Friday, June 28, 2013

Pieces and Parts

I am fond of shooting images that take place within a whole:  A section of a tree; shadows playing through a wrought iron bench; bits of a sculpture; wavy mirrored buildings.  And apparently I like them in black and white! For me, black and white brings me closer to the essence of a subject. It isolates specifics.

Seeing specifics within the abstract blows my mind. I equate it to a scientist putting a microscope on a sample. It’s fun for me to see what the big thing is made out of. Have you ever looked at just one part of a painting to examine the details of it? That’s what I like to do with what surrounds us in everyday life.

I am also fascinated by lines and texture. Aside from seeing what a thing looks like in its sections, there are some images that have a movement which stirs something on a deeper level. This is the part that reminds me of how the art of music or dance affect me; something reaches in and plays on my feeling strings.

See what you think.

Monday, June 24, 2013


Yesterday I learned that taking photos of butterflies is like going fishing: You have to be patient. There is no other way to do it.

I went to the Butterfly House in Dallas and was immediately enchanted. When I entered the space I felt surrounded by peace. But interestingly, the longer I stayed, waited and observed, I noticed that with the silence of the butterflies, there was also an eerie feeling of chaos because there was so much movement. Butterflies rarely rest, it seemed to me. Which is why my job there was to wait, poised and ready.

I loved it, every moment.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Arc of artistry - an observation

First of all, thanks to Jennifer for the chance to be a guest blogger. That's one of the privileges of partnership (and blog authorship rights), I suppose.

I just wanted to share my thoughts as a close observer of the arc of Jen's artistry. When we met five years ago, Jen showed me her photos from Swan Point Cemetery. Once I lowered my eyebrow after thinking of her alone, wandering through a cemetery, shooting photos (a thought that made me want to hug her), I really looked at the photos. Really looked at them. These weren't snapshots. They were good. Different. Artistic. I told her so. She told me the story of the phone call from her Aunt Linda (read Jen's post "The beginning").

A few years went by and we took a trip to Washington, D.C. We both packed our point-and-shoot digital cameras. I managed to snap blurry auto-focus shots of typical touristy things like the Hope Diamond and the Washington Monument (which is seemingly visible from every single vantage point in that city).

Wendy's blurry shot of
The Hope Diamond

Look! It's the Washington
Wendy's blurry photo of Jen with Fonzie's jacket in
The Smithsonian. That's Jen's tiny digital point-and-shoot camera
in her left hand (bandaged post-carpal tunnel surgery).

Jennifer took interesting, artsy photos...
...of escalators and railings in the train station...

...the airport concourse...

...and the pathways and gardens near
The Smithsonian.

It was on that trip that I noticed that Jen sees things I don't. She sees the world through the eyes of an artist.

Keep in mind that she was doing all of this with a low-res, auto-focus, fixed lens camera. I knew she needed a better camera and in December 2011, thanks to a zero interest credit promotion, I was able to get a decent camera in her hands.

Shortly afterward, she was finding the beauty in statuary in Glenwood Cemetery in Houston.

And then she made the building I'd worked in for two years look like a work of art.

And before I knew it, the city I'd lived and worked in all my adult life was brand new to me and beautiful through the lens of Jennifer's camera.

In the 18 months since she's been shooting with an SLR digital, her artistry - there's just no other word for it - has developed exponentially. Yes, I'm biased, but if you're reading this blog, you love Jennifer's photography, too, so you know what I mean. She's just damned good and getting better all the time.