Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Honing Perception

I am a photographer.  I'm also an artist and what I would term....a "Professional Creative".  I can not NOT create.....it is always going on in my head or being expressed through the various projects, clients, or artistic mediums I'm involved in.  One area is always giving me inspiration for another and it all seems interlocked someway.   It has taken some time, but I've finally come to the understanding everyone does not experience life this way.  I realize now that uniqueness is my strength for it is the driving force which fuels the passion that is so apart of me....the passion to create.

Perception is defined as...  the immediate or intuitive recognition ...appreciation of aesthetic (and other) qualities;  an insight, intuition, or discernment.   Look at these two images for a moment and consider what you see.....






Both of these were taken while on an outing to an area known as the Pawnee National Grasslands in NE Colorado.
 










In what ways are they similar or...are they similar at all?  Are you drawn to one more than the other and if so, why?




To me, these images are the same.  They both stir within me a since of amazed awe and appreciation. 

I know, I know......I can hear the scoffing even now and I haven't even posted this yet.   Just read a bit more and then make up your mind.

Whether you are a fan or not of the Western US landscape, you can not help but have a sense of awe when standing at the base of one of these geologic formations as in the first image.  The mass, height, isolation...they all combine at once as you begin to contemplate the enormity of time and natural forces it took to create what stands before you.  Even in the relatively boring light at the time this was taken I knew I would have to make the finale image express the grand awareness of history residing in this butte  and my own feeling of pride in being able to share it first hand.  That is why I processed it to look like this......


So, you say.....what does that have to do with a bunch a bails of hay?  Glad you asked.   In the image of the hay bails, you are seeing only a fraction of a fraction of the scene.  We were driving through literally 1000's of acres of farmland at the time.  This stack of bails was only one of several across the landscape and it struck me as I drove closer, how they appeared so similar to a child's building blocks, semi-scattered across the floor.  For all of the effort and toil it had taken this farmer to  plow, and seed, and harvest all this space....his efforts seemed frail and easily tossed when compared to "room" in which laid.   I was awed at the contrast.  I was awed with the effort.  I was awed with how small I felt as I walked across the rows and rows of dried, stubble stalks in that field.  I knew I had to relate in the finale image the sense of space, contrast, toil and enjoyment I was experiencing.  That's why I processed it to look like this.....



Sometimes immediate....sometimes intuitive....train yourself to recognize the indicators.  Sometimes all the pieces of a great scene will be in front of you...waving....saying..."Here I am...Take my picture".  Other times you have to look for it a bit.  But as you learn to hone your perception, the images that move you will line up before you waiting to be captured.

5 comments:

  1. Wow...very perceptive...LOL. I love both pictures and truly enjoyed reading how each one affected you. Great editing of both. You brought the true feeling of each photo out.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Kathy

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  2. Jon,

    I really like how in this, and other posts, you verbalize your artistic vision; in this one, actually, you go further than that and admit a kind of helpless artistic vocation, an inability to live any other way than as an artist. I recognize and honor that. I appreciate too your liberation from what is "pretty," a minimalism powered by a sense of the beauty to be found in the imperfect, raw and incomplete. There is something hopeless and forlorn about the effort of growing and stacking hay in so empty a world, to wake up, as you said, and anticipate for the days cup of happiness plowing a couple of hundred of dry, aching acres. I see generally a sense of the subduing glory of nature in your work, its radiant transgressions against the human scale, and the basic humanity inherent in coming to terms with that. It's moving, meaningful, and heartbreaking.

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  3. Photo subjects comes in unexpected times. It will just hit you in the face and there it is. You'll have a picture perfect shot. retirement planner

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  4. What a beautiful landscape! Nicely done. It came out beautifully. You are really great photographer. Thanks for sharing. I love it.

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