Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Spring: in a different light

The stereotype of Spring flowers seema to focus primarily on the joyous screams of brilliant color. Every image of a tulip or cherry blossom or daffodil always strikes me as color first. So many photographers take that one step further and over-emphasize that color by increasing the saturation to un-natural levels.

So what happens when you remove the color? What about texture? Form? Pattern? Line? Shadow?

Even though I invariably shoot in color with my DSLR (Nikon D300s), I still think like a black and white photographer. I look at tonality, density, contrast, focal point... far more than I look at fields of color. I love seeing how patterns emerge from my images days after I've first shot them. I find that there are often occasions where my initial intent isn't readily apparent, but in retrospect, I find the common thread permeating the imagery.

After over thirty years of making images, I am only beginning to realize that putting the camera to my eye is only one tiny part of the image creation process. Sometimes my mind sees what my eyes miss completely. It may take repeated attempts to capture what my initial inspiration was... but when it works, it speaks to me.

This all begs the question: How do you, as an artist, go from inspiration to creation? What does that process look like? How do you know when you're on the right path?

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