Posts Tagged ‘creativity’

Find What You Love

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The two pictures in this post are of Megan, an aspiring model. Megan loves to model. During our recent shoot, it was rare that I captured her without a smile. She has found something she loves to do.

Find What You Love. I hope you will read this article by a British concert pianist. Then, please come back here! Find What You Love.

James Rhodes showed extraordinary courage and determination to pursue his passion.

For me, I took a somewhat different – and admittedly easier –  path. I retired early from the business world, without a clear idea of what I wanted to do next. I had always been an avid amateur photographer, so I took some photography courses at a local art school. One particular course, on studio lighting, really grabbed a hold of me. I want to do this! Without quite knowing how to proceed, I began to look for a studio and found my current space five years ago this month. I bought some studio lights and began to teach myself how to use them. While I took courses, workshops and private instruction from more experienced photographers, most of my training is self-taught. This is the hard way, but was the right path for me.

I absolutely love taking portraits of people – in the studio or any other location. It’s what gets me excited every morning. I work really hard to improve my skills and learn new techniques. In business, I didn’t have much of an opportunity to use the right side of the brain. I’m making up for lost time now – and having a ball. Right now, I can’t imagine doing anything else.

There was a fork in the road for me. When I took that lighting course, I could have said, “Gee, that looks like fun, but I’m too old to start this now.” Or – “I’ll never be as good at this as the teacher – so why bother?” I give thanks every day that, somehow,  I took a leap of faith.

Have you found what you love? I hope so. Are you doing it? I hope so.  If not, is it time now to make that leap?

“Individual, Indelible, Iconic Images”

Working both in the studio and on location, photographer Blake Robinson serves the Connecticut communities of Darien, New Canaan, Stamford, Norwalk, Westport and Greenwich.

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Shooting at MoMA (Part Two)

This is part two of a series of posts about photographing people looking at artwork at The Museum of Modern Art in New York. If you missed Part One, see it here. The woman above got very close to this Jackson Pollock, leaning in some times, perhaps in hopes it might make more sense that way. I’m still struggling with Pollock’s work – viewed at any distance.

So, this was a painting that caught my attention. I agree with the message – but what does it say about itself as a work of art? No one seemed much interested in lingering over this one.

Andrew Wyeth’s Christina’s World is one of the most famous paintings of the 20th Century. (and one I can get my arms around more easily than the Jackson Pollock painting). I was intrigued that this photograph showed more of the viewer’s face than is shown of Christina’s face in the painting. What is the viewer thinking? Perhaps she is imagining what is going on in Christina’s mind. And your humble photographer/blogger is wondering about both women’s thoughts and feelings.

This gentleman stared at this painting for a LONG time. He listened to the audio guide, then checked out the work from straight on, the left side, the right side, up close and far back. He was totally absorbed, which made my job much easier. I never got “caught” on this one, even though I took over a dozen pictures of him.

Here’s our friend from the first post, still up on her toes on one foot.

You may be wondering why I didn’t show the whole painting here – but even if  you saw all the words, it still wouldn’t make sense. This woman had taken a picture of the work on her iPad, hoping that would reveal the paintings hidden secrets.

Remember Patty Hearst? Loved the Red Keds and green shoulder bag here – colors likely not featured in Patty Hearst’s fashion palette.

This kid was intently studying these paintings – each one a flat black rectangle, nicely matted and framed. Maybe the audio guide helped here – or perhaps going down in a catcher’s crouch provided the answers.

Out in the sculpture garden, this fellow got down low to capture these fountains on his iPhone. His friend, out of the picture frame, and I gave each other knowing glances.

Let me know what your reactions are to these pictures. As always, I appreciate your interest in my work.

Working both in the studio and on location, photographer Blake Robinson serves the Connecticut communities of Darien, New Canaan, Stamford, Norwalk, Westport and Greenwich.

Steve Jobs and The Creative Spirit

 

 

 

 

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”  Steve Jobs

Nickel on a Park Bench, Savannah

 

Steve Jobs’ advice is important for all aspects of our lives. But his words really resonated for me in thinking about creativity in my photography.

At a photography workshop in Savannah, one afternoon our assignment was to go out and take a picture with a very narrow depth of field – that is, where only a small part of the image is in focus. I walked around the city for a while, looking for subjects. What will the workshop leader like? Will the other students come up with something better than I can? I was getting more and more tied up in meeting others’ expectations – or what I thought others might expect of me. I took a lot of dull pictures. Then, I sat down on a bench in one of the squares and just took a deep breath. Without really thinking, I reached in my pocket, pulled out the only thing I had, which was a nickel. For no particular reason, I propped it up on the other side of the seat. I noticed some interesting neon lights on the stores bordering the square.  Then, I lifted the camera, set the aperture wide open, focused on the nickel and took one picture, shown above. It’s one of my favorite images from the past few years.

For sure, I still often fall back into the trap of worrying about how others will respond to my work. But time and again, my best work happens when I simply let go and shoot – when I’m not trying at all – to meet some perceived expectations of others or even of myself.

If we truly have the courage to follow our intuition and our heart, as Jobs suggests, all will be well – in our art and in every area of our lives.

Below is one more of my favorite images, taken earlier this year. I had a free day at the studio and just played with a couple of slinkies, trying different lighting ideas. Playing was the operative word – in some of the shots, like this one, I just threw the slinkies on the table and shot them where they landed.

Rest in Peace, Steve Jobs.

Working both in the studio and on location, photographer Blake Robinson serves the Connecticut communities of Darien, New Canaan, Stamford, Norwalk, Westport and Greenwich.

Slinkies, in the Studio

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