Seizing Possibilities

Seizing Possibilities
Seizing Possibilities

Monday, December 31, 2012

12 Best of 2012 #2012best #photography

Closing out the year with the Best Photographs is always a challenge for me.  I have so many that I love; this year I have tried to move into a direction that brings my fine art photography closer to what I do in my pastel and oil painting work.  Any one of these photographs I would not hesitate using in my art where I do generally more abstract or macro work and portraits.  This compilation will hopefully give you a glimpse of who I am as an artist as well as a photographer.

The Whisper
For me this photograph evokes a calm yet with its colors of yellow and red bring a vibrant hope that is set with purpose in the midst of the dreamy qualities I always hold dear in my photography.  This photograph was taken on my trip back to visit my son and family in Wisconsin mid year.  One of my favorite places for photography has always been the Rotary Gardens in Janesville, WI. 
Spring Whispers Softly
So ordinary, but filled with evocative inspirational softness.  This photograph could literally be mistaken for one of my pastel drawings.  This was taken in the backyard on a sunny Spring day in Washington.  It is a good reminder of how good photography doesn't need exotic places or subjects.
Color My World
The color, the movement, the softness yet selected detail, just makes me love this photograph.  It is the epitome of my love for color.  This flower was part of a beautiful garden at a friends house here in Washington.
Watercolor World
While I don't do watercolors, this would also be easily transferable and perhaps preferable as an oil painting in the style in which I work.  Those brightly colored daisy bouquets can bring such joy and represent such happiness in what is sometimes our dull world of gray days in the great northwest.  Here during a brief time of sunlight through a window, they became a bit like stained glass or as the title says, enter a watercolor world of dreamy goodness.
Melting the Chill of a Mountain Morning
Mid-January during an excursion with a wonderful person on met on G+ +Kate Church, less than a month after arriving in Washington she introduced me to Mt. Rainier National Park.  In the shadows of that glorious mountain I found the melting morning frost that had begun to form droplets on the evergreens.  Sometimes, for me, some of the most amazing things are found near the most glorious and we often miss their beauty and their wonder.  As those drops make their way in mesmerizing slowness down the slim needless, it gives us pause to slowly grasp the amazing world in which we live.
They All Serve
This year's album would not be complete without this documentary photograph.  The entire story exists within this frame.  It is the reason I found myself in the state of Washington.  This little girl is the oldest sister in this young family.  She adores her Daddy and as she hugs her daddy-doll and sits in deep contemplation and sadness watching Daddy board his bus to begin his trek to Afghanistan to serve it tugs at the very center of emotional strings in our hearts.
What Little Boys are Made of...
 This is the first publication of the most recent photograph of the group I selected, but could not resist including it.  He had just taken a tumble, scraped face and all, still running, still playing, taking just a moment to humor his grandmother for a photograph when he stopped to lie down like this for a rest.  Those big brown eyes would melt the hardest of hearts.
Our Little Pixie
During a location Christmas shoot, this little girl in her pixie hairdo can't help but steal your heart.  The rich blue background of the lighted tree right down to her velvet and fur Christmas dress creates a cheery fun Christmas portrait.
Life's Illusions
This is a self-portrait.  Alone in the woods along a path to a beautiful scene of Mt. Rainier, my 10 second timer set, my unconditioned legs sprinting to set myself against the warm distant light 10 tries and here it is...a calm scene strolling along the path.  Life contains many illusions and for me this photograph stands as an example of what we see may not really be what it is like in real life.
Wild Desire
"Love is a burning thing, and it makes a fire-ry ring; bound by wild desire, I fell in to a ring of fire..." ~Ring of Fire by Johnny Cash
Wild desire, so this puff of dandelion wishes and seed heart center set against the setting sun evokes thoughts of amazing love.  

Water for the Soul
Reflections, illusions, without a beginning and having no end.  Look a bit deeper and things become clearer.  Sometimes the differentiation between what is real and what is a dream or illusion are difficult to master.  The lines can be blurred.  Sometimes it might even mean that a dream becomes reality without you even noticing.  Sometimes it takes a bit more contemplation, looking and undertaking.  Finding how your dreams can be real usually takes some real focus and real work.  But, dream on and think, believe, make it real. This  photograph had to make it to my top twelve for the sheer dichotomy and abstract quality found within its frame.
She was a rare beauty.
Indeed!  This was one of my favorite photographs from the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival at Roozengaarde.  The soft enchanting colors here make me swoon a bit.  When I think about the loveliness of flowers, of nature, of photography, this is what comes to mind. This is what brings me joy.  This is what makes me want to take more. This is what I love.

These are my top choices.
Over the next few weeks I will be sharing more in albums separated by themes, i.e abstract, floral, landscape, portrait, and travel.  Until then, have a wonderful New Year, may it be filled with new beauty, new inspiration, good health, focus, good fortune wishes and dreams  and their fulfillment and many, many more blessings.

As always find me on FaceBook and on GooglePlus!
My new website and portfolio can now be found on 500px.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Shaped Bokeh- Just in time for Christmas! #photography #bokeh

At Christmas when lights abound everywhere, bokeh seems so natural.  To add a more festive touch to your photographs you can actually shape them at will. 
To do this, you need a cereal box or other light-weight cardboard, and exacto knife and sharp scissors, an emery board or fine sandpaper or if you are fortunate a shaped hole-punch.
To begin, use your lens cap to make a circle to fit your lens, draw you four “legs” and cut it out with your scissors.


I drew the heart and star on paper and cut it out, (a sticker would work just as well) trace it with a pencil onto the center of the cardboard cover.  After tracing it, use an exacto knife to cut it out, sometimes a small sharp scissors is helpful (place the cardboard scraps under the area you are cutting with the exacto.)  Use your imagination.  Do multiples of different sizes on ONE cover.  Go wild!  

Laying the finished shape against white paper allows you to see where there may be a jagged or frayed edge or  even a nick you may want to sand out.   Take an emery board (fine sandpaper would do) and clean the edges that may be a bit ratted from cutting. If you are fortunate to have a shaped hole punch that would save some time and work, but it's worth the effort and didn't take that long.

I tried for the first time preparing for this tutorial the idea of making multiple shapes on one cover, it actually turned out okay for the quick change up of idea!  


Grab a hair-tie or rubberband and put it on the end of your lens. 

Single Star

Single Heart

Some things to remember:
1-      Use Manual Focus
2-      Keep it dark, less room light will produce better results
3-      Size of shape depends on focus-more focus=smaller shapes-less focus=larger shapes
4-      Depending on the direction you turn your lens to blur will determine if it is upside down or right side up
5-      Expose downward or darker than normal, this will create more color as well
6-      The distance between what you want in focus and the background lights will enable bokeh to be your background while keeping your subject in focus. 
7-      Use of a tripod is helpful to keep what you want in focus clear

 Think about other options for it's use.  Perhaps a frame?
How about the neighbor's decorations?  Or your lighted door wreath?

Now try some portraits. 
Quick set up and trial for portraits.  (I did not use a tripod here but, I’d recommend a tripod for certain and do it when you have cooperation from your subject.)  The children were at least 10 feet from the background tree.  And use some sort of front lighting for the face.  (I just had a room light on here, but I would set up and use something else for facial fill lighting to make your portraits.) go have some fun!

As always find me here on Facebook and Google+  and my website.