Through My Daughters’ Eyes

Another project I am working on is Through My Daughters’ Eyes. For this project I am spending time watching my daughters explore the world and seeking to recapture some of the wonder we lose as we get older. Recently my youngest and I went to the Texas Transportation Museum. There is quite a bit of interesting vehicles and trains there… but she only cared about the trains! I had her help pick what pictures to take and shot most of these from her eye level to aid in seeing things from her perspective.

Here are a few of the photos!

Some Texas, Yesteryear Photos

Well I have certainly learned quite a bit about photography and post-production in the last few months. The result being some re-edits on some of my Texas, Yesteryear photos and finally getting to get to some of the others. There are much more to come, but here is a few for y’all to enjoy. These photos are from Mission San José y San Miguel de Aguayo.

Photo shoot: Mission San José y San Miguel de Aguayo

Here is a preview of a few of the images from my recent trip to Mission San José y San Miguel de Aguayo in San Antonio, Texas.

These are part of my Texas, Yesteryear project.

A sneak peek of “Texas, Yesteryear”

Texas, Yesteryear is a photographic homage to the rich history of Texas capturing images of historic locations and monuments throughout the state. History is a rich tapestry that impacts the present and future in many ways. In my mind, the subject of history often reminds me of the sepia and cyanotype images of old photographs. And memory can be somewhat fuzzy in that it clearly recalls central things while leaving the edges patchy and irregular. To capture this sense of history, these photographs are rendered in Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop into vintage-looking images. To convey the sense of memory they are then given irregular paint-like vignettes and an overall hint of painterly effect.

I delight in learning about history and strive to honor those who have come before us. And I can think of no better way to share this than through the lens of my art.

Recent Shots

Some recent shots from around Selma, Texas, and Schertz, Texas.

Why Photography?

Why photography? I have been asked this and I used to say it was because I couldn’t paint or draw. Well, now that I’ve learned about how to draw, I realize that I can draw. I still don’t like messing with paint, however. It never really works well for me. So now that I realize I can draw, what are my reasons?

First, it was something I enjoyed when I was in high school. Of course, that was when I was shooting 35mm black and white for the school paper and yearbook. I learned how to develop pictures in the darkroom and how to develop film as well. I can honestly say I love not smelling like a chemical spill anymore! But I enjoyed capturing moments and memories. I enjoyed sharing what I captured with others.

Freyja 2.jpgSecond, I want to indulge my creativity now that I am retired from the Army, and this is what called out to me as my outlet. Photography is derived from the Greek words φωτός (photos) “light” and γραφή (graphé) “drawing” which means Photography means “Drawing with Light.” It’s conveying art literally using light and shadow. I have always found the perceptions we as people create when viewing things to be interesting. I was fascinated by the psychology behind camouflage when I was a Soldier; how breaking up the outlines of a shape and playing with the normal light and dark patterns we use to identify faces, people, and objects could effectively hide things in otherwise plain sight. It taught me a different objective way to view the world around me.

Finally, there is the ability of photography to capture the fleeting and ethereal. Nothing is permanent, everything changes. A photograph can hit the pause button on these moments, these emotions. It can preserve a memory with more fidelity and give it to us a medium that can be shared. It’s about the ability to show how I view the world. It’s being able express things when I have no words. It’s about creating a moment where the artist, subject, and viewer can communicate in a way that transcends spoken/written language and moves the world in an unexpected way.

So, for me, that is why PHOTOGRAPHY!

Artistic Influences and Preferences

I was recently asked: “What artistic style or styles influences you?”

That can be a tricky question because there are always things lurking in the subconscious that influence us without our realizing it. But I would have to answer that I am a lover of the Baroque style in both paintings and music. My favorite piece of classical music is Georg Philipp Telemann’s Trumpet Concerto in D major. I love the dynamic range of Baroque music and the way it plays with contrasts. The same can be said of the paintings of the period with their dynamic staging of subjects and  tension/action, and the pronounced contrast of tenebrism. Judith slaying Holofernes by Artemisia Gentileschi and The Crucifixion of Saint Peter by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio are wonderful examples of tenebrism and drama found in Baroque paintings. These artistic qualities are a big part of what I try to bring to my photography. I’m still working on it, but that is a huge part of my inspiration.

So artistic style speaks to you? What inspires you?