imagery in PDN on a regular basis, I’m honored to have my image Lightning, Outer Banks, NC” chosen as one of their Top 10 images of June 2016.

Lightning, Outer Bank, NC BEST

                                               Lightning, Outer Banks, NC 2005

The image, which is the most powerful bolt of lightning I have ever seen captured on film, was created under some unique circumstances. We were visiting the quaint city of New Bern http://www.visitnewbern.com/ which served as the capital of the North Carolina colonial government, then briefly as the state capital. After visiting places where historical figures such as George Washington, John Adams and Alexander Hamilton had slept, I wanted to visit the famous Outer Banks.

This being before the days of Mapquest, I thought it was going to be a quick day trip and didn’t even bring my tripod. After a two hour drive just to get there, then realizing it would take a day to drive the Banks and explore https://www.outerbanks.org/, I found a hotel on the beach. That night, a thunder storm that shook the building brought me out to the balcony to improvise in an attempt to capture some of the continuous lightning strikes. Using a cloth on the balcony railing, I set up the composition, stabilized the camera enough to leave the shutter open and watched the storm move until…bam, this incredible bolt hit beautifully composed behind the life guard stand. The fact that everything in the image is “tack” sharp, including the lightning hitting the water, as the sawgrass blows slightly in the wind, is extremely fortunate and makes this an iconic, beautiful large print for display.

So, thanks again to PDN for the recognition, and if anyone is interested in having an image on their wall…that will definitely blow everyone away, reach out through http://www.barrystevengreff.com or barrystevengreff@gmail.com

Magnum Editors recognize BSG’s jellyfish image:”Ascension” from his FLOW series in their Magnum Photos Award Competition Gallery 2016

Magnum Photos is historically, one of the most well respected names in photography. It is an international photographic cooperative owned by its photographer-members, with offices in New York, Paris, London and Tokyo. Half Page center

According to its co-founder (and one of the great photoraphers of our time), Henri Cartier-Bresson “Magnum is a community of thought, a shared human quality, a curiosity about what is going on in the world, a respect for what is going on and a desire to transcribe it visually.”

The iconic Robert Capa, Cartier-Bressson and a few other founding members created Magnum http://www.magnumphotos.com/ in Paris in 1947. Over time it has continued operating by its roster of members who are some of the greatest names in the history of photography, such as Ansel Adams, Eve Arnold, Cornell Capa, Bruce Davidson, Elliot Erwitt, Ernst Haas, Dorothea Lange, Mary Ellen Mark, Steve McCurry, James Natchwey, Martin Parr, W. Eugene Smith, Alec Soth and Sebastio Salgado, to name a few.

For the Editors of this hallowed institution, who deal with such incredible photography each day, to recognize my work and prominently display it, is a great honor for which I am truly grateful.

 

 

Meet me in St. Louis…at least my work.

St. Louis Fine Print Fair – May 6-8, 2016

CITYSCAPES

30 Rock

 Touch the Sky, 30 Rock

Cab Ride in the Rain, NYC 2009

Cab Ride in the Rain, NYC

Seascapes 2 labeled

This weekend, from May 6 through May 8, is the 10th annual St. Louis Fine Print Fair http://bit.ly/R5eI8K. Stop by the booth of photography addict/rep, Jeff Appel of Photography Past & Present, Missouri http://www.photographypastandpresent.com/ to see the work of some highly respected photographers as well as some terrific emerging artists.

Jeff works with many prestigious photographers such as Roger Ballen, Paul Caponigro, John Sexton, Jock Sturges, Roman Loranc and Alan Ross, who was Ansel Adam’s photographic assistant. Other artists such as Cole and Kim Weston, whose father was the famed 20th Century photographer Edward Weston, have created great work themselves. Finally, Jeff works with some talented emerging and/or mid-career artists such as Camille Seaman and…yes, Barry Steven Greff. The four images above will be available at the fair and many others can be viewed at http://www.barrystevengreff.com. So, “Meet me in St. Louis” (sort of) this weekend. Anyone interested in getting on the guest list can reach Jeff through his website or on FB at http://bit.ly/1WECQN7. Friday night is a Silent Auction and Preview Party from 6-9 pm.

So if you happen to be in Ole St. Lou, stop by and see Jeff…and tell him Barry sent you.

 

Diary of a Fine Art Print / Amongst other things, it’s all in the Details

Niagara                                                                  Niagara, 2006

Niagara people and bird

(Cropped portion of people and bird from- Niagara, 2006)

The discussion as to what makes a Fine Art photograph is one for the ages. I have long respected the genre and have worked diligently to hone my craft. Although there are various definitions of what makes a photograph fine art, I subscribe to a more tradional theory that such an image is created with an aesthetic intention, that the value lies primarily in its beauty, rather than for journalistic, editorial or commercial purposes. I also believe that the image should tell a story, be unique, iconic, powerful…or all of the above. As beauty lies in the eye of the beholder, so goes a fine art photograph which usually entails vetting by those respected in the field. Knowing this, I fearlessly spent my early years placing my work in front of some of the most well respected photographers, gallerists, curators and collectors in the business. With the help of their support, the work was widely published in fine art magazines, exhibited in galleries across the U.S. and over time, a significant resume was built.

I believe that one of my signature images, Niagara, clearly exemplifies these equalities (shot from atop a hotel two miles away to capture this angle)… It has countinously been singled out by many of those alluded to above, in that the composition juxtaposing the grandeur of the falls with the minutia of the toursists indicates just how small we humans are in comparison to the forces of Mother Nature.

After getting past the composition (and then lighting, both of which cannot be adequately discussed in a blog post, if at all), I personally take significant pride in capturing the exacting details of a scene, whether it be the people in this image or the fine feathers in one of my close-up animal portraits.

Then, finally, and consistent with the teachings of the great Ansel Adams himself, capturing the image is only one half of the process. The printing (again, not something that can be covered here), is crucial to the creation of a fine art photographic print. Being true to the process, I hand print each of my images (up to 17″ x 22″) on a professional Epson 3800 printer using Hahnemuhle Fine Art Pearl paper and I personally oversee the larger prints to make sure they are color correct (again, another significant concern for another day) and that they print without a single unexpected blemish.

Finally, I pride myself on the key details of my images being “tack” sharp, as exemplified by the enlarged cropped portion of the image above. Although some of the older images can go only so far, as a perfectionist, I have gone through an entire roll of paper (athough thankfully not often) in order to ultimately create a single large print for a collector, and to my exacting standards. When a gallerist who regularly sells the work of masters such as Ansel Adams and Edward Weston calls my prints “magic,” I know that I am doing something right.

Hence, there are many sources by which one can obtain a Fine Art print. I simply offer one that is created in my mind’s eye…and always from my heart. It is universally accepted that the first rule of collecting fine art photographyy is to actually enjoy the work. Hence, I strive to create images that make the viewer not only think…but feel, and I have been honored to have satisfied a wide array of selective collectors, and look forward to doing so for many others in the future.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Remembering Prince…Purple Rain, Purple Rain

Alligator Alley Rain _9495_FINAL_3

Slanted Rain, Florida Everglades 2012

Upon hearing of the loss of Prince to the world, I thought of one image that could memorialize one great song from one great artist who gave us so much great music. So here…let there be Purple Rain, because if at no other time, certainly today would be a day… when doves cry as well.

Movin On Up to the City…

30 Rock

30 Rock, Touch the Sky, NYC, NY 2009

Atlas In Snow, NYC, NY

Atlas in Snow, Rockefeller Center, NYC 2009

1 Essex House_ 4063_418 w

Essex House, NYC, NY 2012

Although my first love is creating images of nature, even in the City,  I can’t put my camera down. Notwithstanding, I tend to bring some nature into my Cityscapes, to contrast the natural elements with the man made subjects

Cases in point, the first two New York City images were created during some beautiful weather (fog, then snow) while the third was shot through Central Park trees after closing hours of one of my exhibitions in NYC.

Hence, whether I’m movin on out, or movin on up, there is always something to shoot when you keep your eyes open …and don’t put your camera away, no matter how bad the weather gets (just make sure it’s covered if required.)..That’s for another story

 

 

 

 

 

 

Again, It is only Black and White, But I (Really) like it

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Moonlit Sailboats, Coconut Grove, FL 2010

Under the Boardwalk liten 1000

Under the Boardwalk, Deerfield Beach, FL 2010

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Power of the Sea, Tequesta, FL 2011

Staying with the Black, White and Water genre here again, this time with simpler, more direct lines, yet no less impactful. Some images are just made to be captured in Monochrome, the power of the composition mandates it and although sometimes certain scenes could be shot either way, I believe these three are clear.

Moonlit Sailbaoats is a given. The extraordinarily calm waters of Sailboat Bay in Coconut Grove against the almost perfectly vertically still sailboat masts, lit by the Moon, left no doubt how this scene should be shot. A tiny sway in the front catamaran proves that the image was (im)perfectly real and I believe, one for the ages.

Next, Under the Boardwalk, utilizes the same tripod technique allowing for the rushing water to blur against the solid pier. The glare from topside lights lit the cement braces below, creating a vanishing point design that really makes the image work.

Finally, with a mildy rough sea (on a good day the water can shoot 20 feet high), the layout at Coral Cove State Park creates an explosion of ocean as it hits the limestone shoreline. The Black and White treatment worked well considering the strangely matching cloud formations, and that is something I always consider..

As with all of these, timing was everything, so that each feature falls into place creating an image that makes the most of the moment and tells the story of that time and place as it needed to be told.

…Finally, speaking of timing, if you happen to be in the area of St. Louis, MO today, stop at the beautiful Visions of Iceland Photographic Exhibition at http://www.bullivantgallery.com/ or for later, private viewing of this and other great work…contact the guy with the great eye: Jeff Appel  http://on.fb.me/1UpwnEO

 

 

 

It’s Not That Black and White / Moved by the Classics

Dark Descent

Dark Descent, Niagara Falls, 2006

1 417 w Waterfall Milton closeup 7524 BW

Milton Falls, OH 2013

Wild River FINAL

Wild River, Rocky Mountains, CO 2010

As many of you who follow my blog know, my posts are generated from various forms of inspiration. Recently, I connected online with an individual who sells Fine Art Photography created by some of the true legends of the genre. Jeff Appel, who was kind enough to take the time to look at my work, has a web site at http://www.photographypastandpresent.com/ and FB page at https://www.facebook.com/jeffemilyappel. He has a working relationship with many of the masters of the art form, individuals whom I have long admired. From John Sexton, Roger Ballen, Roman Loranc to Cole Thompson and Camille Seaman. Jeff has impeccable photographic taste and seems to be the go-to guy for prints from many of the classic Fine Art Photographers. Several of his recent postings of classic black and white images, feature water scenes, often exhibiting motion.

Some of these classic images have moved me to re-post some of my own visions of the beauty of water. These are some of my favorite to create, the juxtiposition of the soft white moving water, often against hard dark rocks represent a time honored tradition of Fine Art Photography, one that I don’t take lightly.

Created by using a tripod, in muted light, the timing of the shutter release is critical to avoid blowing out the whites of the water, a talent that is honed over time and something I pride myself on capturing.

So, if you haven’t found what you ar looking for within the portfolios at http://www.barrystevengreff.com, check out Jeff’s site to view work from some of the legends as well as other great artists he works with, the images are truly ….moving.

Missing the Mountaintops / Lofty Goals

MT Snowcovered Mtns_FINAL_Fix 3Mountaintops Reflected, West Yellowstone, MT 2010

With all the News reports of snow around the country, I miss the endless photographic opportunities that comes with it, along with the all the chaos.

On this particular day, in a place where snow is a fabric of the landscape much of the year, I made my first and only, unsuccessful attempt at flyfishing in a Yellowstone river. When I finally realized there would be no fish this day, I looked up to see the remaining light highlighting what looked like the clouds reflecting the mountaintops below them. I quickly exchanged my fishing gear for my camera gear to capture the scene before the light was gone. Using the almost sihlouetted row of Evergreens as a foreground element, this image was the one good thing I caught all day.

Later that night I enjoyed a fresh local trout, pan fried to perfection, at a small, West Yellowstone restaurant …the next best thing to catching it myself.

And Now for Something Completely Different / Time for a Change

9 Concept BarryGreff_FantasyIsland

Fantasy Island, Ode to M.C. Escher, 2006-2010

Albert Einstein is attributed with the clever quote: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” Although it has come into question as to whether or not he actually said it, it is still both catchy and thought-provoking.

After an absolutely awful year of health, which is still challenging me through the new year, it leads me to think it would be insane not to try something new going forward. That being said, my work has always been known for its rendition of Mother Earth’s natural beauty with very little, if any, help from post production “magic.” Notwithstanding, over the years, I have (secretly) dabbled in the creation of scenes which have been born in my mind’s eye and then generated from several composite images I have captured over time.

Hence, for the first time seen beyond my eyes, one of my more complicated compilations, Fantasy Island. Created from over a dozen images taken over several years, this is truly one that the viewer can see new things at every different turn. Produced in the mystical style of M.C. Escher, following the composition around, brings you back to the beginning…or does it? It’s enough to drive you insane.

Starting to Snow / At Least That’s What I Hear

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Momentary Blizzard, OH 2013

61 Prone Wolf

Gray Wolf in Snow, Prone, West Yellowstone, 2010

Three Horses in Snow fix_3438 800w

Three Horses in Snow, Colorado 2010

From my immobile position in South Florida I hear that other parts of the country are starting to see their first snow fall.

Since I won’t see any of it first hand this year, here are images from some early snows that I memorialized …in days gone past.

Rainy Night Dock / Weather or Not, Expect the Unexpected

Rain Dock Soft_1443

Rainy Night Dock, Deerfield Beach, FL 2014

I haven’t posted for a while, because I have been laid up due to a couple of surgeries. When I do post, I often look for an image that relates to an event, season or mood I am in at the time. Although I actually enjoy inclement weather personally, and for photography, a dreary, rainy night sums up my situation (and has for some time).

On one of the last nights I had actually been able to go out to dinner, a casual dockside dining experience was cut short by a South Florida rain storm. Although the outdoor patio was closed to diners, I used a bit of an overhang to capture a moody image of the scene. The rain was so intense, it was blowing the door closed and I was barely able to shoot without my camera getting soaked. Notwithstanding, sometimes the worst conditions can result in the best images. Using a soft filter and shooting the scene in black and white, I like to think I created a moody, timeless image from a scene that many would avoid.

Moral of the story, don’t let some unexpected weather keep you from creating something….  unexpected.

One of a Kind / Commemorating a Very Special Young Man

        Lone Tree at Sunset crop                     z api1L8F7ITH

Lone Tree at Sunset, 2004                                    WMC TICU Private Consult Room

z api 1       z api2QZ85CH5

WMC TICU Lobby / Lounge                                      Commemorative Plaque

I have participated in more than a dozen Gallery Exhibitions around the country including a Solo Exhibition in NYC. I have been published in most of the major Fine Art Photography magazines and have enjoyed the support of some of the legends of the industry. All that means a great deal to me…but recently I had the honor of participating in a project that not only will make the lives better for the families of those that will find themselves at the Westchester Medical Center TICU (Trauma Intensive Care Unit)…but was created and dedicated to an incredibly special young man, Evan Lieberman.

That some of my work graces the walls of this beautiful, and more importantly, calm and functional space, is truly special. Built from the tireless efforts of Evan’s family through Evan’s Team which they created in his memory as a group effort committed to helping the community  http://www.evansteamny.com/ they hold regular events such as mud runs, golf tournaments, poker nights and the like, raising funds so that along with the Westchester Medical Center http://www.westchestermedicalcenter.com/, they have created a comfortably practical and contemplative space for the families of TICU patients.

My image above, which is part of the project, is entitled Lone Tree at Sunset. It is especially appropriate to have been included in the project because Evan Lieberman…was truly one of a kind.

Images of WMC TICU © Ben Cotten 2015.

Blue Skies / Lightning Strikes / Following the Storm / Towering Inferno

FL EvergladesRiver of Grass, Florida Everglades 2009

Fl Everglades Lightning FINALStrike Right, Florida Everglades 2010

Wildfire, Florida EvergladesTowering Inferno, Florida Everglades 2007

I don’t know how many of my 1,000 plus regular followers and 40,000 viewers to date, actually read what I post. My goal has always been to get the work out there and the text is just my way of venting…and providing some insight into the images, the process and the places.

Anyway, those that do read my words, have probably noticed some cryptic references to my health, especially over the last few years. To that end I post, what I hope will be, one of my final downward metaphors. The beautiful blue skies of the Florida Everglades (River of Grass), the oncoming electric lightning storm (Strike Right) and finally, the resulting significant burn of the Towering Inferno caused by the lightning. These subjects vaguely hint at what this one of earth’s inhabitants has been dealing with for some time.

Soon embarking toward some new roads on the map of my life, here’s hoping that the steps I take are in the right direction and lead to more blue skies in the future….even with the inevitable clouds present…. I’ll gladly take it.

In the meantime, I will continue to post from my existing body of work and hope you all enjoy it.

Categories: Everglades, Landscapes, Nature

Seen Again, but Through Different Eyes / Falling Water

Multnomah Falls OR

Multnomah Falls, OR 2009

In my humble opinion, the Pacific Northwest in one of the most beautiful places our country has to offer. From spectacular granite cliffs, to sand dunes to majestic waterfalls cascading through dense, green foliage. Back in another lifetime, I went there when I could, to re-charge my batteries through the peaceful energy Mother Nature provided in her most spectacular locales.

The 620 foot Multnomah Falls is the most well-known of a series of 77 waterfalls that dot the Oregon side of the Columbia River Gorge. There are only three higher falls in the nation and Multnomah is arguably the most beautiful of those. A trail from the famous Multnomah Falls Lodge (built in 1925) climbs up the side towards the Simon Benson Bridge and then winds further towards the top. Due to 25 years of spine issues, although I have been known (on a good day) to head down a relatively level trail, this uphill battle was not one that I took on.

Instead, I tried unsuccessfully to capture the entire falls, including the zig zagging upper part, in my frame. The bright light at the top of the image is from the setting sun which also prevented me from properly exposing the entire falls. Finally, using a wide angle lens and a tripod, I cropped out the majestic lower falls and slowed down how the eyes see the water movement, which I could only do after the sun had slipped almost entirely behind the mountain. The smooth cascade and deep green surroundings transforms this visual capture of an iconic place from the usual scenic shot into a Fine Art image.

As my analogies have gone for some time, for those of you who actually read what I say, this also exemplifies the downward fall I have been experiencing with my health. After a very long battle, hopefully my future posts will begin to elicit some hope in that department. We shall see. …Either way, I have captured some serious magic in my time, in my images and in my mind.

Reign O’r Me (The WHO, Quadrophenia)

Alligator Alley Rain _9495_FINAL_3

Slanted Rain, Florida Everglades 2012

With the remnants of Erika, we are seeing a great deal of rain in South Florida. It’s better than a Hurricane.

Often, we can see the storms as they approach. This one was out in the Florida Everglades a.k.a. the “River of Grass.”

Categories: Everglades, Landscapes, Nature

Somewhere Over the Rainbow… Way Up High

ENP Rainbow thru the Clouds_5054_FINAL 1000w

 Somewhere Over the Rainbow, Florida Everglades, 2013

E.Y. Harburg wrote the lyrics sung by Judy Garland in the Wizard of Oz.”Somewhere over the rainbow..Way up high. And the dreams that you dreamed of…Once in a lullaby”

I wonder if this is what he was writing about. (Graduated Neutral Density Filter/Tripod for the photographers).

Now, if I could only get out there and catch some more of them…or at least find that Pot of Gold at the end of it.

Categories: Everglades, Lifestyles, Nature

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

Rare Break / Lavender Sunset

Sea Rocks & Lavender Sunset_6111 800

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 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
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