Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Open Spaces

When I tell people one of my favorite shooting locations is the farmlands and eastern plains of Colorado, (which I often do), I am typically met with a look of absolute confusion, as if the person I am talking to is being punked. I'm a nature photographer - what on earth would interest me about the open plains and farmland??

It all goes back to my formal graphic design training, which permanently engrained in my brain and imagination the concept and beauty of minimalism. Less really is more. I grew up in the Rocky Mountains; a land of magnificent peaks, rugged terrain, and vast forests of Evergreen, Pine, and Aspen, yet I do not have one single photo in any gallery of this type of landscape. I do have a few photos that I may share someday, but overall find it extremely difficult to compose a strong image in the Rockies, whereas in the farmland and desert, it's as if I have to pick from so many exciting and accessible options. For some reason the mystery of big skies, old trees, farm relics, decaying barns, and open land really are what connects me and my art.

Here's a few of my photos from eastern Colorado from the last couple of days. It seems the thunderstorm season is a bit late this year, but incredibly magnificent as the ominous clouds roll over the vibrant sunlit wheat fields. While shooting, I find myself playing a game of hide and seek with the sunlight through the clouds, trying to position myself in areas where the foreground is illuminated, while the sky is obscured by the daunting thunderstorms, creating a surreal contrast.

Some of this is very temporary land, and as urban development is sure to encroach upon and swallow many of these wonderful places within a few years, conforming them to urban sprawl and strip malls, there will be barely a memory of the natural peace and wonder that existed here previously.

You can see some of my previous journeys to eastern Colorado here , and here as well.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Beauty in a Yucca

The Yucca, commonly thought to be a type of cactus, is actually
a plant within the agave plant family and is an evergreen shrub.
Those who have spent time in certain desert climates in the
Western United States and Mexico know about the Yucca plant.

While they are visually unobtrusive, and often growing around
other small shrubs and bushes, they have long, very rigid
needle-tips that are ridiculously sharp. Throughout
the years, they have always provided a wealth of jokes
(and pain) for myself and my friends. If there is a Yucca
anywhere in the close vicinity, it is inevitably
going to stab someone.

Never have I had any desire to spend much time around them
until recently. Once I resigned myself to the fact that I was
going to lose some blood that day, I put the 100mm macro
lens on my camera, on a mini-tripod, laid myself on the desert
floor, and got up close and personal with one. Within a single
Yucca plant, I found a surprising beauty. Within this hostile
and vicious product of survival-of-the-fittest plant-evolution
lies the most wonderful tiny little world, delicate and whimsical.

The second image shown here has been juried into, and will be on display at the 18th Annual Louisville Arts Association National Photography Show, of which I am also the co-chair for. Please join us for the opening reception of the show on Saturday June 27th, 7:00 - 9:00 PM, at the Louisville Art Association. More information can be found at .

07/04/09 Post Note:
The second photo on this post won 2nd Place in the in the Louisville Art Association- National Photography Show (Color: Still Life, Scenic, and Abstract Category) on June 27th, 2009.