Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Follow Your Fascinations...

   Photographic projects are how I organize my camera work.  Not that I don't take an isolated, spontaneous image from time to time.  Pure serendipity is a wonderful thing!  But this post is about creating photographic projects that honor your inspirations and allow you to follow what fascinates you...wherever it leads and however long it takes.

   I've had many projects over the years, my latest is "Remnants".   Some were inspired by other artists, painters as well as photographers, some simply speak to things I've found fascinating in a visual sense or in a contemplative sense.

   Winter is upon us here in Maine and time for me to pick up the thread of a project I began back in 2005 - "Winter Etchings".  I posted my winter etching for 2013 recently but there is more for me to talk about on this subject.  It is not a large project, despite the length of time I've worked on it but I offer it as an example because it has a few inspiration sources you might find interesting. 

   My initial inspiration was actually Chinese ink paintings and calligraphy which I fell in love with on a trip to China in 2002, before I began seriously photographing again.  I loved their elegant simplicity and graphic quality; the purity of black lines on white paper.  The second inspiration came from the watercolor paintings of Andrew Wyeth specifically his asymmetrical compositions and large areas of "empty" space.  Finally, the gorgeous monochrome images of photographer Paul Caponigro, especially the images in his book "New England Days", which made me appreciate snow in a whole new way.   All these inspirations fermented and blended together in my imagination over time to produce "Winter Etchings".

   Photographing snow takes special consideration.  Too much sun and the highlights just burn out...too little and you don't get an "etching"!  Perhaps that's why I just have a few images in the collection so far.  But each time I find one, like the one above which was made at a farm in New Hampshire,  I'm delighted.  I will probably never come to the end of this series.  I doubt the fascination for these delicate line studies will leave me.

    I encourage you to explore your fascinations and create a photographic project of your own.  Don't worry about how long you should work on it or how many images you have in the folio.  Embrace your fascination with your whole won't let you down.

"What you love is a sign from
your higher self of what
your are to do."

-Sanaya Roman


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