Sunset On Red

Unsettled was my body
Like dust illuminated
Through window’s light
Every atom

Melded with this daily ritual
When blood fills the sky
And a sudden hush
Closes every mouth

All of us
Taken up
Taken aback
Willingly surrendered
To the moment’s
Weightless calling

“Sunset on Red” – 12″x12″ Oils on canvas

The Shape of Things

Everything was falling
Nothing hit the ground
It all floated gently
Despite gravity crashing the party

The pool has a leak
But it never empties
If I could just find the ladder
At least then,
I’d discover the bottom

Water soluble oils on canvas 12″x12″
Not sure what it means…sometimes I have no control over what happens next with the paint.

If Not For Joy, Then What?

For some twelve years, I have been making photographs at Mission Trails Regional Park. Photographic technique building has been a labor of love. Learning to push the camera to its limit has been a quest of mine the entire time. Many pieces have been left behind as failures…ultimately just learning-blocks to overcome. 

More importantly, the time spent on the trails has given me time to reflect, observe nature, and connect to the air that moves over us. There is a physical/spiritual connection made when we stop to see life happen, even in its most basic, banal activities. 

The wren will scold you on the trail if he thinks you are a threat. A song sparrow will sing to his mate to win her over, even though she has already had chicks by him the previous season.  Hummingbirds love to eat gnats, and are very territorial…even when it comes to humans!

When the sun sinks behind the mountains, most wildlife is hunkered down, while some are just getting started (to hunt). It is nature. It is real.

One evening, I stood on a floating footbridge making impressions. The sun was gone and the afterglow started. The reds and lavender began to pop and I started interpreting the colors and shapes as they changed and morphed. Suddenly out of my periphery vision a man came into view to my right. I was startled somewhat. 
It was another photographer. Maybe ten years older than me. He set up his tripod  and started working a on stable ground. I continued working from the floating bridge. He was practicing standard static photography.

In contrast, I stood on the bridge moving my camera in long, multiple exposures. It was apparent that we do not see the world the same way. When I see light, I want to hold it. I want to move it, and smear it around the frame. It dissolves and dances, It becomes something else altogether.

When I do that, light and color become suggestions. Anomalies can take the viewer wherever their mind wants to take them. If I put a frame in with hard edges, like birds, or mountains, it adds story to the composition. The final piece is a  big colorful expressive arrangement made to crack open heads and minds.

I showed the other photographer what I was making. He was not impressed. “So you do a lot of editing” was his reply. I said, “Sometimes, mostly contrasts. Other times I’ll make the piece a complete manipulation if the work calls for it. It’s up to the composition to lead me.” I think I just confused him with that statement, or  he just thought I was full of it. (Internally I was thinking, “Am I defending my work ethic to this guy I don’t even know?”)

Our photography worlds are not the same. Most photographers work by a specific philosophy with ethical guidelines to be “honest” about their work. I’m good with that, and ultimately the beauty we replicate serves the same purpose.

Sometimes I make photographs, sometimes I make manipulations. Rarely, do I care about realism….and that is what brings me the joy of photography.

And if this is not for the joy of it, then why bother?

New Sight

Watching your plane ascend
Eyes wouldn’t stay open

Into the decay at my feet
Pools of history looming
As controlled violence
Broke laws of physics

Winds lifting you away
Failing eyes unwilling
Heart spills open
New eyes, new sight

Black Birds and Fences

There are scales on my eyes
And I must traverse the journey
Over and over
Before I can see

My walks have taken me by this spot many times.
The tree, birds, the fences and light kept telling an untold story.
Struggling with its meaning
A puzzle
With pieces missing

All is not as it appears
To the eye
The eye must close
To see

If we can find the emotive response within us to color, lines and shapes.
Make them ours. Interpret them from the emotive eye.
The journey takes on new meaning.

(multiple exposure photograph)