Wednesday, December 10, 2014

photography as a side note

Although this blog is mostly about writing, what it takes, what makes it worthwhile to do, personally, I have many interests in the creative vein-- maybe too many. Photography has always been one of them. I both admire good photographs and how they came to be. I also love to take photographs. These days, with digital and photo-paint sites, making manipulation possible for anyone, it's far easier to get good photos. Great ones though-- not everyone can take those.

While down here this time, I acquired a desire for an Ansel Adams print-- of course, I don't mean real print as those would run many thousands of  dollars. I'll be looking for a reproduction. It is described in the link below. Part of my yen comes from my thinking I had one in this house. I did not. I love moon shots but getting one just right with the sun going down and the moon rising, that is what separates the boys from the men... girls from the women... well anyway, you know what I mean.


I can so relate to how his photo was seen and captured. I can't count the times we have been driving somewhere and seen the perfect combination of land, sky and light, but were unable to get off the road to take it due to safety considerations. Once in a great while I can take it through the car window and get a good shot. Sometimes color is best; sometimes black and white. With digital tools, instantly I can have both to decide.



One thing a lot of people don't understand is the difference between a nice snapshot, which anyone can take, and a photograph-- the kind that captures a Zen moment because it says far more than its basic elements. The same thing shows up when I am looking at model images to use on book covers. Some are catalog shots-- a rare few go beyond to the emotions.

For those who think, for great photos, they don't need special lenses or cameras, it's fine, but they do need to understand what they are mostly getting-- snapshots. Nothing wrong with those to represent a special moment or as a reminder of a great vacation. They do not, however, equal art.

We got so lucky one year when we were in Missoula. When we arrived, we learned an Ansel Adams exhibit was opening in their art museum. Serendipity. When we arrived, we asked the man at the desk if we could take photographs in the exhibit if we didn't use a flash. We hadn't even brought the camera because the answer is usually no. He said no problem. Ranch Boss ran back for the digital camera. 

So upstairs I was taking photos and a guard came up to tell me it was not permitted. I told him what we had been told and fortunately he didn't demand I delete all my photos. I totally understand why they don't allow photos although they often have brochures, which have all the photos. It's not like anyone, without a flash could take a photo good enough to make a duplicate-- but even if they did, try selling it and see how that goes for ya.

Anyway it was a rich experience to see all the actual prints. Ansel Adams' work and viewpoint has long fascinated me. I've watched videos that explore his life and how he did what he did. Seeing the work of great painters or photographers inspires me and not just about photographs. It's about a full, creative life that goes beyond a product to a lifestyle and way of seeing the world. It doesn't limit the artist. It enriches the other parts of their life.

Alfred Stieglitz's work is another that has me in awe and there is a great video about his work-- The Eloquent Eye. You cannot buy the video but you can see it on YouTube, at least for now. It is inspirational for any photographer-- or want to be.

Where it comes to creativity though, I can split myself too many directions. It's been a lifelong issue. For this period in my life I am focusing and even though I will occasionally share other things here, I am aiming myself to stay with writing as my passion and what I put my time into. Photography is still there for me-- but as a hobby. 

Personally, I love all the arts. Where it comes to painting, I remind myself of my cat when she sees a bird outside the window or fence and makes that little meowing sound. I'd love to paint. I do love to paint. But you can't do everything if you want to reach excellence-- and in writing I am aiming for my personal best. 

Of course, decorating our home... well that's living, right... and I do want that Moonrise over Hernandez on a poster we can mat and put on our wall. That's not the same thing at all... is it? *s*



2 comments:

Tabor said...

I think the issue with photographing photography is that you can duplicate it to put on your walls! Some folks would pretend it is an original. My sister has two Adams reproductions in her powder room, of all places. Focus is definitely my problem. I was a great focused person all of my life and now that I am "off the leash" focus looks like a box sometimes.

Rain Trueax said...

I think there is a reason to go through periods of being unfocused-- experimenting to see what is important to your life. Playing can be healthy too for various times.

There are a lot of Adams reproductions that are not expensive but I doubt any were taken from an exhibit without someone using a tripod at least. I took some before the guard came along (with a different take on the photos than the person below at the desk). They aren't bad but none could be blown up beyond a 5x7 maybe at best. Flash of course would change that. I have seen the Adams I want for $16 on eBay but it won't have a number and it will have no growth value if someone is into that.

In this house we have a mix of limited edition prints and either posters or signed unlimited edition prints as well as some original paintings. Same with the Oregon one.

Basically I like posters when all I want is the energy of the image and could care less about growth in value.