Follow Your Gut Feeling in Art Creation

Follow Your Gut Feeling in Art Creation

I recently traveled along Route 66 and found it a sad ride. When America built it Interstate highways, Route 66 which was once the way to cross America became a back road that few traveled. While artistically alive, you can sense the feeling that abandonment brings.

This was not a photographic trip as I with a friend whose shares another interest with me, so while he would stop if I asked, I am careful not to take every opportunity that presents itself.

But those scenes which evoke a strong reaction emotionally get the stop. If you don’t feel it don’t image it. I imaged in color but knew that they would end up as B&W Images, because like the depression era photographers’ images I think that B&W strips away all of the other information that can be noise in your minds eye. When I see a B&W that emotes a feeling in me, I know that the photographer captured the essence of that particular subject.

Here are two scenes that called to me:


I felt abandonment when I saw this house.

Ray’s Place

In the middle of nowhere, and only the owner and one gas pump where once people stayed to see the desert, eat and sleep.

We artist who are Photographers are Lucky

We artist who are Photographers are Lucky

Some many times I hear – “if I just had this or that my images would be so much better”. Except for some very specialized use that today is just not simply true. Looking at and understanding all types of art and just imaging is what will make you better. I just took a trip and today on the used market you could buy what I took for less than $500. Here are some images using lenses that cost less than $100 each used (or refurbished). Do not think that equipment will constrain your artistic growth, to paraphrase Nike – Just Image It.



Learning the art of seeing….

Someone said “Unfortunately I don’t think I’m artistic enough , most of my photographs look like tech demos and I need to learn how to make full use of post processing w/o OVER processing my pics.”

Some of things you can do to help you to learn the art of seeing:

1. check out some photography books or look on the net for folks like Adams, Weston, Modotti and Smith:





Of course there are many more but these are my favs.

2. go to you local art museum and looks at the perspective and point of view of each art piece – it is an easy way to learn to see

3. see if there is an inexpensive or free art appreciation class at your local community college or museum

4. participate in challenges where you can get feedback.

Hope this helps.

Why today is the best time to be a photographer – Part 1

Why today is the best time to be a photographer?

It is possible today to buy an older model digital camera and an inexpensive software program and have at your command tools that are far better than the tools used by the old masters. I don’t care what type of camera you like or what lenses you have – it is possible to use modest equipment and make Photographic Art.

In the past 4 years I have taken a very small kit, which at today’s used prices could be found for $500 or so, and shot 4,000 images on 3 week long trips to the American South West. Many of these images have been accepted by various stock photo sites (I am now an exclusive at Fotilia (Adobe owned) and am slowly put the images back up for sale).

If you are new to photography as an artist or an artist that is crossing over from another field, this post is for you. I am going to use as an example the inexpensive tools and software that I use – there are many options you can choose from, but because I am going to focus on what you can do in this series of blog posts I am not going to evaluate equipment and software – only the uses for these tools.

While I have some expensive equipment, my travel kit for when I visit folks even if a lot of photography is planned is very simple. I want a lens that is somewhat wide and a lens that is somewhat long and a dual element filter for close-up work (most lenses do not focus as close as I sometimes need and a macro lens would not fit in the small bag I take).

In my case my travel lenses are “kit” lenses – which cover 14-42mm and 40-150mm on a micro 43rds camera which gives an equivalent field of view that is approximately twice that of film cameras (or full frame in today’s terminology). These lens may be found very inexpensive used – often less than $75 or even new on sale for $100. Next week I will be showing examples of how I uses these “brushes” to create my images. Both are very small and only weigh several ounces each even with filters to protect them from the sand where I image in these trips.

I think it is important for someone to have a range of tools that provide perspectives to help them capture their creative visions. Next post I will discuss how to use these tools (and specific software) to create images. As I post some new images on Fotilia and Behance I will post some workflow tips and perhaps a video or 2 on showing how effects can make a good image into a much better one from an artistic viewpoint.