Oh Art!! Where art thou?

September 25, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

A privacy screen that separates the orchestra pit from the public transforms a photo of a violin into the art of an impressionistic painter.

Perhaps I take it for granted too often that I am very fortunate to make my living as a photographer.  I bring a skill set to the workplace whereby people pay me to bring their vision to reality.  They trust me to listen to them and understand that the image that is created will be the visual message for their idea.

Recently, I was photographing once again for the Kentucky Opera Association.  I enjoyed KOA as a client in my youth, shooting for them for nearly 20 years.  After a hiatus of nearly a decade, I returned to the opera house, no longer shooting film, but digital images of their production of Tosca. The assignment was to capture images during the dress rehearsal that could be used for archive and promotion.  No set ups, just shoot as the action unfolds.  With down time on my hands between set changes, I looked around for “art shots”.  Detail photos that add color and texture to the overall experience.   The accompanying photo was shot through the silk that divides the orchestra pit from the public.  I like the impressionistic feel of how the violin might appear to one in a dream.

My second example of found art was from a child’s birthday party.  Accompanying my two grandsons to the festivity, I saw a bubble machine that all the little ones enjoyed immensely.  True, little kids playing with the special activity made for cute photos, however, I began to watch the bubbles as they escaped the grasp of the guests of the party.  The bubbles went aloft and floated between myself and a dark background.  The contrast between the globs of soap and water mixture and the dark out of focus tree canopy made for interesting visuals.  My mood that morning was for black and white film and a rangefinder camera to shoot the event.  A 90 millimeter lens was just the tool to isolate one bubble among many for it’s portrait. Because the machine was belching out bubbles at a furious rate, I set my focus for about ten feet and watched as the orbs drifted through the area of sharpness.  Out of a roll of 36 frames, I had one or two that pleased me.

Many people set out to shoot a sunset, a cat in a window, or dozens of other, may I say “trite” art photos armed with their favorite camera.  My suggestion is to ignore the obvious and REALLY LOOK at what is going on around you.  I am continually amazed, as my vision matures, how many visually wonderful things occur right in front of me.

A bubble flees the bonds of gravity only to yield it’s life to air pressure.



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