Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Photography

Note: these three photographs were actually shot by my son, Jonathan. See my response to Kate in the comments for more information.

One of my first (among several) artistic loves is photography. But I learned to love the dark room a lot...that is where the manipulation of the images took place. The dark room was where I could make the image my own, so to speak and I could do so even without a camera. But in these so many years, I have continued to use photography to inspire my other endeavors. When digital photography came about, I was somewhat reluctant to give in, but once I realized I could use the computer to manipulate my images, and without the chemicals, I was sold.

The little cameras which are so easy to carry around are very enticing, but for my photography work, I prefer my digital SLR. I like to be able to change the lens and manipulate the shutter to suit my needs. How much control do you like with your photographic experiments?

Lately, we have talked about how gardening is such an artistic inspiration and being able to capture those beautiful gardens with the camera is ever so delightful. When we lived in England the gardens were like nothing I had ever seen before in the US. I have shared a few of those photographs before. It seems as though flowers just love that environment and everyone seems to have a green thumb there, too. Now these photographs don't show those gardens, but they are some photos taken from the upstairs window of our cottage out over the back garden.

This is a rising moon in the evening sky. If you look closely, you can see the top of a tree in our garden. But what is that green light? We have never been able to figure that out. Any ideas? I have another photograph with the green light closer to the moon.
Obviously, this was taken earlier in the evening. It is looking toward the Channel Coast. Isn't the sky beautiful? We saw many sunsets like this. I also love the way the vegetation presents itself as black against the softly colored sky.
This is a similar photo taken to show the horizon as more defined.

I love these photos and find them inspiring. Photography in this house always brings a smile to my face, though. My husband, and his family, cannot understand photography beyond the human image. In every photo there has to be a person! No matter what! I find that so interesting...of course it is totally what inspires them.

What does photography mean to you? Do you use it as inspiration for your work? Is it mainly useful as documenting your work? Or are you just rarely without your camera and have your computer filled with photographs? Do you find it difficult to delete images because there might be something there you could use?

15 comments:

Paula said...

Yep, that's me. I carry my camera with me everyday. Great for reference photos, fun shots of silliness, just whatever.

I don't have a fancy expensive camera. I have two Panasonic Lumix digital cameras. One is just the basic but oh so feature rich, I'll never learn how to use all the little thingies !!!! The other is the next model up and my husband uses it to photograph my work.

I have lots of pictures of my garden. Never get weary of those !!!!

Kim said...

Hi Paula,

Love the camera! Pictures tell amazing stories, uh?

I think that is the thing about the digital cameras, you can do so much with the camera, alone! :) Hey, basic is great, you know?

Ah Ha! Another gardener...and a camera to capture the excitement!

Thanks Paula!

CHEWY said...

I have a digital Canon Rebel SLR and a smaller Canon digital Elph. The Elph is in a case I can wear on my belt. I take it everywhere.

Kim said...

Hi Chewy,

My SLR is an Olympus E-Volt 500. I have an older digital (and somewhat smaller) Olympus, too. Mainly, I carry my SLR with me, though. Old habits of carrying the larger camera. :) I would probably like the smaller camera, but there are other things I need to put money on right now...like tuition, books, etc. for two! :)

sukipoet said...

Interesting post as always. I own a simple digital Nikon Coolpix L3. I love it for my blog photos. I've never taken so many photos in my life since getting the digital two years ago. I would like a digital with lenses. I guess this means I'd like to start having more control. also to be able to get a picture of the turtle before he plops into the pond.

Previous to getting the digital, I mostly took photos of people for my family history albums. Or a few pictures of my paintings etc. Now for some reason I take far more pictures of buildings or landscapes.

Photos are a wonderful way to share our lives and vision without words. To travel without leaving the armchair. Love the photos you show here. Is the green a UFO????

From a viewers POV i have always loved artistic photos other's have made. Arbus, Steiglitz, the famous. Cameron. So forth. I love daguerreotypes and tintypes. Also hand tinted photos and post cards.

Kim said...

Hi Suki, my daughter has a Nikon Coolpix...she loves it. Maybe that is a good camera for writers :) Well, my SLR takes a bit more time as it is not so much a point and shoot, so you might have to hang out with Mr. Turtle for a good shot. But you would get a good shot :)

Clearly digital photography has made our world a lot smaller with visiting places we may never go or see things we might not ever see.

Do you think it might have been a UFO? I don't know...I thought a satellite, but no one else thought so (even my scientist).

I love artistic photography, too...What do you think Steiglitz would have thought of digital cameras? OH MY! There would have been tons of Georgia nudes, then! :)

Thanks Suki!

katie jane said...

I mostly use the camera for documentation. I have many, many journals filled with pictures representing events in my life. I don't know why I am so obsessed with documenting my life. I don't know who will care, after I'm gone, as I have no children to leave these to. My father died suddenly at the age of 53 and even though he was a professional photographer, there are very few pictures of him or anything revealing who he was or what he thought. His personal pictures were of me and my three siblings as we were growing up. I guess in those days that's all there was to life.

My camera is a Sony Cyber-shot, but I started with a Kodak Instamatic when I was 19, and I loved taking pictures of places I'd go to for an afternoon or a weekend. I loved then, and still do love jumping in the car and going somewhere, anywhere. I guess geographic and landscape art is what interests me.

I especially like the picture you took at sunset with the whole tree shilhouetted in the foreground.

Kim said...

Hi Kate, don't you think that is what all artist really do in some ways...document their lives? I can also tell you that my best friend is an only child and childless. Here is the thing, she has a need to write her memoirs! I am not conscious of needing to do that, however I am an avid journaler. Okay, there I have said it...I do journal with regularity! I don't think I have said there here before. Your question is an excellent one to ponder!

Isn't that always the way...if you are a professional you and your family don't see the results, either. You know the cobbler's children go without shoes. :) But you grew up with a professional photographer, so of course you would be unbelievable when it comes to photography! And I have seen the results of your work on your blog!

So put a camera in Kate's hand and she is off to anywhere to shoot some photos.

You know what? I have mis-led you on these photos - they were actually shot by my son! He and I were gathered in the room watching the light and he took the camera from me and shot these! Now what an awful mother and an awful artist to forget that! Poor Guy...I will have to fess up to him about that. Both of my children have a nice eye for details like that. It is a great shot to be sure! Gee, it just dawned on me when you said you liked MY photo! Please forgive me!

Kate, thanks for your great comment!

WILSONART said...

I love photography,,,but have never been what I'd call great with the camera. I just have a little Canon Power shot that my daughter & her husband got me a couple of years ago.Sometimes I think I 'need' a better one, but hey,,,,I don't know how to use all the features on this one!
I love that eerie green light in that moon photo,,,,I'd love to think it's a ufo,,,friendly, of course. What a magical thought!

vivien said...

I love my camera too :>)


I used an SLR for years and loved the creative control - the deliberate altering of depth of field and focus etc and coping with extremes of light.

When I bought my first digital I found the SLR languished a little as I loved the immediacy of viewing images and the ability to dump the failures straight away,

A while ago I bought myself a Fuji 9500 digital - it does most of what an SLR can, has manual controls as well as automatic - and LOTS of them!

it has a 28-300 zoom lens and can focus down to 1cm - add the screw on magnifying filters and macro shots are great - I LOVE it. It's given me the creative control back.

You can see some of the shots on my blog.

I use it for photography in its own right, documenting my work, family snapshots, recording students work, occasionally reference material (though I don't normally work from photos but prefer to work from life)- all sorts

Kim said...

Hey Babs! I think you are pretty darn great with the camera...take a look at the photos on your blog!

My son has the same camera as you have and he loves it a lot. It does just what he wants and needs...isn't that the point? I think there are features on all cameras which are not used by those who use them. It really depends on how you use your camera and what it is you are wanting to get from it.

Well, then it is a Friendly UFO, then! :) It was so weird because we couldn't see it in the sky without the camera. We were just watching the moon that night and snapped some photos....that green light came up in each one at different locations. :)

Thanks Babs!

Kim said...

Vivian, your Fuji sounds wonderful...that is quite a zoom range! It is great you can use the filters with this camera. That is something which is very appealing to me.

One of the things which is important to me is how the camera feels in my hands and how easily I can access the controls.

Yes, I do not work directly from photographs, but use the inspiration they evoke.

Thanks Vivian....I am off to your blog to see these photos! :)

Jess said...

We call it 'green fingers' here and no, I neither have green fingers OR a green thumb! ;) My garden's suddenly sprung into life and I think it must be due to all this rain and sun we've had lately! I've always had one camera or another since I was old enough to have pocket money, although never expensive models (or complicated ones!) I'm too impatient to work out all the knobs and dials!

Kim said...

Hi Jess! Well, you know "green fingers" makes more sense. My neighbor, in the New Forest, was 84 years old and had crippling osteoporosis, but she had the most beautiful garden and would work in the summer on it. She even had tulips which were 50 years old!

We, too, have had a lot of rain and sun, so the east coast gardens (which have not been leveled by tornadoes) are really bursting forth! I bet your garden is just naturally fabulous.

You make me laugh, Jess, you have to be patient to do the art you do and to be a mother to your several - 6, am I remember right? - children! :) Your photography is lovely...the photos I have seen of your paintings/drawings and the ones of your findings.

Thanks Jess!

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