I am, in every practical way, an adult. As a creative, however, I indulge my inner child more than the average responsible grown person. There is a healthy balance there somewhere, I am sure. I am also certain that I have not achieved such equanimity yet, but I am still (kind of) young. I have learned, in my 47 years, that there needs to be an acceptance, at some level, of ones strengths and weaknesses. I am never going to have a well organized checkbook. Grown-up small talk still bores me to tears, and time, yes actual hours and minutes, still seems less a priority to me than most my age. I am still baffled at how we are so ruled by set points in the day. But, that’s probably a post for another time.
For all the things I don’t bring to the “adult” table, there are many things I supply with abundance. I have a passion for all things silly. Humor has always been an ally of mine. It aids in recalibrating my mood when the dark days appear, and if nothing else, provides a means for acceptance. There is, however, only so much acceptance the average artist can stomach. That is why the creative spark is such a life saver for me. For us artists, that is our super power; The area where all our supposed child-like qualities converge with our intellect, imagination and passion and are focused on our work.
The following photographs where little reminders to myself to play and have fun. I hope my puddle pictures provide you with inspiration.
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It’s been a while since my last photography outing. I decided to get out of the house today and soak up some sun while taking a few happy snappys. It was a beautiful morning, but the sun was already rising and the light was becoming harsh. Luckily, there is a fantastic park nearby that is heavily wooded. Splashes of light here and there aided in these two shots captured with a 35mm prime lens. I enjoyed getting my bones warmed up today, but I will be looking forward to that next overcast day when I can capture all that April color.
This image was originally tucked away in a folder, because when I was editing it, I was attempting to recreate the same levels of contrast and darkness as other photographs I was working on. At the time, I was very much looking for a certain criteria, and as a result, I didn’t see the qualities in this image. When I came back to this one weeks later, the calming, understated nature of this beach scene really appealed to me. I wonder how many other good photographs I pushed aside because they didn’t look like I thought they should at the time. Anyone else find a gem after they first dismissed it? Let me know! Thanks for stopping by. –Shawn K. Pagels
I came across this shot I took at Clark’s Point last year. I never published it or had it printed because there was always something I didn’t like about it. Today I made it a square format picture, converted it to black and white, did a little dodge and burning, and I am pleased! I am currently working on an online shop to sell some of my photographs…and I think this one wil be included. Thanks for stopping by, happy shooting! -Shawn Pagels (artSEEguy)
One of my favorite places to vacation is the Oregon Coast. Since the coast of Oregon is entirely park, there are a lot of great spots to visit and explore, and for artists, there is an endless amount of inspiration. I found this shot on file from the summer of 2013. A silvery kind of picture with lots of mid-tones, this misty shot is one of the reasons I love the coast so much. Depth can be conveyed so easily. You can really bring something out in your foreground when just 50 fifty feet away, objects become slightly obscured by the atmospheric conditions of places like this.
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Here is a photograph I took near Maple Falls, Washington. There is something about large birds I find compelling and mysterious. After getting about knee deep in smelly river mud, I was able to get just close enough to frame this shot.
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We are all taught in art school or photography classes about portrait and landscape formats and the appropriate uses of them. Today, I want to demonstrate the power of the square! If done right, presenting an image in a square format can make a bold statement. There is something kind of hip about ignoring rules and putting something out there that looks a little different from the rest. With that in mind, there are a few things you want to look out for to avoid making your image look less like a statement and more like a mistake!
As in other formats, you want to remember some basic rules of good composition. Think thirds and avoid dividing the picture in half will keep the image dynamic(if this is your intent). Try not to pull the eye out of the picture by cropping lines or high contrast objects out of the frame.
In this example, there are lines leading away from the subject matter, but they are minimized by the use of value. The brightest and highest contrast is on the Slug shaped fallen tree.
Another great way to use this format is by creating an abstract image. Use pattern, shape and rhythm to make images that resemble abstract paintings.
I titled this one “Rothko Day” after the famous painter. There are three major bands going across this picture with enough detail to retain a natural element, but remain abstract.
Keep It Moving:
To counter the stagnant nature of the square, choose a photograph that conveys motion.
The lively nature of this small waterfall keeps the square format lively and visually compelling!
Thanks for reading. Please follow my blog for further articles with examples. Contact me with any questions or comments.