Always shoot for you, for your soul. This phrase was something commonly said by my instructor Bob Smith while in one of his Zone classes at Brooks. We always agreed, and would go out and shoot for us. It kept us thriving with creativity. It rejuvenated us. It focused our intents and efforts. It taught us to seek out and shoot what made us feel good. And sometimes it humbled us. Balboa Harbor SunriseLooking South at Newport Harbor toward Newport Coast, Newport Beach, Calif. Two Boats SunriseLooking South at Newport Harbor toward Newport Coast, Newport Beach, Calif. Two Boats Sunrise-2Looking South at Newport Harbor toward Newport Coast, Newport Beach, Calif.
And then, once again, we would find ourselves in the midst of the trenches of our education. Shooting specific assignments with semi-predetermined parameters. And eventually we graduated and moved on to start our careers and make a fortune (insert sarcastic laugh here). And little by little, many of us forgot how to just create what we loved. Two Boats Sunrise-1Looking South at Newport Harbor toward Newport Coast, Newport Beach, Calif.
For me, it is often because what I'd loved to do had become work. Yes I still love it. Sometimes, however, when we MUST do something, even if it is something we love, it loses that spark. We get caught up in the details of the clients, the bills, the marketing and a plethora of other things life throws at us, and shooting for US, became a dream. Something we'd love to do, someday.
Single Sailboat Vertical-BWLooking South at Newport Harbor toward Newport Coast, Newport Beach, Calif. Sunrise Sailboat-1Looking South at Newport Harbor toward Newport Coast, Newport Beach, Calif. Golden SunriseLooking South at Newport Harbor toward Newport Coast, Newport Beach, Calif.
And then, we make ourselves shoot. We remember how it feels to get up early or stay up late. To seek the perfect location and subject, and wait for the light. Testing our exposures and deciding how WE want this image to look. What angles we feel like, where to crop. Whether or not to wait for that one thing in our shot to move, or better position itself to our liking. And then, of course, to shoot. To see that shot in our mind, become ours digitally, raw as it may be. Unfinished, unrefined, but begging for our tweaks and edits.
Auto Ferry Drive FarLooking towards Balboa Island Auto Ferry from Balboa Peninsula - Newport Beach, Calif. Auto Ferry Drive Far-BWLooking towards Balboa Island Auto Ferry from Balboa Peninsula - Newport Beach, Calif.
Many of us, fiendishly scurry home to sit for hours behind our digital darkrooms, all the while juggling other tasks in the background, to manipulate those images and give birth to the final artwork that once beckoned us to release it once and for all from the depths of our dank subconsciousnesses.
But the decisions! The options and edits. The slight differences in tonality and texture. The calling for extra grain or sharpness; a hint of a color shift as if to somehow trick you into wondering what year that image was taken. A square crop perhaps? Or more drastically, banish all color and opt solely for the luminance and contrast of a photograph reminiscent of the amorous prints once conjured up in a dark room delightfully reeking of stop and fix baths. PierBottom side of Balboa Pier- Newport Beach, Calif. Nostalgic PierBottom side of Balboa Pier- Newport Beach, Calif. Newport LandingLooking towards Newport Harbor- Newport Beach, Calif.
And these days, many of us, even those who are organized diligent, end up waiting far too long to get those photos in front of an audience. Yes, we may upload our favorite, or often very rough edit, onto facebook or twitter. But how often do we print them for ourselves? What is the frequency with which we are physically displaying our beautiful artwork on walls, galleries, museums, friend and families homes, work spaces and the like? It is typically very easy to submit artwork to fairs and photo competitions, yet, this last step often is the once that isn't taken. And it is a shame.
This blog post was just a kind of an outlet for me to let my brain go free and, in a way, complain about many of the things I wish I was more frequently accomplishing. A little bit of information about THESE photographs is long overdue for those of you who are still present after that insatiable rant.
All of these photos were taken in March of 2015. Sadly I am not always one of the previously mentioned folks who actually make it straight home to chisel out the images from their cameras flash cards after a shoot. Not this time for sure. Here it is the end of February, and I have finally picked my favorites out, and edited them. Then for several, re-edited them.
I started the editing process with all of these in Adobe Lightroom. As long as it took me to adjust to Lightroom after having learned and used Bridge and Photoshop exclusively for so many years, I now truly love the abilities to quickly make many adjustments without opening in camera RAW or Photoshop. Fair DriveExit 4 Southbound 55 at Del Mar Ave/ Fair Drive. The exit to my old home- Costa Mesa, Calif. 55 NorthNorthbound 55 street sign- Costa Mesa, Calif.
For several, if not most of the images, many small adjustments were made in Photoshop. new to my repertoire however is the Topaz Labs Plug-in bundle. This was my first attempt at using these plug-ins, which I became acquainted with quite rapidly, and now feel very comfortable with. HoagHoag Hospital, looking north from PCH and Newport Blvd-Newport Beach, Calif.
I would be a fool to rant about the way I feel remorse for rarely printing and still not doing something about it. So in light of not wanting to prove myself as such, I plan to start printing many of these out. It has been a while since I was so pleased with so many shots from a single shoot about, and I want to get them onto walls and hopefully let others them as much as I do.
I also plan to submit many of these to upcoming photo competitions and seek local galleries that would like to display any of these photographs. if you are reading this and are with a gallery, I am most happy to speak with you...give me a call. Golden FieldField of Yellow flowers at Upper Newport Bay-Newport Beach, Calif.
All of these images, as well as the rest in the Fine Art category are all currently available for purchase directly from my website in a large variety of sizes and on different mediums such as fine art prints, canvas, acrylic, metal murals, metallic, and glass prints. The vendors I use are extremely high quality, and any of these would make an excellent addition to your art collection, as well as great unique and affordable gifts for art lovers.
If you like a particular image, and are not sure what size, or medium to print on, Please do not hesitate to call me for ideas or any help you need in making your decisions. (949) 431-2550 Single FlowerLone flower in black and white at Upper Newport Bay- Newport Beach, Calif. Cactus 1-BWBlack and white Cactus in early morning sun at Upper Newport Bay-Newport Beach, Calif. Cactus BedCactus bed in early morning sun at Upper Newport Bay-Newport Beach, Calif. Cactus RidgeCactus in early morning sun at Upper Newport Bay-Newport Beach, Calif. CattailsCattails in Field at Creasy Mahan Natural Preserve- Prospect, KY ( Ha! You're paying attention! How did this get in here?! Oh well!)
I would also love it terribly if you would pin, post to facebook, tweet, or share any of your favorite images, as well as this blog post. Feel free to leave comments on which images are your favorites, especially with the versions which have two or more edits. Which do you like best???? Let me know! Boulder FieldLooking Southwest at chaparral at Upper Newport Bay-Newport Beach, Calif.
And so with that, after much rambling, ranting and as much of a sales pitch as I care to muster up at nearly 1 am, I will leave you to look over the images again. Enjoy this new series, which I anticipate only being part one of a series of images of Orange County California. More to follow.....Sooner rather than later.
Now I must go shoot....for ME.