So I’ve been considering blog topics for over a month and finally the obvious hit me – blog on “new,” as in, Happy NEW Year!
“New” allows me to show you a broader spectrum of what I photograph and a lot of what I capture is fresh and brand new. That’s both a privilege and exciting. So let’s view some highlights of the “new” I photographed over the last year.
A good starting point is newborn photography:
On the commercial side, Nashville is booming. It’s become one of America’s “it” cities, a mecca of what’s new. I was pleased to photograph a large new shopping complex in Bellevue:
I also had the pleasure to photograph Nashville’s new (and best) assisted stretching studio:
and I photographed new products for a familiar client.
I shot lots of headshots this year to give folks a “new look:”
and I shot this spectacular event which produced new champions:
The real winners from this event are the kids who participate in Saddle Up.
What’s new for me in 2019? Well, the year’s just unfolding, but for the art fans amongst you, I recommend two new Nashville photography exhibits.
Running now through the end of March at the Laskey Gallery at Scarritt Bennett is Shifting Perspectives: Images of Hope in Troubled Times. In this exhibit, Sharon Brown Christopher, Sue Henry, Susan Ruach and I share hopeful messages through abstract photography. For more information, please visit http://www.abstractlensnashville.com.
And from February 4 – March 8, you will want to visit the art gallery at Nashville State Community College to view SNAP: The Photograph Celebrated. Here’s the promo card for this exhibit which was curated by Beth Gorham (possibly my favorite photography instructor ever).
Thank you for following my blog. I look forward to bringing you more of what’s new in the coming new year!
I’m back to the blog after a little long road trip. This post is about how we started that road trip, after flying into Portland, Oregon, and then driving six hours across the state.
So … there’s a little patch of heaven in the southeastern corner of the state of Washington called the Palouse. Sometimes called “America’s Little Tuscany,” its pastoral rolling hills of wheat are vast and serene. It’s been on my bucket list of places to visit and photograph for years. Don and I went last month.
Before reaching the iconic fertile hills of the Palouse, we stopped in Palouse Falls State Park, a geological 180 from what I had come a long way to photograph. It has never been on my bucket list of places to visit or photograph, and we almost turned back several times before arriving.
Seriously, we had all sorts of reasons not to go — it was out of the way, we’d be late checking into our hotel, the park had closed recently due to security concerns after someone fell to their death when part of a cliff collapsed, and there were rattlesnake warnings all over the place — but I think …
it was worth it. Pretty awesome, right?
The next day was the day I’d been anxiously anticipating. Armed with maps and apps, we drove to the top of Steptoe Butte State Park, probably the most popular photography destination in the region. Here’s my photograph of what I understand to be one of the more beautiful scenic overlooks of rolling hills in America:
Fair to say, June 9, 2018, will not go down as the day I captured the beautiful expanse of the rolling hillsides of the Palouse.
Undaunted by the weather, I went ahead and made a few photographs that day:
Okay, but not what I had come to capture.
Towards the end of the day, when we were near Oakland, Washington, the sky opened up for a short while.
That wet red barn on the rolling hillside is the closest I came to what many people view as an iconic Palouse scene. Still, it’s not the abstract photography I wanted from miles and miles of overlapping hills reaching into the horizon.
What is beautiful? Is it a red barn against a green hillside? Abstracts made from hills filled with light and shadows? A waterfall into a deep canyon?
In an interview with Krista Tippett and published on http://www.onbeing.org, cellist Yo Yo Ma described beauty in this way:
It could be music. It could be a poem. It could be an event … [o]ften, in nature. But, when that encapsulated form is received, there’s a moment of reception and cognition of the thing that is, in some ways, startling … We are part of nature and we observe nature, but we’re part of the human realm, and there’s that moment, when essentially there’s a transfer of life. [I]t’s the human cognition of that vastness, the awe and the wonder, something that’s, in a way, bigger than yourself.
The Palouse is beautiful – all of it – but on this trip, the part where we felt that transfer of life into a world way bigger than ourselves, more than anywhere else, was the part we almost missed … Palouse Falls State Park. And you know what? At this point in my life, I really like that an old dry canyon with water and energy and life flowing in and through it, can on any one particular day be more beautiful than fertile fields many miles away.
Sometimes a little fog helps you see things a little more clearly.
Thanks for following my blog.
Stay tuned for the next post which will likely feature some aspect of our 2,000 mile jaunt through Oregon, where we saw whales, sea lions, elk, deer, marmots, eagles, dogs, more dogs, one cat, lots of fish, but no ducks. And they call themselves the Oregon Ducks? I’m not kidding, no ducks. Not one.
We did something a little different this year for Christmas. We spent Christmas at Scott’s new home in Tampa and just had a blast. We all needed a little break and the warm weather was a welcome change.
wall art in St. Pete courtesy of J&Signs
Florida palm trees
Santa Claus in Busch Gardens
In looking through the images I took in Tampa, I think there’s enough in the group to pay homage to 2017.
So here we go using Florida’s Christmas photographs to tell the tale of 2017…
I’m starting with the roller coaster photograph because that’s generally how I view 2017 – a wild ride. The year was filled with lots of ups and downs, twists and turns, and some thrills. Enough said.
How do I feel about 2017? Well, despite all the blessings in my life for which I am grateful, when it comes to thinking about many of the major news events of 2017, the country’s current political schism, and all who have been affected by loss or hardship as a result of one of the many 2017 natural disasters or mass killings (and the list goes on), I think I am a kindred spirit with the orangutan pictured above.
Certainly there were reasons to celebrate during 2017, like the Nashville Predators making it into the Stanley Cup Playoffs and the very cool total eclipse of the sun this summer. A special highlight for me was a photography trip to Italy. You just cannot stand in the middle of Florence and not be inspired by Renaissance masters such as Michelangelo.
So while in Tampa one afternoon during our Christmas break, I ventured to nearby St. Petersburg to tour the Salvador Dali Museum to view the work of another inspiring artist. Dali’s work is, well, surreal. The cool architecture of the building was just icing on the cake.
I suggest you visit the Dali Museum if ever in the Tampa/St. Pete area. It contains the largest collection of Dali’s work in the United States and is well worth the visit.
Before leaving the Museum I stopped in the gift store. Hiding in one of its corners was a colorful Christmas tree which looked a lot like a children’s art project. I picked up my camera and took this in-camera abstract. I’ve always liked abstract photography and experimented with it a lot of it in 2017.
So what’s a fitting way to bid farewell to 2017? I think a quiet sunset photograph over the Gulf of Mexico, the same Gulf of Mexico that just a few months ago played host to Hurricanes Irma and Harvey.
Times do change and it’s time now to put 2017 to rest.
I hope 2018 brings peace, goodwill, good times, and well-being to all.