Harbor Lookout in Burlington Ontario

Harbour Lookout.

I am not a landscape photographer. I am interested in people. I am interested in our civilisation. I am interested in what traces we leave in landscapes, in cities and places. But I wait until people have gone, until they are out of the shot. So the place can start talking about us. Places are so much more able to evoke people when people are out. As soon as there is one person in the shot everybody looks at that person. If there is nobody in the shot, the beholder is able to listen to the story of that place. And that’s my job. I try to make places tell their stories about us. So I am not a landscape photographer. I am really interested in people, but my way of finding out things about people is that I do photos about their absence, about their traces.

Wim Wenders.  http://econ.st/2yEGSO3

Been wanting to use that quote for a long time.

Been awhile since my last entry, the winter weather is settling in, and yes I’m feeling a bit of photography burnout.  I can always tell  when i have so many unfinished images on my laptop, nothing ever looks good to my eyes and my thoughts wander away from my long term visual projects.  Couldn’t be a better time to attempt long neglected projects, learn some new techniques and givethis blog some tender loving care.

I’m a voracious reader of all things photography and have developed quite a collection of online links to various interviews of photographers, discussions of various genres of photography, and some great inspirational pieces.  Now I want to share these links on this blog along with my comments in a searchable database. Somewhere I’ve seen articles on how to create this library on WordPress with a plugin, but as usual I’ve lost the link and forgotten what it was called.  Any help as usual would be much appreciated. Off to the WordPress Facebook groups to ask. When completed I know it will be a great database to attract viewers and offer inspiration.

Also somewhere on the world wide web is a blog and this blog contained a great three or four part article dealing with the subject matter something like “So you want to be known as a photographer.”  What struct me about this series was part one and the introspective questions you were to ask yourself before proceeding to the other parts of the article.  I really wanted to have a closer look at those questions and complete them in my journal for my own introspection and share them here.  Unfortunately, like usual I’ve lost the link and my google searches have been unfruitful.

 

“Holland Marsh Farm Shed” now available at Saatchiart

Details of a farm shed located at Holland Marsh

Holland Marsh Farm Shed

Holland Marsh Farm Shed” When photographing this shed my inner dialogue stopped; all that could be heard was the distant hum of farm machinery and I  was inspired by the often overlooked.  This work is inspired by Lewis Baltz along with the “New Topographics” photo movement.

Three years ago I had picked up my camera and was happily photographing whatever interested me at the moment in my free time.  One day it would be snowy landscapes, as the weather warmed it would be flowers, then it would be a old car show, followed by a antique steam engine show.

I had restarted this blog and was posting most of my old photos, as well as investing time in various social media platforms to promote this work in the hope of selling a few images.   One post would be black and white flowers, the next one of my favourite commercial studio still lives, followed later by a musical instrument print.  It was four months before I posted something new; a yellow flower in the forest.

Everything was the status quo, until a Facebook friend and old studio manager of mine introduced me to the work of Lewis Baltz which I posted to Facebook.

Not a easy, nonetheless a great rainy midday read; http://s.si.edu/23gZyev, A Oral history interview with Lewis Baltz, 2009. Much thanks to Ron Watts for introducing the work of Lewis Baltz to me. More of his work can easily be seen on my Pinterest page:http://bit.ly/1Y1jEYO

I recognized myself and what I truly enjoyed to photograph in the work from Lewis Baltz as well as in the work of other “New Landscape” and “New  Topographic” photographers.  After all these years I found a home, a genre of work I truly loved to photograph.

 

Floral study: “Lisianthus flower buds.”

A black and white photographic study of two white Lisanthius buds.

A classical photographic floral study:  “Lisianthus flower buds.”  I am pleased to anounce this image “Lisiantus flower buds” is now available at Crated.com as a framed print or printed on metal at Displate.com.

No photographer lives in a vacuum, we all need to look and read for ideas and inspiration.  I often find my self looking at images and reading reading photographic articles and in this way I found botanical photographer Karl Blossfeldt, who until last weekend was unknown to me.

Karl Blossfeldt (1865 – 1932) was a German photographer, sculptor, teacher, and artist who worked in Berlin, Germany.

In 1881 Blossfeldt began his studies as an apprentice at the Art Ironworks and Foundry in Mägdesprung, Germany, where he studied sculpture and iron casting. He then moved to Berlin to study at the School of the Museum of Decorative Arts (Kunstgewerbemuseum). In 1890 Blossfeldt received a scholarship to study in Rome under Moritz Meurer, a decorative artist and professor of ornament and design. Along with several other assistants, Blossfeldt created and photographed casts of botanical specimens in and around Rome.  Beginning in 1898 Blossfeldt taught design at the School of the Museum of Decorative Arts (Kunstgewerbeschule), and in 1930 he became professor emeritus. There he established a plant photography archive that he used to teach his students about design and patterns found in nature.

Blossfeldt had no formal training as a photographer and used homemade cameras that he outfitted with lenses capable of magnifying his subjects up to 30 times their natural size. The use of magnification resulted in images of extreme detail and clarity. With the precision of a botanist, Blossfeldt photographed the natural world for scientific and pedagogical purposes and inadvertently became a modern artist. His work was considered the forerunner to Neue Sachlichkeit photography, which favoured sharply focused documentary images.

Monovisions Biography: Fine Art/Botanical photographer Karl Blossfeldt

The quoted above short biography along with a few of his images, which were the first few I saw can be found at Monovisions.com and a more indepth article with more images can be found at Art Blart.  I’ve also started A Pinterest board of his work, check it out, stop by and have a look.  Yes; my discovery of Karl Blossfeldt came at a most opportune time; just as I was reworking my “Lisianthus flower buds” image to fit the needed Displate and Crated format.