Another black and white image of water flowing downward over and around hard granite rock in the beautiful state of Colorado. Although I usually stay away from even the slightest political
Granite Flow, Boulder, Colorado 2008
reference in my photography, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to achieve considering the way things are going, which certainly wouldn’t be described as smooth.
Notwithstanding, in my work I always try to concentrate on the natural beauty that has (so far) survived all that has occurred around it. This image was created on a rainy day, just outside the classic Colorado city of Boulder. The muted sky allows for the tripod mounted camera’s shutter to remain open long enough to slow down the motion of the water and the rain emphasizes the sharp detail of the granite rock.
Here’s to hoping things around us flow more smoothly going forward… although as I hear myself write it, I recognize just how hard it will be to achieve.
A classic black and white image of a mighty river flowing downward in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado.
Downward Flow, Colorado 2010
After a particularly snowy winter, the melting runoff created a powerful flow down river. Captured using a tripod from a bridge over the river, the slow shutter speed caught the motion of the rushing water as it made its way around boulders and fallen trees.
This week I am honored to have my image “Niagara” chosen as the winner in the “Natural Forces” category in Photo+, Photo District News’ (PDN’s) sixth annual EXPOSURE Photograhy Awards. Billed as a “global celebration of photography,” it truly was as winners of other categories hailed from: INDIA, LONDON, BANGLADESH, SAMOA, SOUTH KOREA, AUSTRALIA, CANADA, BRAZIL,
JAPAN, ITALY, BAVARIA, HUNGARY, NORWAY, FRANCE, PUERTO RICO, RUSSIA and PORTUGAL.
To see the other honored images visit: EXPOSURE Awards
As always, I greatly appreciate the recognition.
On August 25, 2016, the U. S. National Park Service turns 100 years old. By the Act of March 1, 1872, Congress established Yellowstone National Park in the Territories of Montana and Wyoming “as a public park or pleasuring-ground for the benefit and enjoyment of the people” and placed it
River of Fallen Trees, Yellowstone National Park, 2010
“under exclusive control of the Secretary of the Interior.” The founding of Yellowstone National Park began a worldwide national park movement. initially, these parks were run by various government agencies so No single agency provided unified management of the varied federal parklands. On August 25, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed the act creating the National Park Service http://www.nps.gov, a federal bureau in the Department of the Interior
Bison, King of the Mountain, Yellowstone National Park, WY 2010
responsible for protecting the 35 national parks and monuments then managed by the department and those yet to be established.
Over the years I have had the privilege of visiting several of these jewels. Yellowstone has so much diversity to offer. Its variety and abundance of wildlife; steaming, colorful, prismatic springs and gushing geysers to name a few. The Visitor Center at Old Faithful actually has a clock on the wall that notifies visitors of eruption times within a few minutes either way. Now… there’s an App for that….assuming you can get service in the Park, you can time your visits to make sure you capture an eruption.
So, Happy 100th to the National Park Service. Here’s wishing it many more centennials of protecting these magnificent, natural wonders. Here’s also hoping they are still around to be enjoyed by our children and our children’s children. For this folks… is Mother Nature at her absolute finest.
(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.
Dark Descent, Niagara Falls, 2006
Milton Falls, OH 2013
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.
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.